Updating the network parameters

The initial network parameters can be subsequently changed through an update process. However, these changes must first be advertised to the entire network to allow nodes time to agree to the changes.

At a high level, the process is as follows:

  1. Edit the network parameters configuration. This includes setting an update deadline by which nodes are expected to have accepted the new parameters.
  2. Set the network parameters configuration in the Zone Service.
  3. Advertise the new network parameters from the Network Map Service.
  4. Sign the new network parameters from the Signing Service.
  5. Wait for the update deadline to pass.
  6. Execute the network parameter update.
  7. Sign the new network map containing the new network parameters, via the Signing Service.

Editing network parameters configuration

See Setting the Network Parameters for information on the network parameters configuration file format and options.

When updating the network parameters, ensure that the network parameters file has the parametersUpdate configuration block configured, as shown in the example below:

parametersUpdate {
    description = "Important update"
    updateDeadline = "2017-08-31T05:10:36.297Z" # ISO-8601 time, substitute it with update deadline

In this example, description is a short description of the update that will be communicated to the nodes, and updateDeadline is the time (in ISO-8601 format) by which all nodes in the network must decide that they have accepted the new parameters. A Flag Day cannot be issued before the updateDeadline has passed, so make sure to set the right updateDeadline time.

Set network parameter update

Push the new network parameters to the Zone Service, using a command like the one below:

cenm netmap netparams update submit -p config/parameters.conf

The Angel Service of the Network Map Service will pick up the new network parameters from the Zone service automatically.

The next step is to tell the Network Map Service to advertise the update to nodes, using the following command:

cenm netmap netparams update advertise

When the nodes on the network next poll the service for the latest Network Map, they will be notified of the proposed parameter update.

Sign new network parameters

You must execute the commands listed below on the Signing Service - this means that you must run the commands from within the same secure network as the service. The recommended deployment includes a FARM Service dedicated to these high security actions:

  • Fetch the unsigned network parameters - command: cenm signer netmap netparams unsigned.
  • Sign the updated network parameters - command: cenm signer netmap netparams sign -h <hash>.

Node operators accept the update

Before the updateDeadline time, nodes will have to run the acceptNewNetworkParameters() RPC command to accept new parameters. This will not activate the new network parameters on the nodes - it will only inform the Network Map Service that the node has agreed to the update. See the Corda node RPC API for further details.

To list network participants that have or have not accepted the new network parameters, run the following command:

cenm signer netmap netparams update status --network-params-hash <parameters update hash value>

Execute network parameters update

Once the updateDeadline has passed, you can issue a Flag Day. This is the act of changing the active network parameters to be the parameters advertised in step 2. To do so, use the following command:

cenm netmap netparams update execute

As a result, all nodes on the network will shut down when they next poll the service, due to a parameter hash mismatch. The nodes that did not accept the parameter update will be removed from the network map and will be unable to restart until they accept. The nodes that accepted can be restarted and continue as normal.

Sign the network map

As with signing the network parameters, you should run the high security commands listed below from within the same network as the Signing Service:

  • Fetch the unsigned Network Map - command: cenm signer netmap unsigned.
  • Sign the Network Map - command: cenm signer netmap sign -h <hash>.

Cancelling an update

It is possible to cancel a previously scheduled update. To do so, run the following command:

cenm signer netmap netparams update cancel

The Network Map Service will continue to advertise the cancelled update until a new network map is signed.