Infrastructure Survey 2024

17 April 2024 • News & Updates
Markus Gufler
Technical Community Lead (Stake Pools)

A comprehensive survey to determine how SPOs conduct their activities in support of Cardano’s operational resilience

The Infrastructure Survey 2024 was recently conducted to better understand stake pool operator (SPO) needs and challenges. The Cardano Foundation publicly hosted the survey on its Typeform account from 2 to 8 April, with SPOs invited to participate through the official SPO notification letter and the SPO announcement Telegram channel. Additionally, the Foundation conducted targeted interviews with centralized exchanges (CEXs) to gather their valuable feedback and reflect on the significance of their stake weight.

The Foundation intends to conduct the Infrastructure Survey again in subsequent years, ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of how SPOs conduct their activities and contributing to further insights into the Cardano blockchain’s operational resilience.

Better assessment for better infrastructure

Operational resilience is essential for Cardano's adoption as an institutional-grade infrastructure. It ensures network reliability and security, preventing disruptions to applications built on Cardano while simultaneously fostering trust within the ecosystem. At the core of this resilience, Cardano relies on a proof-of-stake (PoS) system where SPOs validate transactions and create new blocks. These operators run special server nodes that keep the network running 24/7. However, their responsibility goes beyond technical upkeep. In fact, SPOs play a critical role in network security by ensuring uptime and maintaining a geographically distributed network, making Cardano resistant to nefarious actors. As such, this survey reflects not only the Cardano Foundation’s focus on operational resilience but also the key and multifaceted role of SPOs.

Besides being of interest to delegators, developers, the Parameter Committee, and involved engineering teams, the Infrastructure Survey 2024 offers invaluable insights into the operational landscape of the Cardano network. By understanding the setup, capabilities, and challenges SPOs face, stakeholders can identify areas for improvement and optimization within the network infrastructure. This data enables the community to enhance not just the resilience and reliability but, indeed the performance of the Cardano ecosystem, ultimately fostering a more robust and sustainable platform for decentralized finance (DeFi) and applications (DApps).

Additionally, insights gained from such surveys can inform strategic governance and design processes, facilitating the development of targeted solutions to address emerging needs and ensure the long-term viability and success of Cardano as a leading blockchain platform. This knowledge also enables developers, users, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding participation, investment, or general contributions to the ecosystem. Moreover, transparency and visibility into the infrastructure foster trust as well as confidence among community members, encouraging collaboration, innovation, and the continued growth of the community.

Revealing the survey results

The survey included two resource-related questions and three questions covering infrastructure setup. Upon its conclusion, it collected 141 responses representing 239 stake pools, including four major CEXs. Notably, this rare level of participation accounts for 6.15 billion staked ada, equivalent to 27% of the total active stake. The survey results are shown below, based on the number of pools (blue) and the stake weighting (red).

Question: How much RAM does each node have in GB?Memory Distirbution.png

Question: How many CPU cores are available to the Cardano node process?
CPU Core Distribution.png

Question: How feasible is it for you to expand to the necessary resources as the Cardano blockchain continues to grow?
Upgrade Feasibility.png

Question: How do you host your Cardano node?
Hosting Type.png

Question: Does cardano-node have to share server resources with other services?

The survey's findings provide valuable insights to the broader community, especially considering the robust sample size. By presenting these results, the Foundation hopes to further foster transparency and collaboration with stakeholders, optimize knowledge sharing, and create opportunities for robust dialogue. With the inaugural Infrastructure Survey 2024 now closed, the Foundation invites all participants and community members to thoroughly evaluate the insights gathered and reflect on key takeaways.

Recognizing the importance of continuously tracking trends and perspectives, the Cardano Foundation aims to conduct this survey annually. Community input and feedback play a pivotal role in shaping the future trajectory of our efforts, and we thank participants for their ongoing involvement.