Save 140,000$ worth of Yearly Development Costs with Unmarshal

4 min readJul 5, 2022


Querying blockchain data is one of the most common challenges that developers experience while developing their dApps. Though blockchains enable public RPC end-point node access, developers building with RPC nodes face challenges such as fetching structured data, decoding, and one of the biggest constraints with public RPC nodes is rate limits, which means you will be able to make only a limited amount of queries at one go. To tackle the inherent difficulties, the best alternative method of building on top of an RPC node would be to maintain a self-hosted node together with an indexer to cater to bespoke data needs. However, maintaining nodes and indexers has significant recurring costs, and if not properly managed, it can cripple query speed in all aspects, finally leading to application failure.

Setting up in-house Node and Indexer

Setting up an in-house node and indexer is a time-consuming process. Here’s a quick rundown of how to set up your own node and indexer, as well as the associated costs:

To begin, an internal node with a server and storage must be chosen. In general, a server with 16 cores and 64GBs of RAM (if BNB Chain) is suggested, with storage capacity varying according to the blockchain. BNB Chain, for example, requires ~3TBs of SSD storage space at the time of writing.

Once the node is fully synchronized, the indexer code must be written to index the specific data to be fetched by the application. The indexer requires a dedicated developer resource, and the development period is typically around 1 week.

After setting up the indexer, you now need additional storage space depending on the data queried onto your application. Ideally, the recommended server would be 2 cores with 12GBs RAM, with a storage capacity of around 2–5GBs for a small dApp.

Below is the cost associated with the setup if you choose AWS.

(Costs at the time of writing)

You need to then test your endpoints for data correctness. Once done, you can integrate the endpoint into your actual application.

It doesn’t stop here. In-house nodes frequently experience sync issues necessitating the deployment of a specialized engineer to address the issues that arise on a regular basis with a monthly recurring cost.

Total Recurring Cost associated with running and maintaining your in-house Indexer

1. Skilled Engineer ~5,000 USD (monthly recurring)
A highly skilled dedicated engineering resource is required to develop and maintain the indexer.

2. Storage Volume(node+indexer) — 250USD (monthly recurring)
Storage volume to maintain node database and indexed smart contracts transactions.

3. Servers (node+indexer) — 595USD (monthly recurring)
Dedicated server to sync the node and smart contract indexer to the latest height

4. Miscellaneous — 20$ (monthly recurring)
Sundry recurring expenses incurred for data transfer and gateway charges depending on the infra setup.

The total cost incurred for setting up your own node along with an indexer for a single blockchain is around ~70,000 USD. If your dApp is on multiple chains, for instance, Ethereum and BNB Chain, the cost incurred would be doubled at approximately ~140,000USD.

Query Data with Unmarshal APIs for $99 Only

Unmarshal is a one-stop reliable source for querying a wide range of data from multi-chains without worrying about setting up nodes or indexers. We bear the burden of 100% upkeep of the infrastructure so that you can focus on building your dApp while reducing your development efforts and costs.

Our premium plan starts as low as $99/month, which allows access to our entire suite of APIs, no strings attached. Soon after the release of Unmarshal Parser, users can even deploy their own indexers. We also offer a free trial that includes 1 Million credits/month.

About Unmarshal

Unmarshal is a Multi-chain Web 3.0 data network aiming to deliver granular, reliable & real-time data to dApps, DeFi protocols, NFTs, Metaverse and GameFi solutions. Unmarshal provides the easiest way to query Blockchain data from XDC Network, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, Near and Solana. Unmarshal network consists of data indexers and transforming tools to power Web 3.0 applications on any chain while providing a latent view of transformed data.

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