Solana Will Prevent Network Shutdown If a Runtime Bug Occurs Again
The most recent outage on the Solana network occurred on June 1, when the Solana Mainnet Beta cluster ceased producing blocks owing to stalled consensus. A run-time fault in the persistent nonce transactions feature, which determines how the blockchain processes a specific type of transaction meant for offline use, caused this.
Validators began restarting the network four and a half hours after disabling these “durable nonce transactions.” Block production was restored the next day at 9:00 p.m. UTC, and network operators began to restore client services over the next several hours.
The latest outage revealed that Solana’s ability to handle long-term nonces had failed. Instead of considering these specialty inbounds as a single transaction, the network’s validators counted them twice as a single transaction at two different block heights. This absurd situation effectively shattered Solana’s consensus process.
Solana takes the initiative
Solana leverages simultaneous processing of nonoverlapping transactions to boost throughput. An incrementing nonce can be employed by networks that run transactions serially; Solana has a different approach to ensure transactions are not handled twice. Because persistent nonce transactions aren’t designed to expire, they require a separate technique to avoid double processing and are processed in the order they’re received.
A flaw in the runtime was discovered during the processing of a durable nonce transaction, which prevented the network from proceeding throughout the outage. This issue would not have arisen if the transaction had been successful because the durable nonce transaction would have failed.
In versions v1.9.28/v1.10.23, the durable nonce transaction capability was disabled to prevent the network from stopping if the same situation occured again. Durable nonce transactions will not run until the mitigation has been implemented and the functionality has been reactivated in a later version.
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