Extrnode, a prominent player in the Solana ecosystem, has recently shared details about their ongoing efforts to dramatically accelerate the RPC layer on Solana. They have already made significant progress, reducing the delay from an average of 200-399 ms to 9 ms. This is a major breakthrough, and Extrnode aims to eventually bring this down to just 3-5 ms for frequently used methods. The delay issue currently faced by users stems from extrnode proxying user requests to public RPC nodes, which vary in speed and location.
Airnode Module: The Game Changer
The key to these impressive results lies in the Airnode module, an application written in Go that is designed to reduce request duration by efficiently indexing and storing blockchain data. By providing an API for accessing this data, Airnode is able to handle HTTP requests far more quickly than proxying them to public nodes. The average selection from the database takes less than 1 ms, offering a significant speed advantage.
Airnode's Unique Dataflow and Components
- Solana Validator Node: The dataflow starts with a minimalist Solana validator node, customized with a Geyser plugin that uses ZMQ as a transport. This choice was made after finding superior throughput and reduced hardware costs with ZMQ, compared to other options like Kafka.
- Importers: Accounts are streamed to one of two importers using ZMQ on each slot. These importers can connect to multiple nodes simultaneously, deduplicating data and reducing accounts to their most recent states.
- AerospikeDB: Confirmed accounts are stored in AerospikeDB using concurrent writes in batches of around 500 accounts. With approximately 5,000-6,000 accounts processed per second, AerospikeDB efficiently utilizes memory for indexes and SSD storage for data.
- GRPC Communication: Extrnode employs GRPC for communication between the balancer and Airnode, ensuring that supported RPC methods result in a GRPC request and a Solana-node formatted response.
Extrnode's Airnode module is set to revolutionize Solana's RPC layer by significantly reducing delays and optimizing data storage and operational costs. Developers can already experience the benefits of these improvements by using Extrnode's public load balancer, which offers greater stability and censorship resistance for dApps. Stay tuned for more exciting developments from Extrnode as they continue to push the boundaries of performance in the Solana ecosystem. To get started, visit http://extrnode.com and connect to the public load balancer today.