Building a new system

about to put together my first computer to put on the system. I am building from scratch and I am doing this for fun. I do love the idea of getting STOJ coin. I am a total newb here so forgive me. Is there a way to test the hash rates of the connections? I have a few locations and I could use and there are a few terms I am not used to and cannot find alot of info on such as egress bandwidth and audit bandwith

Also does it matter if the drives used are RAID drives or just get the lowest cost available to purchase? I was thinking about setting up a PI system linked to some external drives.

Hello and welcome!

Your internet connection doesn’t need to be top notch for Storj, but it should at least support a 5mbps upload throughput.

Then, using a RPi (preferably 4B, but it works on RPis 3 too) is usually a good option as it’s very power efficient.

Setting a raid is generally not recommended as it’s more profitable to run one node per disk. Also this way if a disk fail, you wouldn’t lose your whole and only node, you would only lose the node attached to the failing disk.
(some may disagree - it is what StorjLabs recommend though ^^)

To clarify some terms you used:

  • Egress: data coming out of a node, also known as “download” from customers point of view.
  • Ingress: data going to a node, also known as “upload” from customers point of view.
  • Audits: very small requests made by sattelites to check a node is still actually storing the files it is supposed to. There is not really notion of “bandwidth” linked to audits as they are very light to a node’s connection.

Here is a google sheet you might want to copy to your own account to fill in your numbers: it estimates what behavior to expect with regards to egress/ingress with time. Check it out:

1 Like

Last question, what happens if you don’t meet the up time? Do you not get paid or possibly lose the node? Where I’m setting this up for example last month we had an 8 hour outage because a construction company cut the fiber line coming into our office complex, seems like every couple of months something like that happens

Welcome! This is a great way to explore decentralized systems and storage.
I think running a Raspberry Pi is a great low cost way to enter the system as Pac recommends.
Ideally we strive to be online with less than 5 hours of offline/downtime per month but that rule has not been enforced.
I also suggest you look at very good quality HDDs to be reliable as that is the heart of the system. I personally use Western Digital 14TB HC530 drives, one HDD per node. You can start off with just a single drive. Please avoid the newer SMR drives, you really need CMR (conventional) disks.

2 Likes

In short: you don’t get paid and eventually lose your node. However the minimum uptime is now quite permissive as you would need to be offline for 288 hours to get suspended, and then you would need to fix the issue within the following days to avoid being disqualified.

It’s true that running nodes on SMR drives is a bad idea as they can stall to a point where the node crashes during sustained activity peaks (which don’t really happen these days, but it could happen again in the future).
There are workarounds though, and because StorjLabs always recommend using rhe hardware we have laying around, they should make sure SMR drives get handled/supported correctly by their software, but that’s another topic :wink:

1 Like

There even seems to be a patch for improvement in the ext4 queue, however the current status is unclear:
https://lwn.net/Articles/826238/

I don’t know if that patch would help but if it does maybe Storj has some connections to help this patch into the kernel.

2 Likes

Already fielded by other members, but an 8 hour outage shouldn’t be much of an issue. Last week I had a 4+ hour power outage (made sure to shut my nodes down cleanly while still on the UPS) and I’ve got no issues. My node online times still show either 99+% or full 100% online time, with suspension and audit numbers all at 100%.

Curious I’m seeing tons of conflicting comments in the forum in using external hard drives through a USB or that it has to be an internal drive, a lot of comments saying don’t use usb connections due to overheating? Never heard of this before, does that really matter?

These drives do tend to run hot, but the bigger issue is that USB itself is not very reliable. In some cases they randomly disconnect, leaving your node with no access to data. That might depend on the quality of your USB controller, cables and USB hubs. My personal experience is that it can be made into reliable setup, but it takes time to test the setup correctly.

1 Like

TL;DR: USB connected drives on RPis work just fine. They’re not the best or most reliable setup, but if that’s what you have, then just go with it.

But to be clear, these nodes with external (USB) connected drives will work just fine, they’re just a little more risky. When I started, I was running a RPi4 (4GB) with a USB 3.0 connected WD passport (4TB), which was drawing it’s power off of the pi. It worked just fine. At one point I migrated that node to a WD Elements (desktop type drive) which had it’s own power supply and connected via USB 3.0, and that worked just fine too. Fast forward to today, I ended up shucking that drive from the WD Elements and installed in a different machine that is connected via SATA. But I do still have 2 newer nodes running on RPis with USB connected HDDs.

1 Like

They can work fine for a long time but the risk is higher.
I started with an external HDD on a desktop PC connected by USB3.0 and it worked fine for 2 or 3 months, when the first disconnect happened, my USB port overheated and shut down… Had to switch the port for it to work again. Some other months later my enclosure became unreliable, disconnecting the drive and causing some partition corruption.
It’s manageable and many people have less problems than I did (and those runnning PIs seem to be doing even better) but it’s a higher risk than running internal drives.
At the moment I use an esata enclosure which works good too.

So you can go for external drives, especially at the beginning. Overheating of the usb port will likely only occur during high load once the drive gets fuller. I would definitely start with an external drive.

1 Like

What part of a USB “port” overheats? You mean the controller chip either on the host or the device? I’ve seen USB power bricks (cell phone & etc. chargers) that have overcurrent protection that will cut power to a port if it exceeds a certain draw, maybe the same is being incorporated in PCs now.

Not quite sure which part actually because plugging it into a different port worked just fine and they are all connected to the same chip.

Cool, sounds like it might be the overcurrent protection like on my chargers as those too are per port. Nice feature to have.

It’s not that USB ports themselves overhead. It’s that USB cases are usually built with no proper heat dissipation. See e.g. 1, 2, 3 for examples how people add fans to USB cases so that they do decent cooling.

Maybe the connectors themselves get rather hot?

Hi stuberman,

I’m completly new to this but I’m looking to host a node at my place. I have Raspberry Pi 4B - 4GB laying around and I’m looking for a good hard drive to buy for this.

Can I actually connect a Western Digital 14TB HC530 drive to a Raspberry Pi and use it as a valid node?

My apologies for the noobish question.

I don’t see why not… You just need a SATA 3 interface and power.
Check out this example. Since I do not use a raspberry Pi maybe other members like @twl can add perspective.

2 Likes

that example that stuberman provided, is for a setup with an Odroid-H2+, which is a bit more powerful than a Raspberry Pi, has native SATA ports, and currently are hard to find due to the market shortages.

Here’s an example of an external HDD case that you could use that has it’s own power supply and can connect to a raspberry pi via USB. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013WODZH0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

3 Likes

Yep, you need a SATA to USB external enclosure (or adapter or dock) since the Raspi lacks SATA ports. Make sure to get an enclosure/adapter/dock with its own power supply unit.

2 Likes