Sonm weekly update 2019-07-16

This week we have updates regarding our product strategy for machine learning, new people, suppliers mass upgrade and TEE motherboards models revealed. Have a good read!

Research

  • As we explained in our new roadmap v6, Sonm today is a PC sharing platform. Not a desired final state of the platform, just today’s capabilities. The existing Sonm capabilities can be used for different cases, but it requires the user to be a DevOps or a software developer. One of the major Sonm use cases is machine learning, however, it is not working on its own. Someone must either directly use Sonm for his training or establish a commercial service to allow others to train (there could be different end-user scenarios, which are out of scope for Sonm as a universal platform).
  • We are considering to establish a machine learning service on top of Sonm for a long time, but it surprisingly requires a dedicated ML product and marketing expertise. Unbelievable! Who could predict that? Don’t get us wrong, we are a team of skilled software engineers and many of us have a long professional track. But this work (launching a successful commercial service particularly for ML) requires dedicated and specialized experience. Exactly as it requires special experience with CGI rendering.
  • We decided:
    1. To hire a consultant product owner with a strong machine learning experience and commercial thinking in this field. This person will help us define software requirements for our ML service on Sonm. Such a person already started his work with us. Most probably we will go for “GPU cloud” service, that allows renting a GPU-enabled PC instance with a credit card. This service will be simplified as hell, with a close to zero learning curve. No Ethereum wallet crash course (to protect your tokens), to cryptocurrency exchange guides (to get your first token), no gas (to deposit to sidechain), no external KYC (credit card authorization is enough), no special downloadable client software (Sonm node) and no Docker containers on your side (some people just have some plain python code). Just plug in your credit card and get an SSH to your GPU super workstation.
    2. To provide complex help for a promising startup in the field – an ML training automation platform. We will not present this startup yet until they are ready. We just would like to say that this time we will no just help with Sonm integration, but instead help them succeed in the general sense: will help with graphical design, website, HR and other resources, and help avoid some mistakes with mentorship – all the capabilities we have onboard, that we can share. Need to help motivated people to succeed in what they understand for the common good of Sonm.
    3. This way we will try all the different adoption and affiliation models: (1) a universal platform that belongs to no one, (2) our own commercial services, (3) not so our own commercial services and (4) completely not our own commercial services. We are still working on to find out if we missed some options on this list.
  • We will continue researching ML area in terms of frameworks integration.

 

Software engineering

  • Our best top rank tech-priests keep speaking to the spirits of the machine to provide a security solution – a Trusted Platform:
    • Secure OS loader being implemented. It already actually loads the OS, working on post-boot components start.
    • Disk encryption work is going on.
  • Secure code repository servers established.
  • Work in progress for attestation techniques.
  • A research has started to explore hardware hardening options for a shortlist of our chosen motherboards, that we plan to start with – BIOS tweak options, support for TPM, TXT and other.
  • Server hardware for Kukarek is being provisioned.
  • Below is the motherboard shortlist. We will provide complex support for a limited set of motherboards. These model owners will be lucky to join the Trusted Platform program first, in October 2019. Later we will provide support for additional model. The shortlist:
    • H110 Pro BTC+ ASRock
    • Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3

 

Suppliers relationship

  • Starting from July 15 to continue participating in the Elevated Rewards Program a machine is required to satisfy:
    • 32 Gb system RAM,
    • [for new machines only] minimum 6 GPUs.
  • Almost everyone successfully managed to upgrade on time, so Sonm is proud to say that our backbone now consists of 32 Gb machines. Please keep in mind, that 32 GB is excessive for going back to regular crypto mining. People who commit to 32 GB RAM also commit for future with Sonm.
  • We have the next steps in our upgrade plan:
    • at least 4 GPUs are required for existing machines to continue in the program,
    • upgrade CPUs to at least Intel i5 grade is highly recommended,
    • due in September.
  • In October we plan to launch a pilot Trusted Platform on the first suppliers. Reaching this milestone will make Sonm usage secure, data will be protected on real-world environments.

 

Marketing and PR

  • Publications
    • Weekly reports as usual.
    • Binance chain article turned out to be a tech document.
    • So we will follow up with an article for normal folks.
    • Interview is delayed on our side but will do.
    • Other articles in the pipeline.
  • We were invited to a crypto-mining conference in Moscow. Will participate with a speaking slot, will tell about mining alternatives.
  • Some activities censored for the report.
  • We are surprised to learn that some of our posts on BTT are deleted by moderators.
  • OpenFog Consortium has merged with IoT Consortium. Everyone was offered to migrate, we decided to withdraw at the moment. We need some time to sort out our new product family with rendering and machine learning use cases, then we will consider participating in consortiums, shall it seem to help to gain adoption, our new top priority. “OpenFog member” text removed from our website.

 

HR

  • Machine learning expert hired to work as a product owner with us.
  • One important core author/writer of the initial Sonm whitepaper has joined us back.