Horizontal vs Vertical Scaling Debate

Unpacking the differences in Ethereum scaling models with Avi Zurlo from Nil Foundation


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Horizontal or vertical scaling…which way, western man?

In today’s discussion, we’re taking a closer look at Nil’s strategic approach to blockchain scalability, focusing on the integration of horizontal scaling for Ethereum. We discuss the core idea behind Ethereum as the ultimate arbiter of truth for L2s, ensuring that any layer that claims to be an L2 can verify its activities through Ethereum’s data availability and settlement guarantees.

We also discuss the state fragmentation situation at hand—an inherent issue when new chains are created, which leads to a lack of a unified global state. This fragmentation complicates interactions between different rollups within the Ethereum ecosystem.

To address this, we take a look at horizontal and vertical scaling…

Horizontal scaling involves adding more machines to distribute workload and enhance performance without significant hardware trade-offs, while vertical scaling focuses on enhancing the capabilities of a single machine, which can lead to higher costs and potential centralization.

We further went on to explore the nuances of modular versus monolithic architectures, Avi clarifies that neither inherently offers superior scalability. Instead, true scalability depends on effectively managing and expanding computational resources across the network.

Join us for a technical discussion around zkSharding, horizontal scaling, and the key differences in the modular vs. monolithic scaling approaches.

The Rollup


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