A Look Back at 2017 with SONM
As you know, we usually like to start each month with a report on the achievements of the previous month. This month, however, we have decided to make a report on the whole last year. Looking back on it all, 2017 was truly groundbreaking for us as a company.
It was the year, of course, when we got our start, had a hugely successful ICO campaign, and began the real development work on our platform. We met a lot of great people, did a lot of great business, and — above all — innovated.
Throughout the whole year we did have challenges to overcome and solutions to find. But necessity is the mother of invention and we have been able to innovate in terms of both the technology we are developing and the next-generation business we are building.
The path of pioneers is never easy, but we managed to take the first steps with dignity and passion. In only a short time — just six months — we have grown as a company and as a team and are seeing incredible results as we develop a product from scratch. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s definitely worth it to look at what we’ve achieved so far.
Our development team is able to get things done efficiently because they have found a way to organize, plan, and effectuate their goals. Some time ago, the team reworked the roadmap, optimizing it in order to hasten product delivery and adjust to market pressures.
The system core
The core of the SONM system has been updated, and the team has settled upon and optimised the technology stack that will be utilized for further development. Of course, the team is always open to new and better ways to get their work done.
The core is now supplemented by the following modules:
The Marketplace feature — an essential part of SONM that collects buy/sell orders from the consumers and suppliers of computing power. This service gives the ability to search for the best price proposals to match consumer’s orders.
Locator service — a dedicated internal service that is responsible for hub discovery. Each hub announces its IP endpoints address to the locator, and when a client wants to connect with a hub, it requests the locator to provide IP endpoints for that hub.
The resource scheduling and management — this is the facility that allows to identify the hardware available at Workers, allows to connect the Workers to Hubs, allows to set up device performance metrics, arranges “sell plans” (ASK plans), and places the resources on the marketplace. Whenever a resource is rented out or relinquished by a client, the Hub manages this.
Internal APIs and protocols — SONM is a distributed system. This means that a lot of business logic is happening between multiple network agents. These interconnections have been designed as a set of internal APIs.
Nvidia/ATI GPU support — Docker offers native support for Nvidia GPUs, however the team has had to develop additional software to support ATI cards for them to be available from inside containers. Support for both kinds of GPUs has been implemented across the system landscape, including for Workers, the resource management, the marketplace, and Client nodes.
Client Node with external API support — while SONM’s internal APIs are not classified as secret, such APIs and protocols are considered internal and no backward compatibility support is provided for them. This will change as system development continues. At the same time there are special APIs for Client, available externally. All operations with SONM for both Client and Supplier are available via this external API. Graphical User Interface will be built on top of that.
One of the more exciting achievements over the last couple of months has been the release of the MVP — the minimum viable product — on the Ethereum “RINKEBY” testnet. As such, the beta test has officially begun.
The SONM MVP has a modular structure, including the following features:
System Core: Discussed in the “System Core” section above.
Wallet: The wallet included in the MVP enables users to manage and store Ether and SNM. Later, we are going to merge the wallet with Marketplace GUI .
Use cases: We have included set of use case examples in the MVP, like games, web-servers and Claymore mining task.
Documentation: We have launched documentation portal for SONM, describing SONM features, and technical information, including system design and architecture, tutorials and manuals to help users become familiar with the platform.
Updates to the Product Vision:
(1) The product vision of the SONM team changed a lot over the course of the last year. Now, SONM positions itself not only as a blockchain computing project, but also as a fog platform. (A fog platform has basically the same properties as a cloud platform, except in that it is backed by distributed hardware).
SONM’s competitors are not other blockchain computing projects, but cloud services, including the Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, et al.
The updated roadmap mentioned above helped to align development goals with this new product vision. In the first major release, expected to take place in August 2018, the basic IaaS system will be put into action, providing basic cloud hosting features. Subsequent releases will concentrate on providing additional PaaS services.
(2) Another major change in Product Vision is the market opportunity for GPU-intensive applications. The growing computational market demand huge amount of computing power, utilising massive, but rather simple calculations. That is where GPU come to scene, providing the most cost- and energy- effective solution. Besides, the mining market has grown tremendously for the last several years. The computing power owned by Ethereum miners exceeds the most performant supercomputer by 200 times. Moreover, miners receive times less incomes for their hardware than the equivalent in GPU cloud services. So the great opportunity to connect compute intensive calculations and mining hardware can drastically change both markets, and SONM is to be the key player here.
Over the course of the year, we have worked constantly to strengthen our team by hiring top professionals for our tech and marketing departments. We are always looking for people that not only have the right capabilities, but also a high degree of desire and passion to deliver on our mission.
The development team has decided to adopt the Agile framework of development. This is a way of organizing work that will make the development process more flexible and responsive to queries in real time. As a part of this effort, the development team has been divided into four sub-teams, grouped by their functional subsystems: Node (core) development, Smart-contracts, Wallet (client) and Distributed entity and integration.
Since project launch, we have made agreements to cooperate with a number of great companies:
Cloud28+ by Hewlett Packard Enterprise — is an open community of cloud service providers, solution providers, ISVs, systems integrators, distributors and government entities, dedicated to accelerating Cloud adoption in Europe and around the globe. SONM entered the list of Hewlett Packard Enterprise recommended partners at the end of 2017. This is an important step for us towards being recognized as a key player to the decentralized computing market.
Selectel — Russia’s biggest hosting and cloud services provider — and SONM has struck a partnership. The companies are going to cooperate in creating IT-infrastructure blockchain-based solutions for businesses. This is the first such initiative within the Russian IaaS market which is likely to bring some very positive results.
AION — a multi-tier blockchain network designed to support a future where many blockchains exist, each solving unique industry problems and powering the services of the modern world. SONM will provide PoW hashing power during the initial stages of the AION platform’s operations.
STORJ — a peer-to-peer, distributed cloud storage network which implements client-side encryption. This allows users to transfer and share data without being reliant on a third party storage provider. The SONM infrastructure requires something called “object storage.” The development team determined that STORJ will serve this purpose nicely.
Faceter — an online service and software for facial recognition and video stream analysis with applications for security surveillance systems. Faceter will run deep-learning computations for facial recognition on a decentralized SONM infrastructure. Faceter expects that fog computing will help to significantly reduce infrastructure costs, as computing power is currently their biggest expense
Over the last six months, the SONM project has been a major presence at blockchain conferences all around the world. Everywhere, SONM is being hailed as revolutionary.
At these conferences, our team has been able to meet and exchange ideas with other top teams, as well as some of the biggest names in tech. We find these events to be extremely beneficial for our development, and will continue to attend when time permits.
As we shifted from our fundraising campaign and started really getting to work on platform development, we held a few live streams where SONM answered questions submitted by the community. These sessions have fully conformed with out mission to be as transparent as we can as a company.
If you missed any of our live streams, feel free to visit our YouTube channel and watch the recorded videos. Stay tuned if you want to ask your question live — we frequently announce new streams on our Twitter and Facebook pages.
The SONM community has grown a lot. Recently, our Twitter account saw its follower count exceed 20,000. Our Facebook page has more that 7000 subscribers and our Telegram chats have more than 6000 members in total. We are thrilled to see that people are interested in what we’re doing.
2017 was without a doubt a breakthrough year for the SONM company. Not only did we start a company and see success, but we learned how to innovate. We are learning how to work through challenges to find solutions and achieve our goals.
We genuinely believe that fog computing is the future. We are ready to spare no effort to achieve our goals and, just maybe, to change the world in doing so. We know how much we owe to you, our community — thank you for everything you have done so far. Together, we will make 2018 a year to remember.