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SONM Monthly Report: October 2017

Now, with only two months left of 2017, momentum really seems to be building up here at SONM. We have been hard at work to meet our projected goals, and everything is falling into place. Continued progress requires, of course, analyzing our past achievements in order to see what we need to keep doing, as well what we need to improve. When putting October into review, it becomes clear right away that it was a productive month for us, and that we are on the threshold of great things.

The most notable development achievements of this month include an important reworking of the product concept, which actually resulted in a new roadmap being submitted, and in a few important updates being implemented. Additionally, to stay on schedule with our new roadmap, we saw that it was necessary to expand our team. For this reason, we have invited two highly-skilled individuals, specialists in their fields, to join us.

Also this month, we presented exhibits at the international blockchain conferences that took place in Barcelona and New York. These events were great opportunities to spread the SONM message, and to ensure better transparency from the company to the community and the industry.

Development News

Updated Roadmap:

SONM has specified the product’s vision which revealed the need for a new roadmap. The previous roadmap, as found in the SONM white paper, gave an overview of development processes and was focused on what needs to be done, rather than on the product and the functions that would be available to the end user. The new, updated roadmap is focused on the MVP and the product’s features, and offers a more clear view of what is to be implemented.

Eugene Manaev, who has this month become the SONM Product Owner, commented on the new vision:

“In the whitepaper, we describe some useful and promising technological solutions, but leave the product vision at the margins. At this development stage, we need to define how SONM will look like from the customer’s point of view. The first steps in this direction have already been made. The newly updated roadmap specifies both the processes and the use-cases that the team will deliver to the customers”.

The roadmap has been made available on our blog, The blog post includes reasoning behind roadmap adjustments and further development needs. We improved our actual plan for the fourth quarter of 2017 until the second quarter of 2018 as clear and transparent to the community as possible.

That being said, the world is changing and technology is evolving. We believe that the best thing we can do is hold true to our promise to deliver a working product, as generally described in the initial whitepaper. The roadmap is a tool to achieve this, it is not something static. We constantly research and keep track of trends, so we will keep our roadmap updated.

Specifications and product update

This month was intensive in terms of spec updates:

  • We are actively developing our product’s vision. What is clear now is that SONM must be easy to understand and use for existing user categories. Indeed, the technology behind the scenes is new, but the applications and users are already there. So the new product vision describes SONM for different user categories. For application owners, SONM is defined as a somewhat comparable to Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider (and later app platform, the PaaS). An analysis snapshot is shown below.
  • The bid/ask specification, which was published earlier, has been rewritten to provide virtual resources. We will not sell exact device models, or even the exact CPU count, but rather estimated benchmark scores. For example, one may buy 10 Gflop or 30 Mhash. This makes market matching smoother and scheduling on the hub easier. For the client this gives an understanding of what he is buying.
  • SONM’s new external APIs are illustrated below.
  • Now the market will allow users to buy and sell resources for a fixed period of time, starting from the time when the deal is struck. Before, the start and end time would be specified when the deal was initially made, making it possible to rent out resources in the future. The way it worked then resulted in hub resource management being too complicated.
  • Before it was impossible to cancel the deal on a unilateral basis, the both sides needed to approve the cancelation. Now the deal can be cancelled by the the client on a unilateral basis at any time.

Key Components for the MVP

We have now assembled all the key components for the MVP-testnet release, which is to be released as one software product. Please note that all these components are still in the early stages of development, but a lot of progress has been made and everything is on schedule.

Key MVP components:

  • Hubs, which manages resources and task scheduling
  • Workers, which report the availability of resources and execute tasks
  • Marketplace, where bid/ask matching occurs
  • Client nodes which provides interfaces for the marketplace and task management
  • The main SONM Ethereum smart-contract prototype
  • The ACL (access control lists) and the AA (authentication and authorisation) procedures, which provide the ability for SONM network participants to be authenticated and authorised to access the system based on their Ethereum keys used in the TLS protocol.

The Thin Client / Wallet Prototype updates:

As has already been mentioned, this month we updated the roadmap and wallet feature priorities. Now we can say with certainty what the initial wallet release will contain and how it will function:

  • It will be compatible with the SNM token and with Ethereum. (For account creation, balance checking, making transfers, and storing the local transaction history)
  • A tab for voting on some particular matter.

These features now are partially implemented. We will release the wallet on schedule according to the updated roadmap.

We considered a number of different approaches for packing the wallet and have finally decided to release the wallet as a HTML/JS web application (downloadable as an html file). This is the most restrictive of working environments, but it has the following advantages:

  • A file size below 5 Mb
  • Provides truly cross-platform functionality
  • The wallet can be hosted on a website (such as MEW) or run as a standalone application on a PC

Despite this decision, we may decide to pack the wallet in electron, as was our initial plan, at any time. Electron packing may benefit us, in creating an executable app with filestorage, but it will require more space (well above 50 Mb) and a heavy CPU/RAM usage (to run the embedded browser).

The decision to build a web application seems to be the most promising and flexible as of this moment.

All recent changes and updates are described on our Github page. This is with the exception of the wallet, as we are still experimenting with its file structure and keeping it “versioned” at this stage is not yet usable. We will publish info about it on the Github soon, as soon as the file structure has been settled upon.

Team News

This month we brought two new individuals — experts in their respective disciplines — into the team.

Sergey Bolotaev — Senior smart-contract developer

Bolotaev is an experienced developer with 9 years of development experience, including 5 years as a developer for large financial companies. He has an in-depth understanding of such programming languages as C++, C#, PHP, Solidity, and JavaScript.

Anastasia Lvova — Senior system analyst

Lvova has a Ph.D. in Engineering is an experience specialist in system analysis. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field and has a comprehensive understanding of product development and integration projects. Lvova’s primary role in the SONM team will be the elaboration and specification of software requirements.

Eugene Manaev, former head of research, has been promoted to product owner. He is now responsible for defining the product’s vision, identifying potential customers and their requirements, and prioritising feature development. This is arguably one of the key positions in the team.

Events

For the first time since the end of the SONM ICO, we were able this month to get up and close with the community and our industrial partners at two of the most anticipated blockchain events of the year. This month, we travelled to Barcelona and NYC, and gave presentations about the project at major events in those locations.

At the Barcelona Blockchain solutions forum, we were able to build new relationships with industry leaders and members of the cryptocommunity from all over the world. More can be read about this event in a recent blog post.

The BlockChain 360 conference in New-York was another chance for us to present our project, and our display garnered a lot of interest from the community and major financial figures yet again. Money managers and analysts from various funds, crypto and otherwise, posed quite a number of questions about the technology we are developing.

Representatives from one particular trillion-dollar fund even asked some questions, also gauging the investment potential for the SNM token. Additionally, we received inquiries from other blockchain projects that require massive computational resources to scale their platforms quickly.

The IoT event, which was going on in parallel, gave us an opportunity to discuss potential partnerships with companies that provide security and compliance solutions when it comes to the cloud and IoT infrastructure. We came to the understanding that by partnering up with such companies, we would become able to offer our IaaS and later PaaS platform to certain large, established, enterprises, which require full compliance and certification on the party of third-party services.

Pay attention for upcoming press releases that will cover in detail some of the partnerships that we forged during the conference.

Also at the conference in New York, our IT and strategy advisor, Ilia Frankstein, took part in a fascinating panel discussion titled “Understanding DAOs and ICOs: Risks & Benefits.” The discussion was moderated by Forbes and Huffpost.

Q&A session with the community

Our traditional Q&A session took place in the middle of October. It ran for more than 2 hours and a number of interesting questions from the community were addressed.

https://youtu.be/iytX6eFj-us

Timestamps for some of the most burning questions:

4:43 — Competition with Golem / quantum computing
28:46 — Do you have any plans to engage the community in the decision making process? (DAO)
1:05:51 — Are you going to develop your own public blockchain, foregoing Ethereum?
1:21:14 — What is the competitive advantage of SONM over cloud services from Amazon, Google, or Microsoft?
1:56:38 — What is the benefit of holding SONM tokens?

Thank you for getting involved with the project!

This month, the community has released some really inspiring content, pitching the SONM project and spreading our message. We really thank you for your effort! We are glad to have such a devoted and tight-knit community supporting us. It is very clear that a grassroots movement has formed around our project, and great things are to come.

Stay tuned for the latest news and updates from our team by following us on any of the official SONM social media channels, or by visiting https://sonm.io