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What are Ethereum Disk Space Needs?

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  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 08 Jul, 2022
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Ethereum, a cryptocurrency, has grown dramatically in popularity over the last few years. The latest trend is using Ethereum to host decentralized applications (Dapps). Dapps are decentralizing web services that run on peer-to-peer networks and are not hosted on centralized servers. One of the benefits of hosting your Dapp on an Ethereum network is that you can pay for space needed with ether (ETH), which makes it a smart application idea.

This article focuses on discussing the Ethereum Disk Space Needs. The following topics will be discussed here:

  1. What is a Node in Ethereum?
  2. What is a Full Node in Ethereum?
  3. What is Disk Space Requirements For a Full Node?
  4. What is Archive Node in Ethereum?
  5. What is Disk Space Requirements For Archive Node?

Let’s discuss each of these topics in detail.

What is a Node in Ethereum?

A node is the backbone of a system and provides validation, security, and efficiency. 

  • They are responsible for propagating information around the network by storing blocks in memory. 
  • Nodes use a consensus algorithm to reach a definitive decision as to which chain is valid. 
  • A node will be chosen every time a new chain is created. As more nodes join, more needs to be fit into memory, increasing the size of blocks and minimizing latency.

There are 3 different types of nodes in Ethereum. They are:

  • Full Node: These types of nodes make up the backbone of Ethereum and store all data permanently, including all transactions from every account created by every block producer, indefinitely. 
  • Light Node: These types of nodes do not store the entire blockchain and cannot produce blocks. In order to receive a new block in its own blockchain, a light node has to ask another node in the network or at least keep track of received blocks by connecting to full nodes before sending them.
  • Block-Producing Node: These types of nodes generate blocks and send them to other full nodes. They are also able to create new accounts for each new peer on the blockchain through an account creator contract.

What is a Full Node in Ethereum?

A full node is a computer that connects to the main Ethereum network and downloads all of the latest block headers. 

  • This ensures that it has all current information about the system. 
  • They are marked as a “full node” in order to distinguish them from SPV nodes which connect to only one or two of these peers and rely on these peers for validation. The term ‘node’ is derived from its connection structure, where each of the nodes in this network is connected by some number to one another and forms a chain with each other.
  • Ethereum’s full nodes have been split into three categories: light-client clients, storage-client clients, and mining nodes referred to as mining pools.

What is Disk Space Requirements For a Full Node?

The disk space requirement for a full node is increasing every year as the complexity of blockchain grows. The Ethereum development team is now working on a new solution called the Casper algorithm that uses less disk space.

  • Currently, Ethereum developers are working on the implementation of the Casper Algorithm which will be implemented in the upcoming Metropolis hard fork later this year.
  • Before Casper’s implementation, the Ethereum network needs to grow exponentially for a longer period of time without having any technical problems or bugs. 

Gas limit linear increase model: The current gas limit is 58850 gas per block. However, it is expected to increase by 10 times according to the current rate (daily).

What is Archive Node in Ethereum?

An archive node is a node that saves a complete copy of the blockchain to a disk. It can be thought of as a “full node” or “pruning node”.

  • The archive node is responsible for keeping the full history of the blockchain and offers an alternative path to synchronize with if a syncing peer has partitioned from the other part of the network. 
  • More usage in Ethereum will make it easier for more people to join archiving nodes, which will keep them connected to complete nodes. 
  • It also saves on bandwidth since important blocks/transactions are no longer transferred across nodes, but accessed locally from storage instead.

What is Disk Space Requirements For Archive Node?

Disk space requirements for the Archive Node vary depending on how many nodes in your cluster you want to store data in searchable order and how much data you are storing at once. 

  • In general, to store a terabyte of archived data on SSL-encrypted Elasticsearch clusters, at least 3-6 TB of free disk space is required per node with an SSL encryption offload enabled. 
  • This size requirement may be higher depending on your specific needs or if you have non-SSL encrypted or just single-node clusters. 
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