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SONM Monthly Report: November 2017

Without a doubt, November has been an intense month for everyone here at SONM. In terms of human resources, we managed this month to strengthen our team by hiring some top notch professionals for our tech and marketing departments — We are constantly looking for people that not only have the right capabilities, but also a high degree of desire and passion to deliver on our mission.

Importantly, throughout the month, we steadily advanced on our goals, as delineated in our roadmap. We are putting in every effort to deliver the MVP and the wallet on schedule. Moreover, we have established strong ties with new partners, having made agreements for collaboration with both computational power suppliers and large customers.

Let’s review this month’s journey together:

Development Achievements

The MVP:
As of this moment, all essential MVP features have been implemented. At the time of this report, the system is being stabilized and is undergoing internal integration testing. Any new code that may be committed in December will be to do with bug fixes and making things work together.

The team feels confident that they will fulfill the promise of delivering the MVP some time in December 2017 or January 2018. Currently, a January delivery date looks most probable, as the development team wishes to test the system thoroughly and tie up all loose ends in order to provide a streamlined MVP.

The Wallet:
The Wallet’s MVP features have been implemented. At the moment of reporting, the team is working on a design markup over the working prototype. This is the stage at which the warning and error messages are being customized.

The wallet codebase currently consists of two repositories on the Github, both of which were private at the initial work stage. Recently we made public one of them — “blockchain-api-js”. The second, containing the wallet GUI, will be made public in early December.

Test environment:
We have created a “test environment”, an internal network of more than 15 virtual machines and hardware hosts, to check all the work modes of the SONM network during integration tests. Our research shows that many of our suppliers don’t have direct connections to the internet from their hardware — they don’t have public IP’s. Instead, they use routers with NAT. It is for this reason that we need to develop and test the SONM platform for this kind of network structure. The showroom is going to include:

  • Hub nodes — in failover (HA) and standalone mode. In failover mode, we can combine a cluster of hubs, so failure of one hub node will not affect functionality of the hub cluster. Standalone mode is the simplest mode, when a hub operates alone.
  • Worker nodes that actually perform the consumer-users’ tasks. Some of these nodes will be located behind the NAT.
  • The marketplace service — a dedicated internal SONM feature that collects buy/sell orders from consumers and suppliers of computing power. This service also generates best price proposals that match to consumer orders.
  • Locator — a dedicated internal service that is responsible for hub discovery. Each hub announces its IP address to the locator, and when a client wants to connect with a hub, it requests the locator for IP addresses for that hub.
  • Client nodes — this is a SONM application instance, that is installed on the consumer’s or supplier’s side in order to interact with the SONM network.
  • A set of smart-contracts with test-tokens — We use the RINKEBY Ethereum test network to deploy a test SNM token contract and SONM deal registry contract. This will allow us to test the token transfer functionality of the wallet and to perform test deals between consumers and suppliers.

Other MVP development news:
We have implemented encryption of all internal connections between the elements of the system using TLS. To protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, a custom PKI was implemented: each node now needs to use its Ethereum key to issue self-signed TLS certificates, and another temporary certificate signed by the previous one is used to secure connection.

We have developed benchmarks to test the performance of the equipment for the machine learning process of SONM tasks. This benchmark makes it easy to compare the prices and the levels of productivity between regular cloud providers and SONM workers.

We have implemented alternative upload/download methods for task deployment. It is possible now to allocate a task to a purchased resource (thereby making a deal) through a docker repository, or via a direct docker tarball upload. When the deal is completed, and it is necessary to download results, it is now possible to drop the results to the docker repository or, alternatively, to download a tarball. For stateless server-like containers downloading may not be required.

Updates on the Product vision:
We are working on the product vision and have identified a set of key features, and the order of their priority, starting from the upcoming testnet releases, up until the planned final product release, expected to occur in August 2018. More details on this subject will be published later.

The idea is that the public system release, expected in August 2018, will include features that make the system safe for public use on a live network.

However, the team has a strong desire to provide partners with early access to the SONM marketplace and to computing resources not only for learning and tests, but actually for production usage. This may be implemented, giving access to users on the whitelist, on a separate partner testnet, with manual conflict management carried out by the SONM team. This would, of course, be only a temporary situation, until profiles and the rating systems become operational.

The upcoming testnet releases and feature priority lists are optimised to provide our partners — some of whom having already been announced — with early access to the SONM network, while we will gradually increase overall system functionality. What’s more, we will be able to build real partnerships right now, long before the summer and save that which is most valuable — time.

Team news:

This month, additions have been made to the team in order to fill certain vacancies and acquire certain essential skills, necessary for the effective development of our platform:

Alexander Efimov — QA Team Lead.
Alexander is an experienced load and automation tester within the Java environment, and with application frameworks JUnit, TestNG, REST Assured, Selenium, Appium, Cucumber, Gherkin.

Andrei Zavgorodnii — Senior Developer.
Andrei is a PhD student with significant experience developing Machine learning algorithms. Vast knowledge of Go, C, Python, SQL/NoSQL, Statistics, Information Security, Machine Learning.

Max Shcherbo — Senior Developer.
Max is a software development professional with a strong technical background and excellent problem-solving skills. Max has 13 years of practical experience delivering solutions for e-commerce and the financial services industry.

Eugenio Alongi — Marketing Director.
Eugenio is a solid Brand and Business developer. He worked as a brand manager at Procter and Gamble for almost 10 years and as a brand director for Russian Standard. Committed to leveraging his marketing skills to deliver outstanding performance within innovative companies, he has worked within the high tech sphere for the last 2 years. Prior to joining SONM, he was the CEO of Mycelium, one of the top android Bitcoin Wallets.

Alexey Krotov — Key Account Manager.
Krotov has striking sales skills and will attract miners to the SONM network. In the previous year and a half, he ran his own company that sold a 70 GPU mining farm and launched several mining projects, earning an overall valuation $1,500,000.

Events:

Q&A session: Our top team members spent a full 1.5 hours answering your burning questions during a Youtube stream. We were thrilled by the engagement during the event, and we really appreciate your feedback! You can still hear the questions and answers here:

GCC Blockchain Conference Dubai, November 22:
We had a great opportunity to meet with some of the top middle eastern blockchain experts, who had gathered to discuss how to leverage the blockchain within enterprises and governmental agencies.

Our Marketing Director, Eugenio Alongi gave a presentation about the SONM project. He discussed its full stack of benefits, and how it will deliver efficiency, scalability, and modularity to local organizations & companies.

The SONM team’s key takeaway is that there is a large amount of interest from governmental agencies surrounding the “Dubai blockchain 2020” intention to use SONM to upgrade its computing infrastructure. The team needs to deliberate on how to technically deliver the LWN (local worker network) within the SONM infrastructure, in order to ensure compliance with user data regulation. We will use this practice to reapply learning worldwide.

Blockchain Summit London, November 28:
London is stepping up its presence on the global stage as a key city for blockchain within finance and utilities. The SONM team had both our CTO Igor Lebedev and our Marketing Director, Eugenio Alongi, out there to engage with a very tech-savvy audience. The Summit also saw Igor’s participation on the panel “How bitcoin can develop emerging markets?”. As an important outcome of the summit, SONM was able to engage with some mining companies, as well as some established software companies, and convince them to become a part of the SONM project. We are moving at full-speed-ahead to follow up with our potential customers!

Blockchain Expo North America, November 29–30:
This was one of the best conferences that we have ever participated in. The huge amount of people who visited our stand and who asked questions, showing real interest in our project, was flabbergasting. Ilia Frankstein gave a lecture that attracted a lot of interest from many people and was certainly a massive success. We made a lot of contacts with different companies that were interested in a technological partnership with SONM. The most exciting meetings we had were with companies that specialize in machine learning and who are considering SONM as a computational power supplier.

Clearly, November was a huge success for all aspects of the SONM project. Goals are being met, promises are being kept, and business contacts are being made. As we expand our team and set new goals for ourselves it becomes clear to everyone — SONM is truly setting new industry standards.

As always, this report is for you — a member of the SONM community. If you have any questions or need clarification of any kind, please feel free to contact us!