The Solana freeze continues as the validators attempt a second restart

The Solana network faced a significant slowdown in block production after the planned upgrade, which adversely affected transactions and forced validators to downgrade to restore performance.

The network freeze continued over the weekend as validators prepared a second network reboot.

Solana’s latest outage

The Solana network experienced another network slowdown after an update initiated in the validator software. The incident on February 25 caused a significant disruption to online transactions. As a result, the validators tried to downgrade the validator software in an attempt to restore performance on the network. The problem started at 6:00 UTC when the network updated the validator software to version 1.14. Due to network jamming, the validators were forced to downgrade the network back to 1.13 to restore network performance. The Solany Compass website noted that

“The network experienced a significant slowdown in block production coinciding with a software update to the validator. Engineers are still conducting root cause analysis.”

However, the downgrade failed to restore normal operation on the Solana network, forcing the validators to attempt a network reboot on 1.13.6. The network announced the reboot plans on Twitter, stating:

“The Solana network is currently restarting after an issue during the upgrade from 1.13 to 1.14 slowed down block finalization. Once the validators are restarted at 80% rate, the network will resume.”

The source of the problem

According to the available information, the issue is related to the update from version 1.13 to version 1.14, which leads to a slowdown in block validation. To restart the network, 80% of active validators must resume operation.

“As more and more validators complete restarts, this number will increase in proportion to the amount of bids they delegate: this means that larger validators like CEX have a huge impact on restart times.”

Solana validators remained in discussions regarding the incident over the weekend, with infrastructure provider Chorus One noting that the incident showed the level of decentralization in the network.

“Without all these debates, we’d be back in an hour. But every decision along the way – whether to downgrade or reboot, when to go from a downgrade approach to a reboot approach – is up for debate. Voting is happening. It takes us 8-10 hours to regenerate instead of 1.”

Stop swipes enabled

The network freeze on Solana spilled over the weekend, which continued on Saturday, with validators preparing a second reboot attempt to restore services to users. By evening the validators had concluded that the best way to move forward would be to synchronize the restart and fork the chain. However, the first attempt had to be abandoned because the validators discovered that they had chosen the wrong starting point for the restart, which made the failure even longer.

Almost complete shutdown

What started as a simple slowdown in transaction processing has escalated into a near-total shutdown of all activity on Solana, with block production halted, leading to transactions not being processed or validated. As a result, the crypto assets on the chain became stationary until the network came back online. Key players in the Solana ecosystem continued to look for a problem over the weekend, with one theory suggesting that the “fat block” broke the blockchain mechanics.

Not the first network outage

This isn’t the first time Solana has had problems with network outages. In September 2021, the network was hit by periodic instability due to what Twitter support for the protocol described as “resource exhaustion”. The network was in the news again in December 2021 after it was revealed that technical issues and network congestion led to another network slowdown. Just one month later, in January 2022, a 48-hour blackout wreaked havoc on Solana network, forcing some of the users who took out loans to liquidate their shares.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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