This question probably has a very simple answer that has been explained elsewhere, but I can’t find it. (well, it’s 2 questions actually).
I’m a primary school teacher at heart so I’m going to keep this simple.
A file saved onto the SAFE network is split into 3 pieces, A,B and C. For the sake of redundancy it is replicated, so we now have A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3.
Ax, Bx and Cx are required to rebuild the file where x is any number.
The network refreshes and finds that A2, B3 and C1 nodes are offline and the redundancy falls below what is considered an acceptable level, so Ax, Bx and Cx are copied and distributed to new nodes, creating A4, B4 and C4.
If the nodes hosting the files that weren’t available at last refresh come back online, will A2, B3 and C1 be deleted from those nodes as a punishment for not being available, thereby reducing farming income, or will there simply be 4 copies of each file chunk now available? Will A5, B5 and C5 be produced if necessary? Is there an upper limit to the number of copies of a chunk the network will generate? (Think Agent Smith from the Matrix!)
Also, from my reading (this is my second question, the extra ones above didn’t really count!) about Erasure Codes and replication it seems completely obvious to me that replication will lead to a faster and more reliable network, unless I’m missing something glaringly obvious. Simply because the network says “this bit is missing, get it from another node and copy it” during replication, doesn’t it?
Erasure codes says - “this bit is gone, get the other bits, decode them, use that to rebuild the missing part, re-encode it and put it back on the nodes” which surely requires more time and processing than the simpler copy and paste method of replication.
Sure, this means that replication will use more storage space per file, but storage is crazy cheap compared to processing.
Am I wrong? Am I over-simplifying?
(Also, for anyone wondering why I’m writing this post during work hours, it’s because my Windows machine crapped out and is currently re-installing Windows 10 so I’m on another computer with no admin rights and none of my work so far to continue with!)