Update 1.28.2022: For minting v2, farming rewards will now be paid out on a prorated basis for uptime in a given month. This means that a node which is online for half the month will farm half of the tokens. Farmers who migrate to Grid 3, therefore, will not lose out on any tokens. Discussion below should still be relevant to how we handle uptime on minting v3 going forward.
The ThreeFold Grid is designed with an uptime requirement for farmers to receive their farmed tokens. This is meant to encourage farmers to provide a certain service level for those utilizing the Grid. In the traditional cloud computing world, service levels are often measured by “how many 9s”, meaning that uptime commitments look like 99.X% where X is some number of 9s following the decimal. Of course, maintaining such levels in a decentralized network is challenging, and so far farmers have only been held to a 98% uptime requirement.
Farming rewards have two components: farmed and cultivated tokens. Farming happens all the time, while cultivation happens when a farmer’s node is being utilized. Uptime requirements only apply to farming, in that only farmers who meet the minimum uptime for a month will receive farmed tokens. Utilization, on the other hand, is only tied to uptime in the sense that a node must be online in order to be utilized. But under the current model, farmers are actually paid as soon as capacity is reserved via a capacity pool which provides credit for the user to draw from as their workloads run.
We’ve seen much concern from the community around the idea that certified farming will require farmers to maintain 99.8% uptime. This figure was proposed as the service level for certified farming, but was only ever a proposal. At such a service level, certified farms would be in the same league as corporate cloud providers. Without at least some farms providing this kind of uptime, it would be very difficult to drive adoption among the segment of the market which needs very reliable infrastructure.
To be clear, there is currently no expectation that owners of certified Titan nods will need to achieve 99.8% uptime. The current 98% requirement means that a node can be offline for ~14.5 hours per month before losing out on a month’s tokens. In practice, the vast majority of 3Nodes meet this level of uptime without issue. You can review the figures on explorer.grid.tf to see that months or even years of continuous uptime is possible. Personally, I’ve had a node running at home for a full year without ever losing out on a month of farmed tokens.
Finally, let’s also address the fact that even 98% uptime can be infeasible in some parts of the world where electricity and internet are less reliable. ThreeFold is well aware of this, and geographical provisions for infrastructure variability have always been a part of the farming reward model. If you think this applies to you and are having issues with not receiving farmed tokens due to downtime, please reach out to the team to discuss by leaving a reply here or using the chat button in the bottom right corner of this page.
My intention here is to gather and address concerns being expressed by the community via chats, in order to gather the conversation in a more permanent space. Please don’t hesitate to provide your input or questions below. We’ll also have an update on this from the team coming soon.