The Internet Computer’s ‘Increased Canister Storage’ Motion Proposal Is Adopted

The network’s community is actively directing the effort to make the network more efficient, faster, and easier to use for developers.

The Internet Computer blockchain’s feature and upgrade roadmap is actively being shaped and designed by the community, with robust discussion taking place within the Developer Forum. Following the network’s public launch, the DFINITY Foundation is committing R&D resources to the Internet Computer ecosystem in the form of technical contributions. Technical upgrades are subject to community discussion, voting, and adoption via motion proposals to the Network Nervous System (NNS).

A proposal to initiate work for the Increased Canister Storage upgrade was submitted to the NNS on September 1, 2021 at 15:00 UTC. Voting by neuron holders ended 48 hours later on September 3; the voting results can be found here, with 100% logged Yes votes at a voting power of 315,660,218.

The DFINITY Foundation and Internet Computer Association abstained from early voting until the broader community of ICP utility token holders had a chance to vote on the proposal.

At each stage of a proposal’s lifecycle, neuron holders will have the ability to direct the Foundation’s effort in making the Internet Computer more efficient, faster, and easier to use for developers. The community decides what upgrades are initiated and what code is adopted, allowing the Internet Computer to evolve in real time. The proposal for starting work on increasing the memory capacity of canister smart contracts was recently initiated by popular consensus.

Summary

Currently, a single canister smart contract is limited to 4 GB of storage due to WebAssembly limitations. There exist a number of dapp scenarios where 4 GB of data is not quite enough but the capacity of current subnets (around 300 GB) is sufficient. Today, such dapps have to be partitioned into multiple canisters, introducing complex data consistency problems.

If we allow canisters to increase their storage to the capacity of an entire subnet, that will make writing such dapps simpler. To improve scaling, a new system API will be offered to canisters that allow them to use as much memory as available on their subnet (300 GB).

You can find details, updates, and ask questions on the proposal’s Developer Forum thread.


Documentation

Proposed design to review and vote on.

Timeline

Updates

08/30/21 — The Increased Canister Storage proposal received a big community endorsement from cycle_dao, a community project whose mission is to support the creation of autonomous services, applications, and infrastructure on the Internet Computer.

“A positive differentiator of the IC from other blockchain computers is an ethos of upgradability. A negative consequence of that differentiator is platform instability. A changing platform without concrete dedication to backward compatibility has the potential to undermine the vision of unstoppable software,” writes Arthur Falls in the endorsement post. “The proposal discussion clearly demonstrates these concerns are foremost in the minds of DFINITY engineers. The proposal is a well considered solution to the issue of limited canister storage capacity and cycle_dao supports the approach.”

09/01/21 — With approximately 40 hours remaining within the voting period, Yes votes have logged voting power amounting to 9,701,585 and 3.07%, with 0.00% and a voting power of 264 voting No.

09/02/21 — With approximately 23 hours remaining within the voting period, Yes votes have logged voting power amounting to 9,780,627 and 3.1%, with 0.00% and a voting power of 485 voting No.

09/03/21 — With approximately 8 hours remaining within the voting period, Yes votes have logged voting power amounting to 10,344,091 and 3.28%, with 0.00% and a voting power of 6,857 voting No.

Within the following hour, the remaining neuron votes were logged within the NNS, delivering a tally of Yes votes with voting power amounting to 315,660,218 and 100%, with 0.00% and a voting power of 6,857 voting No.

At the close of voting approximately seven hours later, the above tally remained unchanged.

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The Internet Computer’s ‘Increased Canister Storage’ Motion Proposal Is Adopted was originally published in The Internet Computer Review on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
10/07/2021 - 18:25
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