In this tutorial, we will show you how to deploy and run a Polkadot Validator node on Ankr
Set up your Polkadot Full Node on Ankr
1. Head to app.ankr.com to deploy and click the Deploy A Node button.
2. Search or scroll down to find the Polkadot card, hover over it and press Deploy button next to label Validator Node.
3. Now you are taken to the configuration page. The hardware configuration is set at the recommended system requirements, but you can choose to increase the specifications if you wish to do so, by using Advanced button.
4. The platform also recommends a cluster, which is usually the one that has the most freely available resources. In this particular case, the recommended cluster is the Singapore cluster, but another cluster may be recommended for you, depending on your location.
5. The Project Name for use in the Ankr application is pre-filled. You can change it if you want (please note that only a small set of special characters are allowed in this name).
6. Select your preferred payment option (ANKR ERC-20, ANKR Native, USDT or Credit Card). If you choose to pay with cryptocurrency you need to deposit funds on the generated address.
7. Once the funds are received, you can proceed by clicking the Deploy Node button.
8. Deployment in progress will take approx. 5 minutes.
9. The node is now deployed and will start syncing with the Polkadot network which will finish soon after deployment.
How to become a Validator on the Polkadot network?
Please note: to set up the node you will need enough DOT to set up Stash and Controller accounts with the existential deposit, plus a little extra for transaction fees. Usually 0.01 DOT is sufficient. To be elected as a Validator, you need a stake of at least 17,000 DOT behind your Validator, which can come from your yourself or from Nominators.
For more details please see the official guide by Polkadot to configure your node and become a Validator. You can also follow the next steps.
Note: Transfers are disabled during the soft launch phase of Polkadot. This means that if you are setting up a Validator during this time you may not be able to make your stash and controller two separate accounts, as is recommended. You must make them the same account, meaning that you will bond the account to itself. However it is highly recommended that you change your controller as soon as possible.
It is highly recommended that you make your Controller and Stash accounts to be two separate accounts. For this, you need to create two accounts and make sure each of them have at least enough funds to pay for transaction fees. It is advised to keep most of your funds in the Stash account since it will be used as custodian of your staking funds.
Make sure not to bond all your DOT balance since you will be unable to pay transaction fees from your bonded balance.
It is now time to set up our Validator. Bond the DOTs of the Stash account. These DOTs will be put at stake for the security of the network and can be slashed.
10. Select the Controller. This is the account that will decide when to start or stop validating.
First, go to the Staking section. Click on “Account Actions”, and then the “New stake” button.
11. You need to tell the chain your Session keys by signing and submitting an extrinsic. This is what associates your Validator with your Controller account.
Go to Staking > Account Actions, and click Set Session Key on the bonding account you generated earlier.
The Session Key can be found on the manage page, you can copy the value.
12. Past the Session Key value from the Ankr app and click Set Session Key
13. To verify that your node is live and synchronised, head to Telemetry and find your node. Note that this will show all nodes on the Polkadot network, which is why it is important to select a unique name!
14. If everything looks good, go ahead and click on Validate in Polkadot UI.
15. If you go to the Staking tab, you will see a list of active Validators currently running on the network. At the top of the page, it shows the number of Validator slots that are available as well as the number of nodes that have signaled their intention to be a Validator.
Check the Waiting tab to double check if your node is listed there.
16. The Validator set is refreshed every era. In the next era, if there is a slot available and your node is selected to join the Validator set, your node will become an active Validator.
As long as your Validator is not selected to become part of the Validator set, it will remain in the waiting queue. There is no need to re-start if you are not selected for the Validator set in a particular era. However, it may be necessary to increase the number of DOTs staked or seek out nominators for your Validator in order to join the Validator set.