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Monthly report: February 2018

In February we released a new MVP version and made a huge amount of progress the functionality of the system. We decided to build an Ethereum sidechain to cut operational costs and even announced a hardfork.

We outlined a schedule of events around the world and have sent our CTO, Igor Lebedev to the “Container World” conference in the USA to explore options for development. Keep reading to find out more details.

Development news

Platform development MVP ver. 0.3.3.

We fixed all bugs found during the beta-test and released a new version where we have added some new features. Some new features were implemented after the last release (0.3.3), these updates are available in the Github repository, but not yet shipped as a release.

System Core. The team was concentrated on a bug fixing and implementing a feature to connect external data volumes to a Worker machine. Also, we have added an autocomplete function to the CLI, which makes a life a bit easier for early adopters of our tech. Now it’s possible to install SONM software automatically from a repository with “apt-get” command.

GUI Wallet. The new wallet release now supports both testnet and livenet modes — a user can choose which network to use and it is one step closer to the upcoming livenet release.

  • Another feature implemented in the Wallet — a full ERC-20 token support, from now on you can store any ERC-20 token there.
  • We have made an Electron-based executable version of the Wallet and now you can install it on your Mac, Windows or Linux based computer. This version has no HTML version drawbacks and supports import and export of the wallet settings, accounts, private keys and transactions history.

Overlay Network. We have implemented two options for network overlay: TINC and L2TP. This is a VPN that helps to establish a secure connection between network nodes and make combined resources of a single Customer addressable all together.

Parallel Computations. We have made the possibility of allocating a different task on a different NVIDIA graphics cards. This allows you to run different processes on the same instance with multiple GPU’s. The support of this feature for AMD video cards will also be added later.

NAT penetration. We have eliminated a requirement of having a white IP address, so now the Hub can be behind a NAT and work properly.

Sidechain. We have run an Ethereum Sidechain to significantly reduce network operating costs in terms of Ethereum commission fees. SONM smart-contracts are being migrated to the Sidechain. Now we are in the active phase of testing the solution. Read this article to find more details.

Application use cases development

Commercial rendering engine in SONM with IDE integration.

We have done a research and implemented a working prototype for rendering using RedShift and Deadline. Existing 3D modeling IDEs may be extended with a software called Deadline, which enables the offload of rendering computations to external resources. Deadline itself supports integrating with cloud platforms and other computation providers via plugins. Such a Deadline plugin will automatically buy resources in SONM, provision instances on demand to run RedShift video rendering. It will split the job to start it on available SONM instances and when rendering job is completed will gather results together to assemble rendered image or 3D model.

Altogether this is a proof-of-concept prototype on how rendering work can be done on SONM network. Compared to previous reports and articles about RedShift, this is something that looks like a final solution, capable of running rendering in parallel, making an advantage of SONM’s resource pool.

What is important is that we used a popular commercial render engine — RedShift. We will provide an article about this use case soon.

Neural network use case.

We managed to run an image recognition service on SONM. The software includes a trained neural network that performs recognition of irrelevant content, and a simple HTTP server that serves incoming requests. Our partner provided the service.

Product vision updates

Due to the fact that Ethereum transactions are very expensive, we decided to make a sidechain, a solution that will let us get rid of the transaction fees within the SONM network. Development of the sidechain requires time and resources. This affects the timing of the roadmap, which has been altered to accommodate this change.

We came to a better realization of our development plan and decided to update the roadmap with some specifications aimed to meet the needs of the companies we are going to cooperate with. The picture below is how we see it:

IMPORTANT. The functionality and exact dates of the release are still under discussion — we will publish a detailed article on this topic later, be on the look out.

Marketing

Partnerships

We are happy to announce a new partnership with Dbrain — a company creating a service for neural network training. The SONM platform will enable Dbrain’s system for neural network training to benefit from greater computing power, meaning data is processed far quicker. This collaboration also provides Dbrain a cheaper alternative to traditional providers. Read this article to find out details.

Events.

We continue to spread the SONM offering across the world. This time we were in Santa Clara for the Container World conference. The mission was to discuss industry containerization trends, various aspects of architecture, orchestration, storage, and security related to containers.

We were represented by Igor Lebedev who spoke on fog computing (which complements containerization), SONM as IaaS and opportunities for developers and the storage challenges for containerized environments.

Watch this wrap up video:

And here are the photos we took:

This month we have created an events schedule for the 2018 year — SONM will be presented at the most influential conferences and events around the world. We are looking forward to getting more attention on the project and finding new partners to work with.

Look at the first part of the schedule we are planning for 2018:

Team news

In February we strengthened the development and marketing teams with new specialists. The team is becoming more strong to tackle the complexity of our new avenues. Let’s meet the new members who will adding instant value to SONM:

Anton Matveenko, Senior Core developer (former external contributor). Anton has more than nine years software development experience. He has been working at Yandex for the last three years, specifically focusing on Yandex.Cocaine PaaS cloud development. Anton implemented several Cocaine subsystems, including distributed consistent storage, universal cloud data access service and smart proxy for data disposition aware of load balancing.

Anton also worked at Vietnam in CocCoc search engine project and developed a contextual advertising system, POI search engine, news exchange system and homepage backend for a branded CocCoc browser. He has got extensive experience in C++ and Go programming languages, Linux system development and networking.

Aleksey Zadykhin, QA Engineer. Aleksey has more than 4 years of experience in Quality Assurance and IT in general. As QA engineer, he worked at a law startup, enterprise project, gambling project and enterprise mobile application and a breakthrough trading company. He is experienced in manual and automated testing and familiar with such tools and technologies as Java, Maven, RestAssured, jUnit, TestNG, Selenium WebDriver, Appium, Cucumber, Gherkin.

Gleb Suchkov, QA Engineer. Gleb is experienced Quality Assurance engineer. He has worked on the testing of AutoCad and NanoCad and multiple mobile apps. During his professional activity he mastered tools and technologies for the functional testing of mobile applications, web applications, and desktop applications. He also mastered the API testing using tools like Postman and Swagger.

Alena Kurnosova — Marketing Project Manager. The last two years Alena has been engaged in the development of community and event departments in BlaBlaCar and launched a “meeting point” project and successfully increased awareness about the company in Russia.

Carolina Dobina — Event Manager in Marketing. Had experience as an event and corporate communication manager at Philip Morris International and Swedish Nordea Bank. She is precise at the planning and coordination of large scale events all over the world.

Soon we will announce a top manager that will join our team.

Conclusion

Another month has passed of hard work. The project cemented key features, has become more user-friendly and is one step closer to reasonable prices and zero transaction costs. Each decision we take is for your convenience. Next month we will make another report, stay tuned and thank you for being with us!

Chinese version