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We have an all-new infrastructure for the Shelley Mainnet (which went live July 29, 2020). We have six production servers running at all times, distributed across the globe for decentralization. One is the the active block-producing Node, with a replicated standby server that can take over in an instant. Four Relay servers sit in front of the block producers, maintaining an up-to-date copy of the block chain and being reliable partners. We advertise two of them and run the other two on private rings to prevent targeted network attacks from disabling our pool.
We typically also have some extra test servers we use to refine our automation and security processes, as well as servers that are turned off, to reduce operation costs and save resources, but that can be turned on in minutes, as we experiment with global placement.
The net result is a highly connected, secure, and resilient infrastructure that provides an amazingly solid stake pool.
So what is Microsoft Azure, and why do we use it instead of hosting our servers in our house? In short, we are “renting” server space from Microsoft. Their professionals manage and maintain the infrastructure, allowing us to focus completely on Cardano.
Ryan fell in love with Cardano in 2017 and started AzureADA at the end of 2019
Eric puts the "goo" in guru, and is an engineer at Microsoft who works on Azure and is a well-seasoned a 20+ year IT vet who's run the entire IT operations end to end.
Teran actually is a developer on the Microsoft Azure Identity platform
NOTE: This video was prepared during the Incentivized Test Net phase, prior to the main network release, so the topology discussed does not apply to our current Main net configuration, as shown in the topology diagram, above. However, the substance is still the same–awesome platform. Awesome operators. Plus, you still get to see our handsome mugs.
It takes 2 epochs for rewards to be awarded. When you delegate for the first time, it takes 4 epochs, then they are delayed every 2 epochs. Using sites like pooltool, cardanoscan, adapools, or poolrank can help you see the rewards and understand when to expect them.
Rewards are built into the protocol itself. The stake pool operators don’t control or distribute it, it just happens automatically.
To explore these things in more detail, head over to our Performance page.
Some would argue that using a public cloud such as Azure, AWS, Google, etc., goes against the blockchain goal of decentralization. And, if everyone used the same cloud, they might have an argument. But the fact is, as pool operators who have been involved in both the Incentivized Test Network (ITN) and the Shelley testnet and now mainnet, we have seen operators using everything imaginable, from bare metal servers at their home, private data centers at their place of business, cloud service providers, to Raspberry/Rock Pi devices and even a mobile phone.
There is a robust, decentralized infrastructure out there, and we choose to run on part of it. As mentioned above, the Azure cloud has over 150 distinct data centers (think really large building that are 30 or more miles away from each other) around the globe. That alone is a pretty good stab at decentralization. When you add up all of the the others, Azure-based pools make up only a small percentage. As it stands, we’re only aware of about 5 other Azure-based pools (but there are no doubt more that we’re not aware of).
Using Azure give our contribution and incredibly robust and dependable infrastructure upon which to contribute to Cardano.
Some of these do not rank pools themselves, but let you explore them according to different criteria and decide for yourself.
And of course, many pools have Websites, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, Reddit or other social media sites.
Well, it varies as we spool up test machines and experiment with Azure features, but it’s typically between $300-$500 US. At some point, hopefully this expense will be covered by the stake pool fees, but for now, we are committed to contributing to the Cardano ecosystem which we wholeheartedly believe in.
Well, we’re glad you asked! The Daedalus pool ranking has been hotly contested… it has been largely random, and now is somewhat more accurate for the “top” 150 pools. But it does not factor in saturation and is not considered very good ranking at this point.
The following data will obviously change over time, but as of writing this (09/21/2020, epoch 218), our lifetime Return on Stake/Return on ADA/Interest or whatever you want to call it, according to adapools.org was at 5.71%. This puts us in 5th place! As you can see, you don’t need to delegate to a huge pool, smaller pools can pay as good or better as the largest pools. A huge pool can reach saturation (210M at time of writing), and then your rewards will go DOWN, as the rewards don’t increase after saturation, but the number of delegates getting a slice of the pie does.
Most of our activity is on Twitter and other social media, but occasionally we do send an email newsletter out. Sign up below to be added to the list. You’ll get no more than 2 emails a month and we never sell your information to third parties.
BTW: AzureADA stakepool has no relationship or affiliation to the Microsoft Azure cloud service, or Microsoft. We use the Microsoft Azure cloud for our Cardano servers and infrastructure, and since we love azure blue, we named our pool after that. Please do not conflate our pool in any way to an official Microsoft resource. We use Microsoft products and have Microsoft employees on staff, but there is no official relationship to Microsoft. Thanks 🙂