Home » Difficult weekend for Solana (SOL): blockchain suffers 2 reboots after severe slowdowns

Difficult weekend for Solana (SOL): blockchain suffers 2 reboots after severe slowdowns

by Thomas

The Solana (SOL) blockchain experienced its first major outage of 2023 as block validation was severely affected by a recent network update. Following a coordinated effort by validators, Solana was able to resume normal activity under an earlier version.

Solana hit by new outage

The Solana blockchain (SOL), accustomed to outages on its network, ends a hard weekend. On the morning of Saturday, February 25, the blockchain’s activity was extremely low, dropping from an average of about 5,000 transactions per second (TPS) to just 20 or so.

After many hours of investigation, the developers finally pinpointed the source of the problem, namely the upgrade to 1.14, which had undergone about 6 months of observations on the testnet. As a result, the network validators had to coordinate to roll back the network to the previous version following common instructions.

However, the first reboot was unsuccessful as the validators realised that they had chosen the wrong reboot point, further delaying the final deadline. The second joint effort by the validators was successful, as the switch to an older version of the network finally solved the problem observed.

The incident was finally classified as resolved at around 3 a.m. on 26 February and transaction processing resumed as normal. This incident is reminiscent of last October, when validators had to return the blockchain to a previous state following a malfunction in the production of blocks.

A “big block” problem is said to be the cause

According to Stakezwiz, one of the validators of the Solana blockchain, a “big” block would be responsible for the ping increases observed at the beginning of the network failure. This block would have congested Turbine, the block distribution protocol inherent to Solana, which is responsible for the proper organisation of blocks.

This problem would have caused Solana’s failsafe module, which allows the blockchain to continue validating voter blocks – and no longer takes into account user blocks – to be launched in order to resolve block issues in an automated manner. However, in this case, this was not enough, hence the coordinated restart of the validators.

Reactions have been divided within the community, with some questioning whether Solana will ever get over these failures and others praising the decentralisation of the blockchain.

Anatoly Yakoveneko, the founder of the Solana blockchain, admitted last October that outages were “the curse” of the network. The SOL price, meanwhile, seems to be less and less affected by the blockchain’s outages, as it was only slightly affected over the weekend.

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