Skip to main content

Use sentry beacon nodes

You can calculate future block proposers ahead of time, which opens up an attack vector. A DoS attack on a validator's beacon node can cause the validator to miss its block proposal, thereby losing the block proposal reward. You can mitigate this issue by using sentry nodes.


Only validators executed separately from beacon nodes (remote validators) can use sentry nodes

When you configure your remote validator to use sentry beacon nodes, each beacon node (or cluster of beacon nodes) can be assigned a role. Each role determines which beacon node the remote validator sends request to when performing a task.

Sentry nodes support three roles:

  • duties_provider - Beacon node used for requesting attestations and block duties.
  • block_handler - Beacon node used for block creation and publishing.
  • attestation_publisher - Beacon node used for publishing attestations.

Only the duties_provider role is mandatory. You can assign multiple beacon node endpoints for each role.

Configure sentry nodes


The CLI option --sentry-config-file=<file_path> cannot be used with --beacon-node-api-endpoint.

Configure your sentry nodes in a JSON configuration file. To configure your remote validator to use the sentry node configuration, use the --sentry-config-file=<file_path> CLI option.

The configuration file (in this example, /etc/sentry-node-config.json) uses the following format:

"beacon_nodes": {
"duties_provider": {
"endpoints": ["http://duties:9051"]
"block_handler": {
"endpoints": ["http://block:9051"]
"attestation_publisher": {
"endpoints": ["http://attestation:9051"]

Start your remote validator with the --sentry-config-file option, for example:

teku validator --sentry-config-file=/etc/sentry-node-config.json

During startup the logs display output similar to:

DEBUG | SentryNodesConfigLoader | 2022-10-03 01:31:48.260 INFO - Loading sentry nodes configuration from /etc/sentry-node-config.json
DEBUG | SentryNodesConfigLoader | 2022-10-03 01:31:48.277 INFO - Duty provider beacon nodes: http://duties:9051
DEBUG | SentryNodesConfigLoader | 2022-10-03 01:31:48.277 INFO - Block handler beacon nodes: http://block:9051
DEBUG | SentryNodesConfigLoader | 2022-10-03 01:31:48.278 INFO - Attestation publisher beacon nodes: http://attestation:9051

At this point, the remote validator knows what beacon nodes should be used for its tasks and no further configuration is required.