Premium Support [Community Opinion Thread]

As discord user @emansipater brought up, in order to further DAppNode’s mission of creating a decentralized hardware infrastructure layer, a lot of users would feel a lot more comfortable deploying this decentralized infrastructure for validating Eth2 if there was a committed premium support tier to help them quickly resolve problems that might arise during the running of the infrastructure with DAppNode.

I am extremely favorable about this, and something we have considered in the past.

Going over the considerations before taking such a step, we need to clearly set the scope of such support system - to see what would it take to deploy, and to see what would have to fall out of it.

On the cautious side, I can see the big headache of providing support for downstream integrations, and of DAppNode in particular. Problems might actually come from:

  1. Client implementations
  2. ISPs
  3. Hardware manufacturers
  4. Routers/Networking issues
  5. Attackers
  6. Others

Some of these things can be solved by a good technician (for example some, but not all networking issues), and other things are out of the DAppNode’s sphere of influence, so even with the best intentions we couldn’t do anything about.

Trying to define user expectations would help us define the right approach to this service, so over to you:

What would you expect from a premium support service?

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I would primarily want to be able to pay for someone to help me troubleshoot in case of a crisis. I don’t want to sit in a room by myself and increasingly flail around to fix things as I increasingly lose money. I may or may not need that service but I’d really like to know that it is available. I could either “pay through the nose” for hourly support in case I need it or I could sign up for a monthly service and get help when there is a problem.

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I also am thinking about the emergency assistance scenario if I bork up my dappnode itself and need help to fix it. But I think that Rotki’s style of “premium subscription” could be cool too, where you get some minor feature upgrades and your input is taken into account in deciding which features to prioritise.

In terms of what the minor features could be, you could definitely have a darkmode option that’s just for premium subscribers, and maybe a fancier fallback mode for the main ETH1 node that allows you to run ETH2 stuff against the dappnode node while you’re syncing/catching up, instead of just using the fallback for the dappstore and ENS.

Oh, and a dedicated discord channel just for premium subscribers would be cool to help with getting questions answered faster. Obviously the time the dappnode team has doesn’t go up just because they offer a premium subscription, but having a channel specifically dedicated to people who financially support the project would make it easier for them to prioritise what they spend their time on, as long as people weren’t too demanding.

I would want something even simpler, bases on dappnode.

I want an ISO that is set up to run specifically for staking. In addition to the current installl questions I only want to “check” boxes for which beacons I want to run and then I want to pick which validator to use. And I’d expect when everything is up and running to be presented with a web page that will let me look at grafana and the validator page and the client specific admin pages.

It could be dappnode underneath all of this but I want the real dumbed down version. Not because I’m not technically capable but for putting my money on line I want to avoid any combinations that my system could be different from others.

This I would pay for. I would pay a monthly cost for service on this exact system. Or I would pay $100 to buy this .iso (which should include access to updates). If updates aren’t included the .iso is no good.

I’m not sure how good a premium support channel will be if the basics aren’t already available.

dappnode is horrendously challenging to setup, the amount of gotchas in the install process that are related to networking are so many, and so poorly documented. I think before coming up with fancy support tiers, spending some real time on the docs is in order. you can find some general thoughts in the discord by admin about what common pain points are, but reading the docs makes it seem like they aren’t a problem.

You guys have raised ~$77,000 DAI from gitcoin grants? creating more honest, robust docs are where you need to start.

I’ve also wondered, if funding is still an issue, if you have applied for an ethereum foundation grant? this type of project seems right up their alley.

I know networking stuff is frustrating, but fwiw the dappnode setup “just worked” for me, so it is a little bit down to luck of the draw.