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Improved governance experience with Ethereum Proof-of-Authority 1.2

Posted on October 9, 2018

Software Engineer, Azure Global

Since launching Ethereum Proof-of-Authority we've received great feedback and have learned more about the ways our customers have leveraged this solution to roll out their Blockchain applications. We’ve rolled out a number of features that improve user-experience, configuration, and deployment reliability.

Governance DApp

This update comes with a new governance experience that makes consortium management more intuitive.

The Governance DApp is used for admin management and validator delegation. Each admin can select a set of validators which will propose blocks within PoA consensus. Admins also have the power to vote either to add or remove other admins. This form of on-chain governance helps decentralize the power of network operation and provides a familiar mechanism to maintaining a healthy network over time.

PoA0

PoA1

Please note, that this new UI will not be compatible with previously deployed networks of Proof-of-Authority (PoA).

WebSocket support

We’ve added WebSocket support to make it easy to subscribe to events directly or connect to external tools and applications such as BlockScout, an open-source block explorer. You can locate the WebSocket endpoint as part of the deployment output or post-deployment email.

websocket

BlockScout block explorer

We have also put together a new deployment guide with instructions on how to setup BlockScout with a new Proof-of-Authority deployment. BlockScout allows you to have a transparent view into the blockchain. You can easily search by the transaction, user address, contact address, and block number.

blockscout_ui_blue

Just-In-Time (JIT) VM Access and Azure Backup Support

With production readiness in mind, we’ve enabled support for JIT VM access and Azure Backup Support. JIT VM Access allows you to reduce the potential for attacks by tightly controlling how members within your organization procure access to the VM. Azure Backup provides the ability to create scheduled backups of your VM hard drives. This presents an easy way to handle disaster recovery and prevent loss of critical on-chain data.

VM SKU selection

We’ve performed extensive performance testing on the network and have tuned the VM selection to provide clearer options and documentation, to make it more intuitive when selecting the right VM SKU. Explore the tool that we’ve used for performance benchmarking.

More configuration options

Before deployment, you can now specify the starting block gas limit and block reseal time. Block gas limit will influence the size of each block, while the block reseals time will control how frequently blocks are generated in the case of empty transactions. A high block reseals time will decrease the disk consumption rate but will affect block finality in networks that have sparse transaction throughput.

configuration-options

Improved reliability

The ARM template will perform additional validation after each deployment to ensure that the network has started up correctly. Additionally, Azure Monitor deployment reliability has been improved by deploying the Azure Monitor components in series.

Give us feedback

You can quickly share your feedback with the team by clicking on the smiley face icon in the Governance DApp. If you face any issues along the way, reach out on our support forum to get unblocked.