Solana (SOL) plans to introduce a new fee system in addition to a host of other improvements as part of an effort to combat its repeated network issues.
According to an explanation published by Solana Labs, Solana suffered a network outage over the weekend when the project’s mainnet beta cluster “ceased producing blocks as a result of stalled consensus.”
The outage came after Solana already dealt with publicized network and performance problems in December and January, as well as a previous outage last September.
Solana Labs says the network has suffered “intermittent congestions issues” since early January due to bot activity targeting non-fungible token (NFT) mints. This also caused the most recent outage, according to the project.
“An enormous amount of inbound transactions (6 million per second) flooded the network, surpassing 100 Gbps of traffic at individual nodes. There is no evidence of a denial of service attack, but instead, evidence indicates bots tried to programmatically win a new NFT being minted using the popular Candy Machine program.”
Solana does note, however, that their network continued to function at transaction request levels that were 10,000% of the level that caused the September outage, an improvement it attributes to upgrades implemented since then.
A new upgrade aims to implement “memory use improvements to prolong the time nodes can endure slow or stalled consensus,” according to the project.
Solana is also working on core-protocols-related mitigation.
“In order to affect control over network traffic, Solana core protocols are being reimplemented atop QUIC, a protocol built by Google, designed for fast asynchronous communication like UDP, but with sessions and flow control like TCP. Once adopted, there will be many more options available to adapt and optimize data ingestion.”
Additionally, Solana notes that fee prioritization work is in progress.
“Solana’s fee prioritization should only impact the specific state, and not the whole block. This creates a system akin to ‘neighborhood fees’ instead of ‘global fees.’ The subsequent transactions that are paying a higher fee, but can’t fit into this block because they have hit the maximum limits of writing to an account are spilled and scheduled for the next block, but other transactions that interact with other accounts can still be added to the same block, even if they are paying lower fees.”
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