Solana network faced a slowdown in block production on Feb. 25 following an upgrade in the validator software. The incident resulted in disruptions to transactions and led validators to downgrade the software in an attempt to restore network performance.
The technical issue started around 6:00 am UTC, leading validators to downgrade to version 1.13 to restore transactions in the network. The downgrade, however, was not enough to restore Solana to normal operations, forcing the decision to restart the network on v1.13.6.
“The network experienced a significant slowdown in block production that coincided with an upgrade to validator software. Engineers are still conducting a root cause analysis,” noted Solana’s compass website.
The issue is linked to the upgrade from 1.13 to 1.14, which slowed block finalization. The Solana network is currently restarting, with 80% of active validators online necessary to resume operations: “As more validators complete their restart this number will rise in line with the amount of stake they have delegated: this means larger validators such as CEX have an outsized impact on restart times.“
Solana’s validators discussed a solution to the incident in the hours following the issue. Infrastructure provider Chorus One noted on Twitter that the incident “demonstrated how genuinely decentralized the network is.“ It said: “Without all these debates, we would be back up in an hour. But, every decision along the way – whether to downgrade, whether to restart, when to switch from downgrade approach to restart approach – is debated. Voting happens. We end up taking 8-10 hours to recovery, instead of 1.”
Solana is an open-source layer-1 blockchain. Its third-generation network architecture is designed to facilitate smart contracts and decentralized application creation. The Solana blockchain was launched during the crypto boom of 2017. The internal testnet of the project was released in 2018, followed by several testnet phases before the main network was officially launched in 2020.