Overloading to Failure
Solana experienced a sudden shut down due to transaction overload, however, it gradually came back online after the validators restarted the network. Let’s dive in and see what actually happened to Solana and how this was resolved.On the 14th of September of 2021, the Solana mainnet-beta experienced intermittent instability issues. We saw an official statement from the Solana Status page on Twitter, where they explained that resource exhaustion in the network was causing a denial of service. After this was posted, the engineering team of Solana began work to resolve this issue.
According to Solscan data, before 8 A.M. ET, the network managed to produce a block, which would be its last at the time before the network transaction overload. Furthermore, as we move along to 11 A.M., Anatoly Anatoly Yakovenko, who is the founder of Solana and its current SEO, posted on Twitter that “Bots during a Raydium IDO are flooding the network at 300k txs per second.” Raydium is a leading decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol on Solana, which was about to begin an initial decentralized exchange offering (IDO).
Validators to The Rescue
Throughout the day, as we moved along to 3 P.M., the Solana Status Twitter account posted an update that stated the following: “1/ Solana Mainnet Beta encountered a large increase in transaction load which peaked at 400,000 TPS. These transactions flooded the transaction processing queue, and lack of prioritization of network-critical messaging caused the network to start forking.”
So, what happens in situations like these? Well, validators run the Solana network, so they had something in mind that would efficiently resolve this issue.
On the 15th of September, 2021, a day after this, the Solana validator community successfully completed a restart of the mainnet beta. This occurred after the network upgraded to 1.6.25.
This issue essentially got resolved the moment the validator community elected to coordinate the restart of the network.
Dapps, block explorers, and supporting systems fully recovered throughout the day after the upgrade, at which point the functionality of the network was fully restored.
Moving Things Forward
Solana is a network where its native cryptocurrency token known as SOL can be delegated by the validators, after which it allocates votes to them while they earn a portion of the block rewards.
This gives power to the community, which can react when specific issues occur.
What we can learn from this event on the network is that, while there will be numerous attempts to compromise even the biggest blockchains out there, as long as the community is active and dedicated, and as long as the validators are incentivized properly, as is the case in the Solana’s blockchain case, things can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Overall, the Solana network came out stronger due to this event, as it showcased how quickly it can recover from a transaction overload, which is a prowess not many blockchains can achieve.
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