Satellite as a service

Therefore, Blackburn is always on the lookout for another method to move petabyte-scale data.

I am sure they are aware of cloud offerings like Wasabi and others which are cheaper than AWS.
So probably that’s still too expensive and not a good fit for their use cases. It was even said that the final data lies on Googles cloud.
But what if the offer would be that they could build their own data center by running their own satellite? I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of astronomy enthusiasts who would be more than willing to run a node for their passion/hobby/work.
So I am wondering if instead of selling storage to them which Storj would probably not get anyways, it may be interesting to sell running a satellite to them so that they would have their own worldwide data center.


This sounds like a Community satellite, where nodes likely wouldn’t have a reward.
Perhaps they can participate in the Community Satellite program?

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Generally yes. But my guess is that they would not want to to mess with cryptos, payouts, managing satellites and databases. Therefore the idea of the offer to manage everything for them.

I have read here, that Storj already provides satellites on customer request:

We have seen growing interest from customers that want to bring their own
hard drives, or be extremely choosy about the nodes they are willing to work
with. The current way we are solving this is spinning up private Satellites
that are configured to only work with the nodes those customers provide, but
it would be better if we didn’t have to start custom Satellites for this.

I have no idea if the economics would work. But the idea would be that Storj manages the tech and get a fixed price for that while the customer can add as many nodes as he can get at prices he can set and has the entire capacity available at his disposal. Maybe paying nodes with their own crypto or if the node operators are enthusiasts, paying them less or even nothing at all.
We know from SETI and Folding@home that many people are willing to donate their tech for nothing.

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Yes, I shared your proposal with the team.
I just think that if they are enthusiasts they can run it themselves too and maybe in less costs.
Probably the low amount of nodes could be a problem - it will not be so performant as Storj public network or Storj Select. So it would likely better to use a Storj public network instead (I’m sure they have enthusiasts over the world, not only in USA).

I mean the node operators. For example: The people running the EHT need a lot of storage space for cheap prices. Running a satellite and the Storj tech might be a good fit and interesting but they don’t want to manage the satellite, they don’t want to manage node operators, cryptos and payouts etc. And Storj has a lot of experience with that.
So they make a contract with Storj and delegate all that work to Storj.
The one thing EHT would need to do is to get nodes to sign up for that satellite.
I bet some of the already existing node operators would add space even if not paid. But also there would be the community of astronomers. I don’t know how large that is but probably hundreds of thousands world wide. From the hobby astronomer to the professional plus thousands of people like we saw from SETI or folding who just do it for the fun.
These people I had in mind as enthusiasts who might be willing to operate a node for low if they feel it is for a good cause.

As said. I don’t know if that would work. Of course I would prefer it more if astronomers, observatories and especially the EHT would upload their data onto the existing Storj networks. But if they run their own satellites, maybe it could become really cheap for them so that apart from the tech it could be an interesting alternative to what they use today.

I don’t know if that person from the article is still in charge, but maybe she can be found on LinkedIn or something.

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I like the idea of community satellites. But no project or org would store important data on a community-cloud-storage where the SNOs were completely unpaid. There needs to be money involved as an incentive for node operator not to just leave at the drop of a hat (and take that important data with them).

Remember when trolls threatened to strike even thought they were getting paid?

I could see Storj running a separate satellite for someone like the EHT project where EHTs costs was significantly below retail pricing… and the SNOs that opt-in to that satellite also get paid significantly less as well. But they need to be paid something… or as soon as EHT does something the community dislikes it would cost that community nothing to simply delete all that important black hole data.

Like maybe EHT would pay $0.50/TB and the SNOs that opt-in got $0.10/TB? Storj still needs to make money managing everything.

(Hmmm… as soon as satellites may have different payout rates: would SNOs just dump the cheaper satellites as their nodes fill up?)

Maybe I changed my mind. I thought I liked the idea of community satellites… but perhaps it could never work long-term?

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I’d say let’s leave it up to the customer of the satellite. As suggested, it would be up to them what they pay and how much. The case for EHT would be also different maybe, because I would not believe they would stop recording data on hard disks. So they would still hold a copy of the original data.

I do not believe that enthusiasts from the astronomy community would dump the data of the black hole image. And I do not believe they would run nodes for the sake of earning $0.50 per TB.
But generally speaking for community satellites, yes of course if there is one satellite that pays big and the other doesn’t pay, the cheaper one might have to raise payout rates. That is kind of node marketing.
There could also be the idea to pay node operator tokens. I mean not Storj, but own branding. That would cost close to nothing. I mean we also don’t get paid fiat.
Such a customer could create a EHT token for payouts.

Of course. And them getting paid did not prevent that.

But payment did prevent a “strike”. People posture and say dumb stuff all the time on the Internet: those types of idle threats are what some do for fun :wink: . And… when money was on the line… the trolls didn’t take their storage offline. They chose the cash.

If you want data to persist on the Internet: be paying someone to preserve it for you. Or roll-the-dice and understand communities can be fickle… especially those with no skin-in-the-game :money_mouth_face:

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Everyone has their motives. Again, I’d leave it up to the customer of the satellite-as-a-service to make that decision.

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is possible. What they need is to contact sales.

Maybe it would be an idea to add it to the website. Something like white label solutions or private datacenter solutions or something.
New satellites could bring new opportunities for SNOs and maybe additional revenue for Storj.

This requires negotiations, especially “white label”. So they must contact the team. And they have a lot of opportunities to do so, starting with a Partners page and ending with a sing-up page.

Of course. But potential customers must know about that this option even exists.
Like the example that I have given:

Yep, this is why I shared your idea with the team. However, I believe that a low income clients would not be a high priority unfortunately. So it’s possible that If you would notify them about the opportunity, it would be much better.