IT Infrastructure – An example installation

I’ve been providing IT services to customers for over 25 years and to achieve the highest uptime nothing is more important than ensuring that your IT equipment and services are fully redundant.

Uno stake pools are hosted on-premise, doing so ensures that, should a cloud service provider experience a global outage, a number of on-premise node operators will continue to produce blocks for the network.

On-premise and cloud based node operators are complimentary, but for an on-premise node operator to achieve similar levels of redundancy compared to a cloud service provider, significant investment in equipment is required.

Whilst at one of my hosting sites (one of four), it occurred to me to take a few photos of what such an installation may look like so that I could share that with my delegators. If you’d like to know more just ask in the comments.

HPE Advanced Rack Enclosures
Dual APC Uninterruptible Power Supplies providing stable power to servers/storage and network equipment
Dual HPE DL380 Servers and HPE MSA 2042 (inc. expansion chassis) connected via iSCSI
Aruba/HPE 5400 Core Switch configured in a mirrored redundant configuration

CERO, UNO and DOS Stake Pools all producing blocks

Within epoch 214 to date, Uno has produced 2 blocks and both Cero and Dos have produced a block each. At present only 24% of blocks are produced by stake pools so as this increases over the next few months we should expect more blocks produced per stake pool thus providing a more consistent reward average all still at 0% margin.

First Cardano Mainnet block produced

At 23:25 (UTC) on 15th August 2020, Uno Stake Pool produced it’s first Cardano Mainnet block within the first epoch in which stake pools are producing blocks.

A sincere thank you to all delegators of Uno Stake Pool because without your commitment and trust this would not have been possible. Rewards from this block will be available at the start of epoch 213 which occurs on the 23rd August 2020.

Announcing CERO and DOS Stake Pools – 0% Margin

The excitement of staking within the first Shelley epoch has finished and we now wait for the next round of delegation to begin when Exchanges have completed their upgrades and users can withdraw and stake their ADA. Already the most successful pools have tens of millions of ADA delegated to them, several have over a hundred million. It’s satisfying to see how those who are an active part of the Cardano community have been rewarded.

As I write this blog entry, Uno Stake Pool has 4.4 million ADA delegated, a good start and within the top 200 pools but not quite enough to be within the top 150 pools to provide the greatest returns. I created Uno Stake Pool for two reasons, one was that I saw a potential commercial opportunity, and the other just as compelling reason was that I wanted to be a part of the cryptocurrency revolution.

However, it’s clear that the most competitive pools are those who have either been an active member of the community, or those who made a name for themselves through the Incentivised Testnet, or ITN. Although I was involved in the ITN and Shelley Testnets, it wasn’t from the beginning and I mostly remained anonymous, unaware of the community.

To remain competitive I have therefore decided to create two more additional Stake Pools, CERO and DOS, and will set all three pools to have a margin of 0% for the foreseeable future. I can do this because for my other business ventures I already have a significant IT infrastructure from which I can host the Cardano nodes, an infrastructure which required an investment of hundreds of thousands of pounds, an infrastructure whose ongoing costs are already accounted for.

The fixed fee of 340 ADA per epoch per pool is therefore sufficient maintenance income if I scale to three stake pools, the goal for all three to be saturated whilst providing delegators the absolute maximum returns without comprising performance or reliability. Few other operators can or wish to provide such a high availability at 0% margin!

So what’s the catch? There isn’t one, at least not whilst the current k and a0 parameters are set as they are, so please take advantage of my desire to be a competitive pool operator and delegate to any of my stake pools, their success will grant you the highest returns possible. I can’t guarantee that the margin will remain at 0% forever, for example, if the minimum fixed fee decreases, but the intention is there to keep it that way for at least the next 6 months.

To be informed of changes of a pool operator’s fees and margins, I recommend using the Pegasus app, available on iOS and Android. If I do need to increase the margins for any of the CERO, UNO or DOS or stake pools then I will announce it on this blog at least 4 epochs in advance of the change.