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Exploring the Four Miner Types in CESS’s Decentralized Storage Network

Cumulus Encrypted Storage System (CESS), the third-gen decentralized cloud storage solution, is a pioneering blockchain network supporting extensive commercial data storage. Secure, efficient, open-source, and scalable, CESS redefines storage and stands for a vital component of the Web3 infrastructure. Within the CESS ecosystem, individuals requiring storage are considered “consumers” of this resource, while four distinct miner types in the network act as dependable and efficient “suppliers.”

The CESS blockchain network plays a crucial role as the “orchestrator” and “certifier,” responsible for managing and optimizing contributors’ storage resources, ensuring users access unified, efficient, and convenient storage services. This article focuses on the four types of miners acting as “suppliers,” elaborating on their functions, roles, and participation within the CESS network.

The CESS network operates based on decentralized principles, requiring various roles to collaboratively participate, operate, and uphold the system. During its initial phases, the network encompasses four key types of miners:

- Storage Miner: Their primary responsibility is to provide storage space, store data, and execute proofs.

- Consensus Miner: They are mainly in charge of consensus elections, transaction execution, block verification and generation within the CESS network.

- Cache Miner: Responsible for caching frequently accessed storage data, facilitating faster data retrieval for users.

- Retrieval Miner: Tasked with retrieving targeted data from the network for users, which may involve fetching data from cache miners or storage miners.

The four types of miners function, operate, and get incentivised distinctively within the network, complementing each other’s roles. Consensus miners and storage miners form the storage resource layer, ensuring the integrity of data objects. Cache miners and retrieval miners constitute the content distribution layer, guaranteeing the availability of data objects. As for CESS’s adoption of a bottom-up multi-layer network architecture design, we have elaborated on it in our series of articles on CESS mechanisms. If you’re interested in learning more, scroll down to the end of the article and click the relevant links. Below, we will continue to introduce the four main types of miners in the CESS network.

Storage Miners

Any machine willing to share its unused storage resources can join the CESS network and earn rewards by providing verifiable storage space. This storage is divided into two parts: “idle” and “active.” Miners, also known as nodes, fill the idle space independently, while only user data is allowed in the active space. The CESS network takes care of the idle space by default, ensuring it’s available for active data when needed. Incentives are granted based on the network’s total storage computing power. As a result, storage nodes play a key role in providing space, storing data, and conducting verification proofs.

For information on how to become a storage miner, you can refer to the CESS Storage Miner Manual.

Consensus Miners

Consensus nodes play a crucial role in the CESS network by handling consensus elections, transaction execution, block verification, and generation. Consensus nodes are divided into two modules: Chain Node and TEE Worker.

Chain Node module is responsible for maintaining the global state of the blockchain network, which includes:

- Recording system source information like storage nodes and stored data.

- Keeping track of the verification status of storage proofs.

- Managing data settlement and recovery.

On the other hand, the TEE Worker module serves as the “data authentication station” in the CESS network. All user data must be authenticated by TEE Worker to be considered as “active data” by the network and to be counted for storage power. Additionally, TEE Worker has the capability to authenticate the data filled by storage nodes. TEE Worker needs to support Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs), with the first adaptation being Intel SGX.

-Consensus miners, vital in participating in consensus elections and block packaging in the CESS network, possess the following attributes:

- Recording and storing all transaction results and state changes.

- Forming a decentralized communication network among nodes.

- Ensuring chain data security and employing a consensus algorithm that supports continuous growth.

- Employing cryptographic algorithms for block hashing, transaction signing, and verification.

- Consensus miners are developed using the open-source Substrate framework by Polkadot, which comes with inherent advantages.

For details on becoming a consensus node, refer to the Consensus Node Manual.

Retrieval Miners

Retrieval miners offer data retrieval services to users. They swiftly locate and provide users with the data they need, whether from cache nodes or storage nodes. Retrieval nodes participate in the CESS network by responding to Get requests and providing the retrieved data to users.

When a retrieval node gets a request to read data, it searches for the best storage node with optimal performance, enhancing data retrieval efficiency.

Unlike storage miners:

- Retrieval miners don’t need to stake tokens.

- Retrieval miners don’t need to store data or provide storage proofs.

Unlike consensus miners:

- Retrieval miners don’t need to package transactions or validate them.

Participation details: Coming soon.

Cache Miners

Cache miners are dedicated to storing frequently accessed data, enabling users to retrieve the information they need more swiftly. As the CESS network matures and more storage users come in, a substantial amount of data will be stored in the network, which may challenge the performance of data uploading, retrieval, and downloading. To address this, CESS has designed cache miners. These miners facilitate market transactions by rapidly delivering data to users, consensus nodes, and storage nodes through data indexing and distribution. To create effective incentives, miners operating cache nodes will receive mining rewards.

Participation details: Coming soon.


In summary, the CESS distributed storage system employs its meticulously designed four key miners: storage miners, consensus miners, cache miners, and retrieval miners, forming the storage resource layer and content distribution layer within the CESS network. This ensures data availability and integrity, offering users a stable and efficient decentralized storage solution.

Understanding the CESS network architecture:

CESS Mechanism (1) the Multi-Layer Network Architecture Design

Detailed Explanation of CESS Mechanism (2): Blockchain Layer and the Random Rotational Selection (R²S) Consensus Mechanism

Detailed Explanation of CESS Mechanisms (3) Storage & Content Delivery Layer, and Proof of Data Reduplication & Recovery

Detailed Explanation of CESS Mechanism (4): The Application Layer

2023.08.24 14:30