Introducing NoOps: The New Way to Run Your Nodes

CertiK | Jun 18, 2020

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What is NoOps?

NoOps, architected and developed by CertiK, is the premier Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform tackling real pain points in Proof-of-Stake blockchain ecosystems. The product serves as a one-stop solution that serves the needs of different groups of end users actively participating in the staking business.

By leveraging NoOps as well as other proprietary technology, CertiK aims to collaborate with a wide range of ecosystem players, from blockchain startups to enterprise users, to build a more secure and higher-performance blockchain network.

Before we dive deep into the solution itself, let’s review what it means to stake and the challenge that current staking businesses face.

What is staking?

To stake, an individual needs to hold stakeable coins, have the technical know-how to perform the staking process, and run a computer 24/7 to maximize staking rewards. As you might realize, this requires an overwhelming amount of work and is sometimes not economically or technically feasible. Thus, many users choose to delegate their tokens to external parties that will stake their token and vote on their behalf.

Challenge of current staking businesses

In the staking business, these external parties are the validators in PoS blockchains, and a Staking-as-a-Service (StaaS) provider might run several validator nodes for different PoS blockchains.

However, even for StaaS providers, this is not always a profitable business model, given the large setup costs and technical knowledge required. And even if a StaaS provider is able to cover the setup costs and technical needs, it also needs to quickly rank highly as a validator in the ecosystem it’s trying to break into in order to earn enough rewards to cover the high setup and maintenance costs. It’s a difficult challenge for any newcomer with no preexisting reputation.

Here are some example numbers to show what the operating costs may look like:

  • Technical personnel (engineers or devOps) - $50,000 to $300,000 annually
  • Infrastructures - $200 to $500 per month per node
  • Add-on softwares - $50 to $100 per month
  • Production node setup - 1 week to months per blockchain protocol
  • Monitoring/alerting - lifetime
  • Maintenance - lifetime

Our research into these costs raises the question: Are there any ways to reduce overhead costs and increase staking businesses’ bottom lines?

This is where NoOps comes into play.

NoOps: the new way to run your staking business

The NoOps product offers an enterprise-grade, fully-functional platform to empower all types of validator players in various PoS ecosystems. Our dedicated team of DevOps and security engineers help support our ecosystem partners’ mainnet launches and future maintenance or upgrades.

Additionally, CertiK participates directly in other PoS ecosystems as trusted validators leveraging NoOps and other proprietary security technologies to host nodes and help strengthen the entire blockchain network.

Why NoOps exists

The CertiK team initially built NoOps to support the CertiK Chain, which also follows a PoS mechanism, and improve the effectiveness and security of validators.

However, as we built the platform, we found that few solutions currently exist that successfully tackle all the pain points of setting up a staking business, including unreliable security quality of infrastructure. These solutions were also missing key business insights and product features to support validators’ core operations. Thus, we decided to design NoOps to serve a broader spectrum of users, create a product that fits all needs,and build a rich and diverse marketplace to empower more businesses.

Founded from research labs from Yale University and Columbia University, CertiK is constantly working on commercializing academia breakthroughs into industry use cases. With the support of CertiKOS, DeepSEA, CVM, as well as many other ongoing research into proprietary technologies, NoOps adds value to the entire ecosystem through a delibertably-built, high-performance product that’s extensible and scalable.

Where does the name come from?

One little fun fact we wanted to leave you with: NoOps is a combination of words, nodes hosted with “noDevOps”, just like how CertiK is a combo for “CertifiedKits”.

In our next article, we’ll bring you a closer look into the NoOps product itself!