Proposal “DCG-Infra-Aug-Sept-2022“ (Active)Back

Title:Dash Core Group Infrastructure Aug-Sept 2022
Owner:glennaustin
Monthly amount: 459 DASH (24268 USD)
Completed payments: 1 totaling in 459 DASH (1 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2022-07-12 / 2022-09-10 (added on 2022-07-05)
Votes: 668 Yes / 38 No / 4 Abstain
Will be funded: Yes
Manually vote on this proposal (DashCore - Tools - Debugconsole):
gobject vote-many 80a23716a6b2888c272911a6bc9ebd2b972c5512fc664679cf731b39a233ec32 funding yes

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Proposal description

Dash Core Group July 26th Funding Proposals:
DCG is submitting 2 funding proposals for the budget cycle that pays out on July 26th:
1) DCG Compensation: 2,296 Dash per month (currently in month 2/3)
2) DCG Infrastructure: 459 Dash (currently in month 1/2)
A supplemental proposal for any unclaimed proposal funding may be submitted close to the end of the budget cycle. 

What does this specific proposal fund?
This multi-month proposal funds Dash Core Group's ongoing infrastructure and corporate software costs. We detail these costs in the following “Infrastructure Cost Details” section.

Infrastructure Cost Details
The tools and services to be covered by this proposal are critical for the DCG developers and other staff to work productively. It also includes hosting for externally-facing services including the website, forum, testnet, devnets, etc.

Our current infrastructure costs average $20,000/month - this includes infrastructure, software licenses, tools, and applications used by DCG. At the current exchange rate of $42 / Dash, all of our non-compensation funding needs to be used for infrastructure purposes. This means that if the price stays at current levels, we will only be submitting infrastructure proposals. Luckily, we have a small reserve in our legal, business development and marketing budgets, sufficient to “keep the lights on” in those units. Infrastructure was last funded in the February/March budget cycle.

Funds requested for the following: 
  • Cloud computing services (for hosting ~200 testnet and devnet servers, insight API, dash.org website, forum, etc.) with AWS and DigitalOcean 
  • Software development tools, licenses, and applications (including continuous integration builds)
  • Google Workspace (includes email hosting, calendar, document management, video conferencing, and a number of other productivity tools)
  • Security applications (password managers, VPN services, and custodial wallets)
  • Infrastructure monitoring tools
  • Service desk licenses
  • Accounting, finance, and expense reimbursement software subscriptions
  • Video-conferencing services (Zoom)
  • Collaboration tools such as Atlassian and Slack that collectively constitute the DCG “workspace”
  • HR systems, recruitment and interview tracking/feedback/collaboration tools, and recruitment sites (this has increased the monthly cost of operations, but will be reduced in the coming months)
  • Forum upgrades and maintenance done by third party freelancers

The expenses for cloud computing instances constitute the largest portion of our infrastructure costs, at approximately $12,000 per month. This includes cloud computing services for Dash Platform’s presence on testnet and devnets for the platform and mobile team environments.

We continually review all of our infrastructure costs with the goal of only paying for what we need. Over the last 6 months, our infrastructure costs have increased due to:
  1. Increased demand from Platform and Core teams for testnet and devnet servers (permanent increase until Platform mainnet)
  2. Expansion of the number of staff leads to an increase in tools and licensing costs (permanent increase)
  3. Implementation of recruitment tools and recruitment website subscriptions (temporary increase in costs)

Overall, we anticipate our infrastructure costs to continue to average in the $15,000 to $20,000 monthly range. Infrastructure team have recently undertaken cost reduction efforts as follows:
  1. Downgrade Google Workspace account tier from Enterprise to Business to save on license costs
  2. Implement ARM support for operating devnets and testnet, facilitating AWS cost savings
  3. Audit accounts and licenses to ensure only active users are paid for
  4. Shut down infrastructure related to deprecated services such as Dash Electrum and Dash Radar

If you have any questions, please direct them to @strophy in this Dashcentral post to ensure we are notified of your request.

Requested funding is as follows for the August and September budget cycles:
  • 491.5 Dash for core team infrastructure ($20,600 USD @ $42 per Dash / month)
  •  2.5 Dash proposal reimbursement (per month)
Total: 494 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future infrastructure expenses and related taxes.

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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2 points,1 month ago
The burn rate on infra is too high, you need to get this down.
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4 points,1 month ago
Thanks for your comment, as described in the proposal we have already taken multiple measures to reduce infra costs over the last two months. In particular, we plan to transition testnet to ARM processors by the end of the year, which should reduce our operating costs for this item (by far our largest spend) by around 40%. Achieving this took some time because we needed to also wait for (or help add) ARM support to our upstream dependencies and build tools.
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0 points,1 month ago
Thanks, Ideally you could foster an environment where community members help run the testnet, this centralised approach is expensive and problematic. While cheaper, a monoculture of ARM based MNs does not seem like the optimal solution either.
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2 points,1 month ago
I too would also really appreciate more community involvement in testnet! This would directly address your concern about a node "monoculture". The documentation and tools needed to start testnet nodes are currently up to date, and we are happy to provide support if any problems arise. In fast, issues discovered by community members while attempting to run nodes in diverse environments are really important to help us test the usability parts of the software.

That said, DCG needs to control a supermajority of masternodes on testnet in order to be able to effectively test the consensus parts of the software. We VERY frequently (sometimes several times per day) need to roll out new code that we know will be used by testnet as a whole to determine consensus. Without the ability to "push" these code changes to a supermajority of working masternodes, we would need to release RC builds and then wait (likely several days/weeks) for all testnet node operators to update their nodes. This is further complicated because the node configuration syntax is not final until the first full release, so misconfiguration errors are common. It's not feasible to achieve this sort of rapid iteration testing without centralized control over the testing environment.
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1 point,1 month ago
Understood. Thanks !
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2 points,1 month ago
Infra? Easy yes.
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