Announcing Storj Commercial Storage Node Operator Program

Storj operates a public network that anyone can join with tens of thousands of nodes in over a hundred countries. Enterprise customers have workloads that are appropriate for the network, but, for some storage use cases, those enterprise customers need specific types of storage in specific types of facilities.

To serve those customer requirements, Storj created the Commercial Storage Node Operator Program. This program is for large scale storage providers with significant available storage and bandwidth located in enterprise grade facilities. You’ll see some new content on the Storj website as we soft launch this new service.

Why Did We Start The Program

  • Some large enterprise customers have requirements that data is stored in facilities that meet certain specific requirements such as SOC2 or ISO 27001. They find the price, performance and security of the Storj network appealing but are prevented by their internal security controls from using the public network. We have node operators with widely varying storage characteristics which is one of the strengths of the network. We created product capabilities to restrict distribution of data to subsets of nodes that are operated in facilities that meet those enterprise requirements.

What is the Commercial Storage Node Operator Program?

  • The Commercial Storage Node Operator Program is a way for node operators in data centers or other enterprise-grade facilities to participate in the Storj network and identify that their nodes have certain specific certifications or characteristics. It also allows these operators to earn money at a scale that is economically viable for them when sharing large volumes of underutilized storage and bandwidth capacity.

Who is Eligible

  • The Commercial Storage Node Operator Program is for:
    • Operators in enterprise-grade facilities, typically with one or more compliance-oriented certifications
    • Operators with large amounts of existing underutilized capacity
    • Operators with fully depreciated operational hardware that is in storage or offline
    • Operators with access to low cost storage hardware

What Advantages does this Program Provide to the Network?

  • Amongst the benefits this program gives the network are such diverse elements as:
    • It provides Storj Labs a way to win enterprise customers that it otherwise would not be able to win with the current public network since it does not allow for SOC2 or other special compliances
    • It gives data center and commercial facility operators a way to participate in the network with large amounts of capacity that is economically viable by allowing them to store more data without introducing concentration risk or otherwise undermining the network of independent operators
    • Large professional data center operators will not be in direct competition with our small public network SNOs. This should facilitate smaller operators getting a larger share of data each by winning more races when the large professional operators are not offering their petabytes of capacity on the same network.
    • These enterprise customers often have large and varied storage use cases. Winning business helps win more business and Storj use will grow overall.

How Does it Compare to the Public Network

  • When data is stored on the public network, the nodes are subject to a different set of restrictions and selection criteria, than when data sets with specific requirements are stored on nodes participating in the Commercial Storage Node Operator Program. The main differences are:
    • While data center and other commercial node operators may participate in the public network, the terms of service and node selection criteria (especially the /24 IP address block restriction) mean that large scale providers fill their shared space at the same rate as small scale providers keeping the network more distributed and decentralized.
    • For data sets that utilize nodes that are participating in the Commercial Storage Node Operator Program, the /24 restriction will not be applied. This will allow operators in these larger facilities to fill their nodes much faster than they are able to with data sets that are stored only on the public network.
    • The commercial node operators have a significantly different cost structure. Because of the scale at which they operate they typically accept much lower payout rates because of the efficiency of their operations. But due to the removal of the /24 restriction on these data sets the operators can still have meaningful earnings despite receiving payout rates that are lower than the public network.
    • The nodes are all on the Storj network, however the nodes operate effectively as separate tiers. Similar to geofenced data, customers would choose to store data on one tier or the other, segmented at the bucket, project or account level.
    • Performance, durability, reliability are otherwise comparable.
    • Storj will offer premium enterprise pricing for customers storing data on nodes meeting these special criteria.
    • The end result is that both individual operators and commercial scale operators are able to participate in the Storj network without competing directly for the same workloads and providing a fair opportunity for all participants to achieve an economically rewarding outcome.

What is the Current State

  • We recruited an initial set of node operators with facilities that have SOC2 certification. We tested the market with this tier of service and are now beginning to onboard the first set of enterprise customers onto this tier. We are reaching out to our existing node operators to offer the opportunity to join the program.

How Can You Participate

If your facility is a fit for the Commercial Storage Node Operator Program, request to join the program and someone from our partnership team will contact you!