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Peer Management

If you followed any of the language-specific guides, you now have a well-functioning network that people will want to join.

Public Blockchain

Naturally, in a public blockchain, joining is a matter of installing the correct software and waiting until your node gets discovered.

INFO

Peer discovery is under construction.

Private Blockchain

In a bank setting, allowing everyone to join at their leisure is a security nightmare. For safety, automatic discovery of peers is turned off for Iroha 2 in the private blockchain configuration.

Registering peers

To add a peer to the network, it must be manually registered. Let's discuss the steps that should be taken in order to complete this process.

1. Grant the user permissions

The user that registers the peer must have the appropriate PermissionToken. This could be granted as part of a role, or as part of a one-time allowance.

How to decide if you need to grant a role? Granting roles makes sense if a user is to serve as an administrator of sorts, where it's their responsibility to maintain the peers in the network long-term. A one-time permission grant is useful when the party registering the peer isn't responsible for registering peers in general, but the network administrator doesn't need to (or want to) spend time setting up a new peer.

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Permissions for registering a peer are under construction.

We discuss permissions and roles in more detail in a separate chapter.

2. Set up a peer

After a new peer was granted permissions, it must be set up.

It's a good idea to request information about the peers' configuration in the network. Your best friend is the configuration endpoint of the API socket. Thus far querying is done manually. Until the bootstrapping procedure is implemented, you'll have to manually check that the timeouts and batch sizes match.

To simplify the process, you can ask the network administrator for a redacted version of config.json, which excludes privileged information, such as PRIVATE_KEYs.

3. Submit the instruction

After your peer is running, you should submit the register peer instruction. The peer will go through the handshake process and start chatting with the network.

TIP

Submitting a Register<Peer> instruction does not (and cannot) instantiate a new peer process.

Unregistering peers

What about unregistering peers? For security reasons this process is one-sided. The network reaches consensus that it wants to remove a peer, but the peer itself doesn't know much about why nobody's talking to it.

In most circumstances, if you want to unregister a peer, you want to do so because it is a Byzantine fault. Just "ghosting" this peer makes the life of the malicious actor on the network harder.