I am posting this topic because I believe more than a few future dark node operators will have similar questions even AFTER reading through the manual and available documentation. If I have missed the answers to these questions listed below, I apologize and will revise this if necessary once I find those answers.
Prior to establishing a node:
#1 - In terms of maintenance of a dark node, does the computer used in handling the set up and deployment also require to be running full time in order that the node operates properly (say I’m using Digital Ocean as the cloud provider)?
I do not understand whether or not a person who travels periodically can feasibly operate a node… ie (assuming a physical computer must be on at all times, it may not be practical to use a laptop that you travel with, and therefore a machine at home may need to go unattended for weeks at a time). Is this acceptable or not relevant once the node is deployed to the cloud?
#2 - If a node is “down” for one reason or another, does the bond become at risk to the node operator, or only the fees collected by the RenVM during the time a node is down? If current epoch fee forfeiture is the answer for this, is that the full amount during the epoch or can it be/is it measured and prorated based on the number of hours/days the node in question is down? For some prospective node operators, this may make the difference between bonding or selling their Ren. It comes down to how feasible is running a dark node while having travel responsibilities.
#3 - While the upper limit on dark node participation is 10,000 based on the available supply of Ren, are there any available projections on the expected rate of increase of node participation over the next few years or is that anyone’s best guess?
I think for Ren holders who are trying to decide whether to take on the responsibility and risk of bonding their Ren (especially for those who did not invest in the earlier days and would have paid a hefty price to obtain 100,000 tokens) versus selling to someone else who knows they want to bond them and earn a return, having some idea about expectations from within the community would be helpful.
For those of us who are in a position currently to contribute to the security of the network and virtual machine, but have yet to set up a node for lack of technical understanding, this may be the main question.
#4 - Are there any devs or computer savvy people that are offering assistance on the set up process on a paid hourly basis for people like myself who wish to establish a node but have not done so still 1 year later after the main net launched? I am eager to get set up but have no experience with programming and do not want to mess this up… too much at stake.
These are my core questions/concerns about operating a dark node.
Thank you for everyone who contributes to this conversation.