Fleek Network Testnet Phase {3}: Preview

The Fleek Foundation is excited to announce the details of the upcoming Fleek Network Testnet Phase {3}, which is set to demonstrate the network's capabilities through the first developer-facing demo that leverages Fleek Network's Edge Compute.

Following the successful proof of concepts and early performance tests completed in the first few testnet phases, Phase {3} now aims to showcase a more realistic environment that highlights the capabilities and effectiveness of the decentralized edge network from a developer perspective. For this initial developer-facing showcase we will focus on Fleek Network-run JavaScript Edge Functions. Anyone interested in experimenting with the Edge Functions will be able to try them out by using the code playground that will be released in conjunction with the start of the Phase {3} testnet on January 31st.

Testnet participants in this phase can expect the following schedule and experience:

Phase {3} Schedule:

Wednesday, January 31st

  • Testnet Phase {3} starts, 2pm EST
  • Fleek Testnet Phase 3: Closer to the Edge. Twitter Spaces, starts 3pm EST

Wednesday, February 14th

  • Edge Function Tester Open Call, 2pm EST in Discord
  • Tentative Phase {3} shutdown

Week of February 26th

  • Publish initial Phase {3} data and findings
  • Share next steps

Phase {3} Important Considerations

Phase {3} Overview

The upcoming Phase {3} of the Fleek Network Testnet represents a significant shift in focus from previous phases. This phase is specifically designed to spotlight the inaugural service built on the network: Edge Compute. It offers a familiar environment so developers can seamlessly interact with the network for the first time.

In Phase {3}, participants will have access to a code playground where they can upload a JS file for their function which is then uploaded to IPFS. Users will then get a Fleek Network-run function that they can experiment with anywhere in their builds.

IMPORTANT: Phase {3} is Fleek Network’s last temporary, time-restrained testnet phase. This phase of the testnet will wind down on February 14th, and all uploaded functions will no longer be active from that point until the start of the next testnet phase. While all participants are encouraged to upload their functions and experiment with them, it is not recommended to permanently integrate any Phase {3}-deployed functions into your builds. Rather you should wait for Phase {4} to integrate any Fleek Network powered infrastructure or services into your builds, because Phase {4} will be a more traditional, long-standing testnet that will stay running and eventually fold into Fleek Network mainnet.

In Phase {3}, the emphasis is about moving beyond the foundational testing of node and network operations. While this phase will definitely continue to demonstrate significant improvements to overall network and edge platform performance, it will also serve as an initial showcase of how Fleek Network can be utilized in real-world applications.

Stay tuned for previews,demos and tutorials of the first services and use cases leveraging Fleek Network Edge Compute before the release of Phase {3} on January 31st.

Work Completed Since the Last Public Testnet Phase

Since the last public testnet phase, the Fleek Network core developers have been focused on optimizing the network based on findings from the previous public testnet phase, as well as continuing to add new aspects and functionality to the protocol:

  • The Broadcasting System saw an enhancement to the message gossip protocol
    • Now if a node misses a message it has an efficient way of asking what it missed and retrieving it from its closest peers only. This reduces a lot of traffic and improves how fast a node rebounds from the unhappy path of the code.
  • The Service Executor/Host saw required bindings added from the core processes to the services layer
    • A notable achievement was the demonstration of a working JavaScript service through Deno bindings
  • The integration of SGX chips and the expansion of node storage capabilities are among the key advancements made since the conclusion of Phase {2}. These upgrades significantly bolster the network's usefulness as well as security and data management capabilities, preparing it for more complex operations and services in the coming months during the lead-up to Mainnet and beyond.

For an in-depth exploration of the work done through Phase {2} of the testnet, read the End-of-Year Update blog.

Phase {3} Goals

The primary goal of Fleek Network Testnet Phase {3} is to demonstrate the performance and capabilities of the first service running on the network: Edge Compute. After successfully establishing the network's foundation in previous phases, it's vital to showcase its ability to deliver high-quality edge computing services in a decentralized environment. The goals for Phase {3} are categorized into three groups:

  • Node Level:
    • Understanding and optimizing node operation from a performance perspective.
    • Testing throughput, quality, and reliability of Edge Compute services.
    • Tracking node request distribution and operational costs.
  • Protocol Level:
    • Evaluating reputation, slashing, and reward mechanisms.
    • Testing improved broadcaster and sequencer systems.
    • Finalizing networking toolkit and client-side libraries.
  • Service Level:
    • Initial testing and optimization of the Edge Compute service.
    • Evaluating service performance based on geography, node count, and stress testing.
    • Assessing cost-competitiveness of services and resources.
  • Developer Level
    • Collect Edge Function Tester feedback to improve developer experience when interacting with future Fleek Network services

The core development team will track this info throughout the Phase {3} testnet in order to incorporate the feedback and findings into future iterations of the network.

Phase {3} Performance Assessment

In Phase {3}, the performance of the Edge Compute service will be closely monitored, with a focus on several key metrics that the core developers have tracked throughout the course of the testnet rollout.

Key Metrics tracked through

  • Time to First Byte (TTFB)
  • Time to Full Load (TTFL)
  • Request distribution (geographic locations)
  • Number of requests (stress testing)

Service-specific metrics:

  • Speed of Request on cache hit vs non-cache hit
  • Ratio of cache hit vs non-cache hit
  • Number of Functions Deployed

As with the previous public testnet phase, metrics from Phase {3} will be published shortly following its conclusion.

Phase {3} FAQs

What’s the Difference Between Phase {3} and the Previous Testnet Phases?

The major distinction of Phase {3} from previous phases lies in the role of the community. Unlike earlier phases where community involvement was primarily in running nodes to demonstrate network performance under varied conditions, Phase {3} shifts the focus to demonstrating the first usable services on the network. In this phase, there is no requirement for the community to run nodes. Instead, the nodes will be operated internally and by select third parties who have been actively contributing over the past several months. The ability for others to run nodes will resume in Phase {4}. More details regarding this will be shared next week.

This change in approach allows Phase {3} to showcase the capabilities of the Edge Compute service, a significant step forward in the network's development. While node operation by the community is not a component of this phase, participation in the testnet, especially in testing and providing feedback on the developer-facing services, remains crucial. All activities in this phase continue to fall under pre-mainnet community activities. Performance metrics will still be published as they are collected internally, but the community's primary focus is testing and experiencing the first service demonstration.

How Do I Access the Edge Compute Service?

The Edge Compute service in Phase {3} can be accessed through a user interface featuring a code playground. This playground allows users to build and deploy edge functions, offering a hands-on experience with the service. Previews and demos of this functionality will be made available before the release.

Are There Incentives for Participating in Phase {3}?

Refer to this blog for further information regarding testnet participation initiatives. In short, for now, there are no direct incentives during any of the specific testnet phases. Still, there are several overall initiatives (outlined in the Testnet Participation section of the blog linked above).

As a Developer Interested in Trying Edge Compute, What Should I Do?

Developers interested in exploring the Edge Compute service during Phase {3} are encouraged to actively participate and try out the code playground when it’s released in conjunction with the launch of Phase {3} on January 31st. This is a unique opportunity to interact with Fleek Network for the first time and provide valuable feedback to the core developers. However, it is important to note that Phase {3} is a short-running testnet phase and will conclude on February 14th.

Therefore, while experimentation and feedback are encouraged in Phase {3}, directly integrating these functions into your builds is not recommended until the launch of Phase {4} in late Q1 or early Q2, because Phase {4} will be a more traditional, long-standing testnet that will stay running and eventually fold into Fleek Network mainnet. This approach ensures that developers can work with a more established and reliable version of the network and the infrastructure and services running on it for integration into their builds.

Phase {4} Node Operator Survey

Finally, in anticipation of Phase {4}, the first permanent, long-running Fleek Network testnet coming in late Q1 or early Q2, the Foundation is interested in gathering info to begin selecting a genesis group of node operators interested in participating in Fleek Network Phase {4} testnet as well as Mainnet. Phase {4} will not be a ‘free-for-all’ like previous phases, but instead only admit the node operators selected as part of this genesis group. This is due to needing to ensure the performance, quality, and reliability of the network, especially considering the recent increased node requirements (SGX, storage) and the second-order effects of these changes (preference for bare metal node operators vs. cloud node operators).

To do this, a survey will be published next week to gauge the node community's interest and readiness to become node operators in Phase {4} assuming the new node requirements and preferences. This survey will help the Foundation understand the node community's technical capabilities, geographic distribution, and overall enthusiasm for participating in the next phase of the testnet and mainnet.

More detailed information about the Node Operator Survey, including how to participate, the criteria for selection, and the expectations from node operators, will be published next week.

The upcoming Testnet Phase {3} is a pivotal step in Fleek Network's journey. This phase, while distinct from previous ones in not requiring community-run nodes, emphasizes the importance of community engagement in testing and providing feedback on the first developer-facing service.

The community will be invited to actively participate in Phase {3} and provide feedback, as their insights are crucial for refining the Edge Compute service and preparing for the more robust, long-running Phase {4}.

Follow on X and join the Fleek Discord server for more updates in the lead-up to January 31st, as well as access to the incoming Phase {4} Node Operator Survey. ⚡

See you soon.

  • Fleek Foundation