In order to retrieve data from Optimism, the dApp needs to send a retrieval request through an RPC (Remote Procedure Call) node.
In this article, we’ll explore the different types of nodes supported on Optimism for web3 development.
What is Optimism?
Optimism is a scaling solution for Ethereum’s Layer 2 (L2) that utilizes this technical solution of optimistic rollup to make it possible to process 2000 transactions per second.
Optimism designs and maintains their blockchain network based on a clear set of core design concepts.
What is an optimistic rollup?
optimistic rollup leverages the security of Ethereum to increase the throughput of the Ethereum base layer and improve its network latency by moving computation and data storage off-chain.
Optimism has created a rollup technique of many transactions on the L2 chain, bundling the transactions together.
Next, the rollup protocol optimistically assumes the validity of all these transactions, and submits the bundle of wrapped rollup transactions to Ethereum’s Layer 1 (L1) chain.
What is an Optimism node?
An Optimism node is a program, running on a single computer, that allows builders and traders to connect with others in the Optimism blockchain network.
An Optimism node consists of two important components: the Data Transport Layer and client software .
Data Transport Layer (DTL)
The data transport layer is the link between Optimism and Ethereum. And smart contracts hosted on Ethereum — (CanonicalTransactionChain, CTC) contracts — contain all the blocks published to the Optimism blockchain.
DTL will periodically construct the Optimism blockchain on a node by retrieving blocks previously published to CTC. Without DTL, Optimism’s nodes will not be able to obtain block data constructed by L2 optimistic rollup in a timely manner.
Running alongside the DTL is Optimism’s client software.
Optimism’s client is almost identical to the native version of Geth (aka Go Ethereum) – Geth is the most widely used Ethereum client.
On its own, Optimism is very similar to Ethereum, both can use a shared EVM, similar billing structures and gas metering, etc.
The great thing about developing on Optimism is that most of the tools that work on Ethereum can also be used on Optimism with little to no code modification.
Why do you need an Optimism node?
Building an Optimism application requires publishing transactions to CTC via optimistic rollup.
Additionally, Optimism nodes allow dApps to retrieve data about Optimism blocks. In order to support high-performance dApps on Optimism, a fully functional node is required.
Node Types for Optimism
There are several options for connecting dApps to Optimism nodes, including private Optimism nodes, endpoints using Optimism public RPC nodes, and self-running, self-hosted nodes.
Most Optimism developers will use private RPC endpoints from Optimism node providers such as Alchemy, because public endpoints and self-hosted nodes have a number of disadvantages, including low throughput, high setup overhead, and requiring more engineering maintenance support.
1. Public Optimism Node
Alchemy manages Optimism’s main public endpoint, which can be accessed through this endpoint URL: https://mainnet.optimism.io.
Although public endpoints are also supported, Optimism emphasizes that public RPC endpoints are completely unsuitable for production-level projects.
Optimism’s public endpoints throttle applications and often only support limited JSON-RPC methods.
2. Private Optimism Node Provider
Private Optimism RPC endpoints for dedicated providers of Optimism nodes allow engineers to access reliable, scalable Optimism nodes if insufficient throughput of Optimism public nodes is limiting users’ applications or transactions.
Alchemy is a node provider recommended by Optimism. In addition to having the most reliable Optimism node performance in web3, Alchemy provides Optimism developers with a host of development tools, including Alchemy Build, Minitor, and Optimism webhooks, all for Designed to give developers the best Optimism development experience.
How to use Alchemy’s private Optimism RPC endpoint?
Alchemy offers a strong free tier that enables users to start with a reliable private Optimism RPC endpoint.
Create a new Optimism application in Alchemy :
Create a free account after registration or log in to your existing account
Click the button ” Create APP ” at the top right of the dashboard
Alchemy Developer Platform dashboard
Please complete the following sections now, including:
- Name your app
- Fill in the description
- Select “Optimism” as your “chain”
- Select “Optimism Mainnet” as your network
If you want to create or migrate an application on Optimism’s Goerli testnet, you can select the Goerli testnet in the “Network” drop-down list.
Create a private Optimism RPC endpoint with Alchemy
Next, click the ” View Key ” button on the dashboard to view your HTTPS key and start sending requests to your new node!
Copy the URL of your Optimism RPC endpoint from the dashboard of your Alchemy application
Now, replace the Optimism RPC URL in your app and start sending traffic through the Alchemy-specific Optimism endpoint.
3. Self-hosted Optimism nodes
In order to have complete control over the configuration and implementation of their own nodes, developers may choose to run their own Optimism nodes (eg, self-hosted nodes).
The first step in setting up an Optimism node is to identify your node hardware. In this regard, Optimism recommends that the system needs to satisfy:
- At least 16 GB of RAM
- An SSD (Solid State Drive) with at least 100 GB of free space
After determining the hardware, the Optimism provider specified two ways to set up user self-hosted nodes: a configuration with Docker , and a configuration without Docker .
Below is a summary of the two ways to set up an Optimism node. If you decide to set up a node, follow Optimism’s node configuration instructions.
(1) Docker configuration
Optimism’s recommended way to set up a self-hosted node is to use their provided Docker image.
By setting up the node’s Dokcer image, you can skip a lot of configuration steps, since that image already has most of the configuration set up.
Here is a brief overview of the configuration steps using Docker :
- Clone the node’s Github repository on your computer
- Configure node settings
- Running self-hosted Optimism nodes
In the second step, you will have to provide multiple other nodes, another L2 Optimism node and an L1 RPC node.
Another L2 Optimism node will be used by your Optimism node to verify its correctness, while the Ethereum (L1) RPC node will be used to check your node state root and download L2 blocks from L1 via CTC.
Optimism recommends using an RPC provider’s support node .
Using this Docker configuration, your node will benefit from some extra features to help you maintain your node.
How does the network health detection service work?
The network health detection service will periodically compare the status of your node with the status of the reference node to ensure that your nodes are properly synchronized.
The error detector scans the transactions from the Optimism sequencer and compares the transaction results calculated on your node.
Finally, a locally hosted dashboard gives you easy access to basic node metrics, including failure data, DTL synchronization, and more.
2. Non-Docker configuration
If the pre-configured Docker images don’t give you enough customization, Optimism also describes a framework for setting up nodes independently. However, they do not recommend this way of setting up nodes.
Although these instructions are tested, they are not as robust as the way Docker is configured. This approach may come with the risk of setting the node to function poorly. The instructions for this method are as follows:
1. Install the packages and tools needed to run the Optimism node
The packages and tools you want to install are as follows:
- Libusb – A library used by Geth to check hardware wallets
- Yarn – A common Node.js package management tool
- Go – The programming language that node runs on
2. Set up the data transport layer
DTL is the first part of the node software. You’ll download the source code here, edit its configuration and run the layer.
As is the case with the Docker configuration, you will need to provide another node here for your self-hosted Optimism node so that it can sync its blocks.
Once running, you need to manage the DTL to ensure it is properly synchronized with Optimism.
3. Set up the Optimism client
Setting up the Optimism client is the second part of your self-hosted node. You must compile the source code, download and verify the state from the Optimism genesis node, create and configure its environment, run its configuration and finally start the client.
Running self-hosted nodes is just another option for professional web3 developers who want more control over their node configuration. However, launching and managing self-hosted nodes is a more expensive and time-consuming option than using Optimism node providers and developer platforms like Alchemy.
Which Optimism node is best for me?
In most cases, using a private Optimism endpoint with Alchemy is the best option.
Public Optimism endpoints shouldn’t serve traffic for production-level projects, and unless you’re a professional infrastructure engineer, you shouldn’t be managing your own Optimism nodes.
Even if you are a casual trader or dApp user on Optimism, updating your Metamask wallet with a dedicated Optimism endpoint can provide yourself with a faster and more reliable service.
Unleash the full power of your dApps with Alchemy starting today with the powerful, free Optimism node provider tier in the marketplace.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/which-optimism-node-is-better-public-nodes-vs-private-nodes-vs-self-hosted-nodes/
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