Overview

Becoming an Indexer.

Is being an Indexer a suitable role for you and your skillset? Let’s have a detailed look at the requirements for Indexers.

Graph-Network

Key Requirements for Indexers.

The Graph Network has a fairly elaborate and complex setup. Indexers need to fulfill key requirements in four areas. We will have a close look at each dimension in the following.

Capital
Hardware
Infrastructure
Skillset
Yaniv Tal
Yaniv Tal

Edge & Node, CEO

“Running an Indexer is a fairly sophisticated activity. It can be done by hobbyists but the job is basically being a devops person / DBA. The most successful Indexers will be hands on. [Being an Indexer is] targeted towards professionals or individuals that are comfortable running clusters / heavy server configurations.”

Key requirement #1

Capital Requirements.

The entry barrier for becoming an Indexer is relatively high as Indexers are required to stake a minimum of 100k GRT. In the ideal case, Indexers are able to stake more GRT than the required minimal amount – especially in the early stages of the network. During the ramping up of the network, the 100k minimum required stake could prove very challenging to break-even on because of the costs of running a node. It is therefore encouraged to closely calculate if your expected indexing returns exceed the costs of operation if you intend to index with a smaller allocation.

Required funds

100k GRT

Indexer Knowledge Hub

Costs of Operating an Indexer Node.

These are the investment requirements and costs Indexers need to take into account:

Minimum stake of 100k GRT
Infrastructure costs
Operational costs
Manpower costs

The risk level of an Indexer is higher in comparison to other network participants such as Delegators and Curators as an Indexer’s staked tokens are subject to slashing in case of serving incorrect data or malicious behavior.

  • The minimum capital requirement of 100k GRT ensures that Indexers join the network with the required dedication to the network
  • It also provides an incentive not to engage in malicious behavior as this would put an Indexer’s stake at risk
Special hardware

min. 4 CPUs & 8GB RAM

Key requirement #2

Hardware requirements.

What are the hardware requirements to operate a node in The Graph Network?

The hardware requirements are split into four different setups to better cater to the varying needs of node operators. This gives interested Indexers a better overview of the requirements for their specific setup.

Setup CPUs Memory in GB Disk in TBs VMs (CPUs) VMs (in GB)
Small 4 8 1 4 16
Standard 8 30 1 12 48
Medium 16 64 2 32 64
Large 72 468 3.5 48 184

Key requirement #3

Infrastructure Requirements.

What infrastructure is needed to operate as an Indexer in The Graph Network? Let’s have a look at it in the following! The central piece of infrastructure of an Indexer is The Graph Node. It serves a variety of different functions, such as extracting and loading subgraph data as well as monitoring Ethereum. The extracted data is served as a GraphQL API by the Node.

Required infrastructure

IPFS node etc.

Here are the other components of an Indexer’s setup:

Skillset

Experienced

Key requirement #4

Required skills.

The best hardware and infrastructure is of no use without first-hand experiences in running a node. An Indexer in The Graph Network needs to be comfortable in running VM environments via SSH or operating their own hardware. Aside from that, Indexers should have experience with Linux as well as validators and/or should be keen to learn.

  • Indexers need to be aware that maintaining a node in The Graph Network can be time intensive, especially in the later stages of the network
  • Once curation is live and a multitude of different subgraphs can be indexed, Indexers who are able to dedicate time to their indexing operations may see higher indexing rewards and query fees

Summary.

The requirements for being an Indexer in The Graph Network are high as it is a fairly sophisticated role. To operate a node, Indexers will have to invest capital and will also have to provide the necessary hardware and infrastructure.

  • An indexer should ideally be a devops person /DBA
  • The profile of an ideal Indexer is rounded off with their experiences in running and operating nodes and their willingness to run clusters and heavy server configurations

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