In our previous Lightning 201 posts we have explored a variety of considerations and challenges that need to be addressed to be able to properly failover over a Lightning node. 

Safely Access Remote Lightning Databases

Failover Strategies For Lightning Nodes

Other critical issues that need to be addressed are:

  • Invoice compatibility – Invoices served by one lightning are not compatible with another Lightning node 
  • Liquidity reuse – If your node goes down, and you spin up a new incompatible node, the liquidity that was pointed at the downed node is useless. This makes Lightning capital inefficient.
  • Connectivity – If your node goes down, how do your clients find where to connect to your new node. There is at minimum a new node ID and maybe a new ip address.

We put together a demonstration of these issues using traditional tools such as a reverse proxy, to direct incoming traffic to a Lightning node and a NAT gateway to hide the IP of the Lightning node you are communicating with:

As you can see, there are still a few small things that need to be worked out. The obvious problems being:

  1. The exclusive lock on the database is a point of downtime as it takes 30 seconds (configurable) for Bob2 to gain access to the database. 
  2. Redirection of traffic from Bob1 to the new Bob2 node is slow. We are still investigating how to speed up the switch over.

Both things can be improved upon in the future.

If you would like to have more background information on the problems this architecture solves and what different iterations of this design looked like we recommend you check out our founders talk that was hosted by London Bitdevs. 

In summary we do not believe that current Lightning implementations can meet the at scale needs of enterprises in bitcoin. The tools we have highlighted in our videos are requirements for devops professionals to properly manage their Lightning node. We will be deploying this infrastructure to our own Lightning nodes over the coming weeks to dogfood our own solution.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please reach out to us on twitter @Suredbits. 

Some additional reading from our Lightning 201 series:

High Frequency Trading

Lightning Latency

All of our API services, for both Cryptocurrency APIs as well as Sports APIs, are built using Lightning technology and the Lightning Network. All API services are live on Bitcoin’s mainnet. Our fully customizable data service allows customers to stream as much or as little data as they wish and pay using bitcoin.

You can connect to our Lightning node at the url:

To learn more about how our Lightning APIs work please visit our API documentation or checkout our Websocket Playground to start exploring fully customized data feeds.

If you are a company or cryptocurrency exchange interested in learning more about how Lightning can help grow your business, contact us at [email protected].