What to look for in a Rollups-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform
Andrew Huang & Bertie Corrie
November 2, 2023
In a future with millions of blockchains – some general purpose but most of them app-specific – Rollups-as-a-Service (RaaS) platforms will become increasingly more important as we scale Ethereum.
AWS unlocked a decade of startups that could move more nimbly and build products that weren’t previously possible by building a cloud platform that abstracted away high-capital investment in hardware and ongoing operational expenses with maintaining that infrastructure. RaaS platforms are doing the same for deploying and maintaining blockchains.
But what does the go-to RaaS platform look like? What should you consider when deciding on who to partner with on the deployment and maintenance of your rollup?
High Availability Sequencers
One of the first things to consider when evaluating a RaaS platform is the quality of their sequencers. High availability sequencers, such as Conduit Elector, are essential for running a reliable chain.
Sequencers play a critical role in processing and sequencing transactions on the rollup. Any downtime or instability can lead to issues and delays, frustrated users, and ultimately lost revenue. A reliable sequencer is table stakes for an app-chain to ensure uninterrupted service.
What is the RaaS platform’s guaranteed uptime and what failovers do they have in place?
Scalability is a core advantage of rollup technology. Your rollup's performance relies on its ability to adapt to varying levels of network traffic. Autoscaling Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) are essential for serving any transaction volume your chain demands.
Your RaaS platform should handle all scaling needs for your rollup without you requiring to do anything in-house or relying on a 3rd party provider.
This means the infrastructure and tools necessary to automatically adjust RPC resources are provided by the platform, ensuring your rollup can handle increased volumes of traffic as your chain processes more transactions.
Rollups are incomplete without auxiliary infrastructure, such as a bridge, block explorer, and transaction tracer. These utilities should come out-of-the-box when deploying a rollup through a RaaS platform.
A bridge allows users to move their assets to and from your chain. A block explorer allows users to visualize and explore onchain data. A transaction tracer helps developers and auditors analyze transaction activity and identify potential issues.
When selecting a RaaS platform, ensure that they offer these auxiliary tools to simplify and accelerate the deployment of your rollup.
Integrations can significantly extend the functionality of your rollup. Look for a platform that supports integrations with popular, high-quality products and services in crypto.
For instance, integrations with platforms like Tenderly and Dune can provide additional debugging and analytical capabilities, making it easier to track and optimize the performance of your rollup.
An ecosystem of integrations is a sign of a robust RaaS platform.
Launching a rollup can be a complex process, especially if your team isn’t equipped for it. A valuable RaaS platform should offer guidance and support to ensure the smooth deployment and reliability of your chain. This could include 24/7 support and monitoring, technical assistance, documentation, and educational resources.
Choose a platform that is committed to helping you navigate the intricacies of rollup technology and partnering with you on your project.
Ongoing Maintenance and Operations
Your partnership shouldn’t conclude once you’re on mainnet. Launching your own chain requires continuous maintenance and monitoring. A reliable RaaS platform will continue to support your needs and those of your users way beyond mainnet launch and throughout your chain’s lifespan.
While your chain is live, the best RaaS platforms continue to provide technical upgrades, issue monitoring, new tooling, useful integrations, and more.
Selecting the right Rollups-as-a-Service platform is a critical decision when launching your own chain.
These key factors can make a significant difference in the success or failure of your app-chain. At Conduit, we provide all of the above to our customers and more.
We help companies, such as Zora, Gitcoin, and Aevo, unlock the valuable benefits of rollups and enable them to focus on building great products for their users instead of wrangling security and devops.