How OnFinality Helps Laminar Deploy their Acala Network

About Laminar

Bryan Chen — Chief Technology Officer at Laminar

Primarily, Laminar are a co-founder of the Acala consortium, with a vision to create cross-chain open finance infrastructure for the Polkadot ecosystem. Their initial implementation is the Acala stablecoin, which allows users to send and receive USD across any blockchain connected to the Polkadot network. It’s one of the most exciting Polkadot projects out there, and likely the most prominent and active parachain currently on Polkadot.

Bryan Chen, the Chief Technology Officer at Laminar, is a major Pokadot/Substrate contributor and community ambassador. Today, we’re going to explore how Laminar leverages OnFinality to help deliver Acala and the future of DeFi on Polkadot.

Infrastructure Management

One area of blockchain development that teams do not want to worry about is systems administration. Developers know that system operations and infrastructure setup consume an extraordinary amount of time, especially when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Setting up your own blockchain is complex, particularly if technology isn’t your forte.

Laminar use OnFinality to host their bootstrap and validator nodes for their various projects and networks. They leverage our API to automatically deploy and change their network on OnFinality across multiple cloud providers (Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud).

By using BaaS platforms like OnFinality, you can focus on doing what you do best and worry less about your IT infrastructure — we manage the complicated back-end services. It’s our responsibility to look after the critical blockchain artifacts and keep them running without any downtime. Our service also includes hosting requirements and security protocols like distribution of resources, anti-hack layers and firewalls, bandwidth management and much more.

“The secure and robust infrastructure solution provided by OnFinality largely reduces our devops work required to manage our multiple blockchain nodes in multiple networks” — Bryan Chen (CTO of Laminar).

As a trusted partner for Laminar, OnFinality provides the stability and security that they need. Our multi-cloud support gives them both provider and geographical redundancy across their networks. Security of our customer’s resource is a top priority for us, and we make all efforts to do the best in this area on behalf of our customers. Lastly, we reduce costs for Laminar by eliminating the time they would otherwise need to spend managing their infrastructure. We allow them to focus on what they do best, which is building the future of DeFi on Polkadot.

“OnFinality offers an enterprise grade infrastructure solution helps me to sleep in the night without worrying about the availability and security of my validator nodes” — Bryan Chen (CTO of Laminar).

Test Network Deployment

“OnFinality offers simple yet powerful API that allow us to easily create new fully bootstrapped network in matter of minutes” — Bryan Chen (CTO of Laminar).

In software development, moving fast means quickly testing and iterating your codebase. Quickly being able to deploy and test new changes in a simulated production environment allows developers to quickly confirm if a change is likely to work in the real world. Developers now expect some form of CI/CD so that they can automatically test and deploy their codebase changes without any work — this is no different in the web3 world.

But automating this process in a decentralized world is hard. Instead of one test instance, you need to deploy this change to multiple across the network. You’ll need to ensure that this change is rolled out to multiple individual nodes across the internet and across different cloud vendors. Lastly, you can’t do this to a public network, if you accidentally invalidate a network or lose consensus and you corrupt your entire work!

We’ve built OnFinality to help solve this — give us a docker image, and we’ll create and deploy that change to a new distributed network running across multiple clouds in minutes. We’ll do it automatically for you, and then allow you to view system metrics across the entire network in one place. Take a look at how your change went, test it for the desired outcome, and if it didn’t quite work, you can roll it all back and try again — how easy!

“OnFinality provides cost-effective and scalable node hosting platform allow us to quickly spend up a brand-new testnet in our automation pipeline for integration test and teardown afterwards without incurring unnecessary cost” — Bryan Chen (CTO of Laminar).

During the early stages of Laminar’s development, the team used OnFinality’s API to do just this. When a new build was released, Laminar’s CI/CD pipeline would automatically create a test network across different cloud providers and deploy the latest docker image to all the nodes. Once network consensus was reached, they could run test cases across it and view metrics in one place thanks to OnFinality’s API. Once tested, the entire test network could be shut down and destroyed, hugely reducing costs (compared to a dedicated internal test network).

Laminar were able to dramatically save both time and money during testing. The additionally peace of mind that they received from being to test a change across an entire temporary network was invaluable. All this was done automatically via the OnFinality platform.

The Future of Blockchain Development

But we’re working to change this, by providing the best platform for development teams to use to build the new web3. By making blockchain infrastructure management easy, and by better enabling automated deployments for testing, we’ll be there ready to help the next generation of blockchain developers create the next big dApp on the Polkadot network.

Conclusion

We allow anyone with a Polkadot compatible network to use OnFinality to deploy to nodes on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. All you need to do is link a docker image of your node using the OnFinality portal, or use our APIs as part of your CI/CD pipelines to automatically create it during testing. Our customers, like Laminar (builders of Acala), already use OnFinality to create a fully bootstrapped test network in a matter of minutes which can be torn down afterwards without incurring unnecessary costs. Take a look at the power of OnFinality today or get in touch if you’re curious on how we can help you automate your testing and development.

Get in touch by emailing sales@onfinality.io to learn more and get a trial, or sign up here.

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