The main non-functional requirements that are used to determine whether an implementation project is ready for production are performance and scalability of IT systems. The average time it takes for a transaction to be verified and stored in each peer node in such a way that it cannot be unaltered or canceled is the measure of the performance of the blockchain network.
- Consensus Mechanism: The consensus protocol or algorithm is the method or mechanism used in a blockchain network to verify, validate, and complete transactions. And this consensus mechanism is in charge of striking a delicate balance between a blockchain network’s level of decentralization, scalability, and security. Therefore, the effectiveness of the blockchain network is closely correlated with the consensus mechanism chosen.
- Network Latency: The most significant issue affecting the network’s overall performance in a distributed ledger is network latency. To validate a transaction, it must be broadcast to every node, and the nodes’ responses must then be compiled for majority-based consensus which greatly affects the efficiency of blockchain. Network latency can be eliminated by using a dedicated network bandwidth to reduce network delays and to increase total throughput.
- Node Infrastructure: Blockchain nodes are made up of an on-premises or cloud-hosted runtime engine and database. The performance of the node is most likely to suffer in the absence of specialized infrastructure resources (such as CPU, RAM, and hard drive). As a result, it is crucial to plan for infrastructure sizing and proper IOPS (Input Output operations Per Second) allocation.
- Number of Nodes: Basically blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT), which means that a copy of every transaction that happens in the blockchain platform is available in each and every node in the blockchain network. So, when the number of nodes increases, the amount of time to verify the transactions (to come to consensus) also increases which indirectly influences the performance of a blockchain.
- Smart Contract Complexity: Any blockchain transaction, from NFT minting to financial transactions, is based on the in-built smart contracts. The use of smart contracts is crucial in order to eliminate third parties. When pre-established requirements are met, smart contracts automatically gets executed. The processing latency also increases with the validation logic of smart contracts, thus impacting the overall performance.
- Transaction Payload Size: Larger payloads require more time to replicate among nodes since the transaction and its payload must be sent over the network to every node. Therefore, one of the best practices is to save huge payloads and documents in off chain storage while keeping a blockchain reference to them.
- Node local storage: Blockchain networks often allow key-value pair datastores to keep track of transactions and the ledger’s current state. Since there are continuous Read and Write operations that are continuously occurring on the blockchain platform, the effectiveness of the underlying database is one of the critical aspects in determining the performance of the blockchain network.
- Transaction pooling / queuing: Even if a blockchain network is made up of several nodes and offers high availability as a whole, the transaction handling capacity of each individual node influences how many transactions will be accepted from the client apps for further processing and this directly affects the network’s total throughput.
Though it came into the market a decade back, only now blockchain application development has seen some momentum. Since it was in its infant stage, the majority of benchmarking studies or claims are based on experiments carried out in a controlled lab setting for the most basic of transactions. The number of reads and writes from and to the ledger, as well as the complexity of smart contracts’ validation logic, all have an impact on the performance of the system as a whole. So, only a well-reputed blockchain development company, which has handled a myriad of blockchain projects will know how to optimize the factors affecting the blockchain.
Hope this blog post gives you an idea about the factors that affect the performance of blockchain directly and indirectly. Still thinking about transitioning to blockchain powered enterprise? Then contact BSEtec without further ado to know about our wide range of blockchain development services and a free blockchain consultation.