Engine Snapshot Stats

In my post a week ago over here I have been giving you an update on Hive-Engine light nodes, snapshots and some other developments regarding engine nodes.

In this post I will be talking about engine node snapshots, which play a substantial role in the operation of the Hive-Engine sidechain.

Creating Snapshots

I am providing a snapshot service for engine nodes since approx. a year now. What it basically does is create a snapshot (backup) of an engine node once a day, so it can be used to set up new nodes or restore faulty or forked nodes. A few months ago I have additionally added snapshots for light nodes, which are created every 12 hours.
The backup is basically done by creating a dump of the whole mongo database. More specifically a cron job executes a shell script once a day (or twice for light nodes), which:

  • Stops the node
  • Checks for divergence
  • Deletes old snapshots
  • Creates the mongo dump
  • Checks for success
  • Uploads to file server
  • Restarts the node

If you are curious, here is the full script for creating the backups:


# directory of engine node
# file server directory containing snapshots
# for creating snapshot before moving to file server

cd "${nodedir}"

# check if node is running
isrunning=`pm2 status | grep online`
if [[ -z "$isrunning" ]]; then
  echo "Node is not running"
  exit 1

echo "Node is running"

# unregister node (if witness enabled) and stop
node witness_action.js unregister
pm2 stop app
sleep 15

# check if node is in valid state (not divergent)
node find_divergent_block.js -n https://api.primersion.com >> find_divergent_block.log
isok=`tail -1 find_divergent_block.log`
if [[ "$isok" != "ok" ]]; then
  echo "Node is divergent"
  exit 1

echo "Node is all good and not divergent"

# delete snapshots older than 1 day
find "${snapshotdir}/" -mtime +0 -type f -delete

sleep 30

# dump database
now=`date +"%m-%d-%Y"`
start_epoch=`date +%s`
block=`cat config.json | grep startHiveBlock | grep -Eo '[0-9]*'`
mongodump --db hsc --gzip --archive="${tmpdir}/hsc_${now}_b${block}.archive"

# check if dump was completed successfully
issuccess=`tail -10 daily-snapshot.log | grep "done dumping hsc.chain"`
if [[ "$issuccess" != *"done dumping hsc.chain"* ]]; then
  echo "mongodump not successful"
  exit 1

echo "mongodump was successful"
sleep 30

# move to fileserver
mv "${tmpdir}/hsc_${now}_b${block}.archive" "${snapshotdir}/hsc_${now}_b${block}.archive"
chown www-data:www-data "${snapshotdir}/hsc_${now}_b${block}.archive"

# start node
pm2 start app.js --no-treekill --kill-timeout 10000 --no-autorestart

# register node once sycned (if witness enabled)
node witness_action.js register

Additionally since 3 months the script records the snapshot size after every creation. To better analyze the resulting data I have created a simple python program, which reads the data created by the script (in a csv file) and creates a chart using matplotlib. This is a part of the script:

    import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

    times = [] # timestamps when snapshots were created
    sizes = [] # sizes of the snapshots
    diffs = []  # size difference of two successive snapshots 

    plt.plot(times, sizes)
    plt.title(f'hive-engine snapshot size {f}')
    plt.ylabel('Size in MB')
    plt.bar(times[1:], diffs)
    plt.title(f'daily increase of snapshot size {f}')
    plt.ylabel('Increase in MB')

Full node snaphots

The following image shows the size of full node snapshots of the last few months and right now we are at almost 60GB for the snapshot already:

This pretty much shows that the size of snapshots is growing at approx. the same rate every single day. It also shows that it is getting increasingly more difficulty (expensive) to run engine full nodes. The daily increase in the snapshot size is seen pretty good in the following bar chart:

The few outliers in the chart above occurred when the snapshot script failed a few times and the snapshot was created a bit earlier / later than usual.

Light node snapshots

One of the biggest benefits of light nodes is that they only store part of the full transaction / block history, which drastically decreases the storage requirements. Compared to full nodes a light node with 30 days of history requires less than 10% of the storage. We can see the size of light node snapshots (with 30 day history) in the following chart, which is currently at around 4.5GB:

The initial straight line results from the 30 day history still being built up gradually. The size of the light node snapshot fluctuates a bit, depending on the number of transactions that are performed on the engine sidechain, but stays approximately at the same level. The fluctuation can be seen pretty good in the following chart:

Again the outliers occurred when the snapshot script failed and the snapshot was created earlier / later than usual and the first part results from the history still being built up

I will continue to monitor the snapshot sizes and provide you with an update again in a few months or if anything interesting is coming up in the charts / data.

If you have any questions regarding the above or Hive-Engine nodes, please let me know.

Also please consider voting me as HIVE witness, so I can continue building more awesome stuff.

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