Vistara
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Vistara Network

The current state of the world:

The decentralized ecosystem can be visualized using inspiration from the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model of the Internet. It's a conceptual framework that allows us to define different layers of virtualization that exist in blockchains today. As shown in Figure 1 below, at a high level, there is a hardware layer, virtualization layer 1, operating system, virtualization layer (blockchain VMs e.g. EVM, SVM, etc.), and application layer where smart contracts are executed.
The developers today can access the blockchain VM and application layer to define new state transition functions and smart contracts needed for their applications.
Not having access to the physical layer means limitations in customizing computing, I/O, storage, and networking.
Why would someone need programmatic access to hardware?
Imagine programmable hardware access in the Vistara network as your local community garden. You know how everyone in a community garden can plant and grow whatever they fancy? Well, programmable hardware access works the same way for developers. It gives them the freedom to use and optimize hardware resources as they need, letting creativity bloom. They can use what they need, when they need it, in a safe and scalable environment. No more relying on cloud providers. It's all about embracing the heart of blockchain - decentralization.
Figure 1: Classic Decentralized Infrastructure
A distributed network of hardware resources ready to be provisioned and utilized programmatically unlocks possibilities of building open and decentralized applications in the virtual and the real world.
Figure 2: Modern Decentralized Infrastructure
The Vistara Network focuses on a 'hardware-first' approach, it enables programmable control over physical resources such as CPU, GPU, RAM, Storage, I/O, and even bandwidth.
Vistara is expanding digital scarcity from energy to resources like bandwidth, ASICs, and FPGAs. Beyond traditional consensus mechanisms, it uses energy for practical applications and aims to simplify large-scale distributed systems' orchestration. It encourages everyone to be a node operator, making decentralized technology more accessible. This fosters a community where everyone can contribute, transforming users into active network growth participants.
The Vistara Network consists of the following components:
  • The Decentralized Hypervisor - a virtualization technology that enables efficient utilization of hardware resources in a secure and scalable environment. They offer fast startup times with low memory overhead enabling us to pack thousands of lightweight VMs onto the same physical machine enhancing utilization.
    • Unikernel: The hypervisor allocates resources needed to execute jobs e.g. run an Ethereum light node. A unikernel runs the only application in a virtualized environment offering a more secure and faster experience, all while keeping it simple. Also provides GPU support e.g. AI training and inference.
    • MicroVM: The hypervisor spins up a microVM using firecracker, a type 1 hypervisor that is an alternative to QEMU, and deploys these lightweight virtual machines, called microVMs. They provide kernel-level workload isolation and enhanced security over traditional VMs and are resource-efficient. A "jailor" program is used to further isolate each microVM with common Linux user-space security barriers. It can provide a second line of defense if in a rare case, the virtualization barrier is ever compromised. Checkout The Decentralized Hypervisor
  • Spacecores: a modular and atomic unit of the Vistara network that is deployed by the hypervisor explained above. This allows every spacecore to have isolation and security ensuring reliable execution. Checkout What are Spacecores?
  • Hardware as Code (HAC): Learning from web2 Infrastructure as Code paradigm in cloud computing to set up infrastructure, a HAC file extends this to the physical layer, the content in this toml file defines the behavior of hardware. e.g. deploying a decentralized restaking service.
[spacecore]
name = "AI Inference Node"
description = "AI inference node."
[hardware] # resource allocation
cpu_cores = 4 # Number of CPU cores
memory_gb = 16 # Memory in GB
storage_gb = 500 ...
  • Vimana: every node in the Vistara Network is a Vimana node, the decentralized hypervisor helps run spacecores in seconds with zero external dependencies and without the need to have systems administration expertise. "vimana" software is installed on every node on the hardware operator which allows it to consolidate access to locally available hardware resources and offer them on demand. They aim to stay application-agnostic supporting any type of architectures like ARM, RISC-V, ARM, and beyond. Checkout What is Vimana?
  • The microchain: to make blockchains accessible to a broader range of participants with diverse hardware, including devices with limited resources, we need to design the chain to be as lightweight and simple as possible. This allows to coordinate requests from end users that want to deploy x spacecore on the network. The minimalist approach allows us to save only the most crucial data to maintain network integrity and efficiency. (WIP)