Are Safe Vaults servers or not: a discussion

22 posts were merged into an existing topic: SAFE Network Dev Update - August 30, 2018

The Cloud - Is a marketing term, it’s more “cool” than saying “We will host you data in a rack of dull servers.”.
Farmer - Is a marketing term, its more “cool” than saying “We will host your data in someone else server.”

The safenetwork is made up of vaults.
Vaults - Is just more “cool” than saying, “A node in a distributed network of servers.”
A vaults job is to serve data to people. To be able to do this, you have to pass a ‘Proof of resource’ test.
This test means it’s no longer just a ‘computer’, it meets the criteria to be a server for a fraction of the network.

Servers are 100% required because they help secure the network. Always on-line (higher node age). Normal computers are not always on. Therefore to secure the network, you need servers. To provide enough bandwidth you need servers.

This is a lie. Its marketing lie, you can keep calling them farmers and vaults. The fundamental properties match those of servers.

Farmer is not the same kind of word as Miner. A miner is a computer with a specialist purpose (solving problems to secure a blockchain, *thats efficient enough to earn a reward). A farmer is a marketing term for a computer that servers data to people. Things that do that we refer to as Servers. You want your own special word, thats fine but please stop trying to tell me its not a server, when it is. Just so you can claim you don’t need servers, when you clearly do.

Isn’t a server a machine that runs services such as resources, DB programs etc… basically client-server/server-client data? If so, then running a ‘vault’ or ‘farm’ for example from a data centre server (for data integrity, node age, reliability, etc…) to be rewarded safecoin - IS a server? I realise that there will be multiple laptops, iPads, smartphones soforth serving up data on request (assuming they are always on) but hypothetically they are essentially servers to the network? Or farmers? Isn’t it the same thing? This whole server debate thing can be a bit of a mixed message… hence I see where you are coming from.

But does it matter whether safe refer to it as a server or a node? Or a farm? I don’t know.


A server tends to be dedicated to the job of providing services to others, hence the name. A computer which is used both as a client and a server tends to just be considered as peer to peer. Safe network falls into the latter definition, no matter whether you leave your computer on all the time or not.


Also, under the consideration for a “server” is the OS that it runs!
Actual “Servers” run a Server version of an OS, whether it Windows Server or Ubuntu Server, they are dedicated to purposes the require special Security and set-ups, Which Farming Nodes are NOT!


Oh I love it when people say this.

Explain who is being taxed?
Answer NOONE The network itself out of its funds is paying it as a reward (payment).

Very much different to being taxed. Just like a professional charges for services provided so too the network itself will pay the professionals who do maintenance on the network.

As to many of your other points, a little deeper looking into things will solve your queries. For instance it is usual as in the internet usual, that is like a web-server or nntp-server and is not referring to older network definition of server on a peer-to-peer file serving local network where each computer has certain files held. Its trying to point out that there is no single point of call to do the transaction, it is distributed with one bit of data handled by one section and another by another section and independently of each other. In other words not the usual usage of the term server. And also as David said

When you get to understand the nature of consensus then you realise that you need to take over a section in order to change the protocols followed including how rewards are done.

I cannot see it till Friday morning, so don’t feel bad :wink:

Only if you want to do this. Its just one feature available to people. It has its usage and really quite obvious that privacy/anonymity between the two parties is not there. But SAFE allows them to set it up without intermediaries.

If you don’t want this specialised situation then don’t do it.

I like that you stick to your guns. But the facts don’t support it. What facts you say, well the testnets when we had vaults at home and the network worked great with vaults (thats right redefined word) servers on home computers. If the vaults handled (any) transactions sent by a user then yes it would be called a server in the usual internet usage of the word. But the safenetwork is such that the vault only stores a small portion of the whole data and only participates in a very small number of the total communications in the network. There is no “load balancer” or we’ll store Joe’s data in this vault and Mary’s data in that vault and Joe’s transactions are handled by a specific vault etc. Its a distributed network and vaults work in a P2P configuration rather than a client-server configuration. Your definition really does have any device that supplies a packet is a server.

If you read what David was saying again, there isn’t technically a queue, but rather if you offer up your computer as a Node (vault) then it is assigned a section to (attempt to) join. If that section does not want a node then your attempt is rejected, not queued. You have to try again to join the network which means you will be assigned to another section to try and join it. No queueing

You keep saying this and that doesn’t make it true.

There maybe some advantages but there are disadvantages to running a server as a vault. (compared to a suitable home vault)


The users who pay for PUTS. They pay, those coins get destroyed, on reissuing a 5% tax is taken.

It should be a donation, and people should choose who they pay to maintain the network. Like a charity. Like the ‘maidsafe foundation’. It shouldn’t be a fixed 5% either, it should be adaptive. 1% of a lot is a lot. The network shouldn’t reward a centralised entity more than is required, just ends up creating another Google.

I never said at any point the network had a single point of call or it wasn’t distributed. Creating a distributed network today already exists in the real world through Kubernetes. They didn’t make up new words for server, it’s just a cluster of servers, which removes the ‘centralised aspect of server’. The safenetwork takes that further its more like a giant swarm for servers.

Read what I said, if enough people ran the modified version which did not pay the maintainers, they wouldn’t get paid. Its open source so there is nothing stopping people doing this.
I also never made any claims about consensus or changing order.

As we have no analytical data collected from these vaults at home networks, we have no way to prove how ‘great’ they worked or what hardware people were running them from. Therefore, you have no facts to prove what you are saying either, but nice try. Keep signing the song of @dirvine but that does not make it true or factual. Again, I never said the network wasn’t distributed. My claim is that saying Not have servers is a lie.

I know we already established the selection process wasn’t orderly, its random, the answer to everything around here. It’s the new 42 in the age of the safenetwork, can’t wait for the memes.

a suitable home vault, you mean a purpose built low powered storage server like a NAS?
Come on wake up! thats definitely a server even if its not in a data centre.

Expecting to run this entire network through laptops and iPads is a ridiculous claim, it needs servers because the current network infrastructure of the world will require them for its operations. Again, I never said this couldn’t change.

FYI, my laptop goes to sleep if I don’t touch it for 5 mins, its a terrible server, so do millions of other devices. The cost of copying data to these short lived devices means for it to be cost effective they will only hold small amounts of data. They will still be a huge part of the network because there are millions of them. However, they still need to be supported by, what is it you call them around here, oh another made up term for server archive node. The network needs these purpose built servers to help support the churn created by lots of devices switching on and off.

So let’s say it again. The network operating in the worlds current technology infrastructure will have servers.

This is still a lie.

1 Like

Amazing taxes hey. Good try.

Who is TAXED. No one the network decides what to charge for PUTs so it can make payments for people who provide a service.

No matter how you logically look at it do not get tax.

If it were a tax then FEDEX is charging me taxes to send my parcel because they have to pay for fuel, pay for new vehicles and oh pay for staff. Hell we are being taxed by every company if we used your redefinition of tax.

You did when you said vaults are servers. You cannot have it both ways. Either vaults are servers and what I said applies since they are servers, or they are not servers and P2P devices.

And if you read what I said I agree if enough people, but you didn’t quite imply that did you :wink:

Anyhow once “enough” people run anything then they can do as they damn well please can’t they, there is no safenetwork any more and so no principle applies. It is a taken over network since they can control consensus.

Either you were trying to make a point where some people can change the code and stop rewards, OR you were making no point since if you take over consensus then its no longer the safenetwork and nothing applies any more.

No I can understand what is being done and have investigated it for myself, sorry mate, I have been developing for longer than David and have plenty of my own experience to call upon to evaluate things for myself.

And you IGNORE why its not queuing. Me thinks you just wish to argue. What you said is not relevant to why its not queuing as you claimed

Well if you keep changing what people mean by obvious statements then you can claim anything can’t you. But it doesn’t help discussions and coming to new understanding of whats right or wrong.

Actually you are he one making that statement. Others say laptops, home computers, dedicated SBCs, datacentre VMs and a few other types of devices.

But if you keep using black/white arguments then yes it won’t work with just iphones will it. At this point in time iphones have no chance have they and of course you win the argument by not using what is actually said but the extreme. Mind you maybe in 5 years iPhones with their 40-120Mbits/second internet and 5TB storage (look at how far things have come in just 10 years), your extreme claim may not even be right.

And I claim as a qualified network engineer, qualified system admin, computer scientist and qualified electrical engineer that you are wrong.

Again using extreme end of the spectrum for available devices+circumstances to try and make an argument correct. By doing so you show that your claims are fragile indeed.

Ahh you claim is chainging. Good to see. But again some vaults may run on server infrastructure, but certainly not all or even most will be in all likely hood. Too expensive to do so when compared to the potential billion+ devices already out there that can just use their spare resources.



@zeroflaw, you seem to have some hard set views on whats right and others disagree. I’m sorry I do disagree with some of them too.

Feel free to express yourself and also expect others to explain where they think you might be wrong. But going in circles is not my cup of tea even though I sometimes get caught up in it.

So this statement is less black and white then the one I’m making some how?

The network will have servers.

  • Incentives
  • Rewards

Makes servers more economical and therefore will be part of the network.
Also, does maidsafe not intend to run a server farm on the launch of the network?


Also quoting out of context isn’t really fair either, quote the whole thing or don’t bother

Here you go @zeroflaw

This may also help


Vaults are not both client and server. They are a SERVER
The safe browser is not both a client and server. They are CLIENTS

That makes this a CLIENT ----- > SERVER model

It just so happens that the server is made up of many server distributing it across the world. It is NO LESS a client server model.

Thanks for the links, you should read up too.

We may bundle vaults with some apps like the browser :exploding_head: then we will have a network of serverclients or clientserver devices talking to their peers (more serverclient or clientserver devices). :exploding_head:

Can you recodnise any p2p network at all? Or by your definitions are all networks just server networks, some server to server and some client/server but if the client is running something like BitTorrent then it’s a server->server model ? :exploding_head: :exploding_head:

I suspect you are thinking only of the software (I hope) and stating some programs are server like programs and some are client like programs? If you are thinking like that then the whole network will function as you would expect a huge distributed server.

Perhaps try this as an example. your brain is made up of neurons and synapses etc. together they are a brain, but each neuoron is not a brain as we know it, however when many come together they are a brain. So if you think each vault/node or whatever you wish to call it, is synonymous with a neuron in a brain and the whole network of them is, in fact, a brain, then I think you are in better shape with your argument. However, you cannot claim every neuron is a brain itself? In fact, you cannot claim a subset of neurons in a brain is also a brain.

So change the brain for server and neuron for vault and I suspect you will be closer to the bigger picture here if that makes sense.


Bundle them if you like, there function still remains the same. Vaults are the server, apps the client.

BitTorrent is better used as an analogy for the way the server distributes it self. I recognise there is a p2p aspect to there safenetwork. There is also a Client ----> Server aspect to the safenetwork.

Yes, I see the network as a huge distributed server, therefore, it has servers.

A neuron is worthless on its own. A vault is still a server, it’s just no longer distributed, it’s centralised.

And so is my PC a server by your definition. The website uses javascript to query what my computer’s environment is. So in fact the internet server is now making my PC a server (your definition) because it is now replying to a request from the other computer for information (my environment)

Its the circular argument. Everything is a server so a vault must be a server because it supplies some data. But it is also a client since it sends a request to other vaults which supply info to it. By your definitions then a vault is both a client and a server.

But you know we engineers decided that P2P devices which send requests and respond to requests when part of a P2P system is best not to confuse the issue and realise that a server is NOT a device which responds to a request but much more than that. Thus servers have to do more than just supply a piece of data when requested. And your definition is both wrong and if ever correct is very outdated.

The SAFE network is basically one server made up of a distributed set of components working in a P2P fashion.


I think this is the critical miss @zeroflaw a vault on its own is not able to let you log in, cannot give you your data (it may have some small parts of some stuff) or do much really, like a single ant it is near useless, but in a huge colony then it all changes, just as vaults do in a network of them.

You are saying a server contains servers here btw. So a server is something made up of servers. That is conflating to an extreme degree. You will get caught in a recursive path to insanity if you follow that much further chap :wink:

If this were the case then removing 100% of them would have no impact on your brain (absolutes again :wink: ).

At this stage, I am happy you call anything a server if you so desire, I doubt anything will change your mind and that is your prerogative. I do not think this is how people, in general, see p2p networks but if you do and by your definition, a p2p network cannot exist then great for you, if you contest it can but it is made up of servers and clients, then again that is your prerogative. Any further discussion seems fruitless really, so best leave it there. You can be the 1+1 cannot exist guy at presentations and be happy with your lot there, if you so desire. I have tried to help, but it seems this is a “faith” type debate now and you have made your decision.

I would say though, it won’t help you or the project to bring this up on every thread as it is noise really. As Feynmann said, it matters not a jot what you call something, it matters more you understand it at a deeper level than that.


It certainly doesn’t hurt do have a more specific definition what is meant you mean with server and what not, in the case there are more people like zeroflaw.
I would at least be nuanced in the explanation of the ‘always on or not’-part.
What I for instance find a very confusing usage of the word server is the X server: for the UI one is the server, for the other parts one is the client. How many times I had to explain that to customers and colleagues…


If the network slowly shutdown and only one vault was left standing, it was an enormous archive node, the network would still operate. With this single vault, it would just now be centralised. Or are you saying you would need a minimum of 8 nodes to create one group that contains all the sections?

Its a distributed server, behaving as a single server, made up of many.

If you removed 100% of many, then they weren’t on their own to start with, or am I missing something.

Still think this should be removed. But i’ll stop here.

Nope, no network exists then. For a myriad of reasons, this is wrong.


I know you do.

Thanks :+1:

Sigh, is this because its a single computer and not a network?. To the outside world they would still see it as a working network. Would you care to explain the myriad of reason? maybe a couple of bullet points. Why one single massive computer, if there were no other nodes, wouldn’t serve data and be able to operate the network. (if its because 8 is required, just tell me a minimum of 8 nodes makes a network)

You’re probably running the alpha network off a single massive server. Seems to be working just fine if they don’t have a power outage.