rippled Feature Update: NuDB and Autobridging

rippled-team

The rippled team (left to right): Scott D., David, Miguel, Mark, Scott S., Josh, Edward, Nik, and Yana—Not pictured: Vinnie, Howard, and Tom

Ripple Labs is excited to announce the latest update (0.28.0) for rippled, the core technology that powers Ripple—as part of the team’s ongoing commitment toward improving the protocol’s stability, scalability, and security.

The update includes two major new features:

  • NuDB—A custom database designed for rippled. NuDB allows for optimal performance no matter how big the database gets.
  • Autobridging—A feature that allows XRP to serve as a bridge currency. Autobridging enhances protocol utility and has the potential to expose more of the network to liquidity and improve prices.

By improving the performance and scalability of the protocol while exposing the network to more liquidity, these new features will be beneficial to both financial institutions and market makers using Ripple.

We discussed each new feature with the primary engineer behind its implementation.

Vinnie Falco, NuDB: The implementation of NuDB greatly enhances the performance and scalability of the Ripple protocol, which becomes increasingly important as we continue to expand the network and integrate new banking partners.

One place where rippled has to store persistent data for the ledger is the node, which has customizable backends so you can choose from different databases.

We wanted to experiment with different node stores, such as Lightning Database and even SQLite but we ultimately settled on RocksDB, which seemed to work the best. What we discovered is that when RocksDB grew in size, it would slow down and start to use a lot of memory, which would kill the performance of the program. As a result, rippled instances with full ledger history weren’t doing very well with RocksDB because of memory requirements and because our databases would slow down.

Our solution was to develop NuDB. NuDB is a custom database we wrote, designed specifically for rippled’s workload. It only supports three functions—insert, fetch, and visit-all—and it really only works with SSD hard drives. But the main advantage of NuDB is that it can scale to an almost unlimited size—248 TB is the current limit. And no matter how big the database gets, the performance is still optimal.

Nik Bougalis, Autobridging: Autobridging is a feature that exposes more of the network to liquidity by allowing XRP to serve as a bridge currency between XRP currency pairs. By lowering cost and increasing liquidity, Autobridging benefits financial institutions and market makers users Ripple.

This obviously has a positive effect on users who can more easily trade between currencies that might not have a lot of liquidity. With more offers available to them, they’ll likely get better rates. It also benefits market makers by allowing their offers to participate in more books. For the network, we get improved utility by increasing liquidity and reducing price.

Overall, Autobridging is an exciting new feature that intuitively plays into the design and vision of the Ripple protocol.

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