What is the most economical way of running a storage node?

I am running 2 storage nodes at home for some time: one AcePC with 2TB 2.5" HDD and one Raspberry Pi 3 with 8 TB 3.5" external HDD. I am looking at expanding my SNO setup.

I am curious to hear of examples of economical storage node setups that people already run successfully.

Have a look at this thread while others post their replies :slight_smile:

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I guess it depends what you mean by economical.

Reusing preexisting hardware is probably very economical versus buying a new rig.
I assume Raspberry PI is generally very economical - but I don’t know the downsides (reliability, capacity, etc)
I don’t know what an AcePC is…
I think the crux of the issue is capital expense (new HDDs) and operational expenses (like power).
Trying to factor in reliability is a wild card - I am looking at buying a small UPS for automated shutdown to protect the nodes during a power problem and condition the power during surges and brownouts.
Depending upon the demand for Storj - another wild card is the capacity we need, I assume larger drives (if needed) are more economical (per byte and in terms of resource usage). My sweet spot (assuming demand will be there) is a stack of 14 TB HDDs which are relatively cheap right now (~$200 each)

I have 2 of my nodes running on hardware I already had and was already on 24/7. A 12-bay Synology DS3617xs and a 4-bay Drobo 2nd gen.

I’m using spare space on those two devices. Their normal use is mostly backup and all with low performance requirements. The only difference to me is whether the disks are busy or not, which is probably fairly negligible.

I have one external USB enclosure with a 2TB disk running as a third node as well. That does pull power just for running a node, but it’s probably fairly cheap.

Both the Drobo and the external USB drive are connected to the Synology, which runs all three nodes on the same CPU. So that’s about as efficient you can get I guess.

The other side of it being economical is that I started with spare HDD space I already had. But I’ve since bought 2x 16TB HDD’s from Storj income alone. Since my node is only using about 13TB atm, it already paid for it’s own storage twice over. At this point I’m actually paying for the expansion I need for personal uses with Storj as well. Because of that I can make sure I always have enough disk space, no matter how much Storj wants to use.

The nodes are currently the following sizes:

  • Syno: 24TB
  • Drobo: 1.5TB
  • Ext.USB: 1.9TB

But both the Syno and Drobo can be expanded and both will be when Storj starts using more space.
The external USB node is actually running on an HDD that was marked as failed by my Drobo. However it seems to be working fine. The Drobo registers serials of HDD’s it rejected and refuses to accept it back. I’m guessing it had a URE or something and the Drobo is just very strict about that. I ran a ton of SMART tests on it and surface scans and it seems to be completely fine. Since it’s too small to adopt in the array in my Synology, I figured I might as well put it to some good use as a separate node. It’s been running without a single audit failure for 3 months now. I don’t expect it to fail soon. But if it does, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s a small node anyway and I have 2 more to take over from it.

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I have a home server that I use for storj.
Used it a lot quite some time ago to download stuff, but with netflix it has mainly become my backup server and am running services like nextcloud.

Since I barely download anymore I have a lot of free space available for storj. It is all existing hardware, so I guess it is economical. The only thing I bought recently was a 1 TB hdd to use as boot drive, storj does not run on that

Currently: Thinkpad X61 (13 years old (!)), downclocked (otherwise it would overheat… but also draws less power this way!), running Debian Stable, with an internal 8-year-old 1TB drive and an external 6TB drive over USB. The USB drive hosts a new node, so it doesn’t bring much back, but the internal drive is full with Storj data.

About 25W on a meter, which amounts to about 2.3 USD / month in power usage by the local tariff. Given the laptop also acts as a local file server, not bad.

I used to have a node based on a dedicated machine I rented at Hetzner for other purposes, but I no longer needed the machine, so I gave up on the node as well.

also serves as a ups if it has a battery :smiley:

Indeed! Though I admit the battery only has maybe 20% of its original capacity.

enough to gracefully shut down your notebook probably. (if configured)

have you tried giving it an oil change…
i discovered it greatly helps with the heat xD i had a few old laptops that gave me grief for ages… then after a good deal of wasted time i discovered that the fans can be taken completely off their strator, and giving it a tiny drop of oil will do wonders for the fan to actually keep up it’s speed… maybe it is oiled from the manufacturer but cooks off over the years… anyways it’s helped my old laptops alot

I have a full spare fan for this model somewhere in my closet. I just can’t be bothered to find it… just like I’m too lazy to repaste it, which would probably also help. It works and downclocking keeps temperature below 50°C on the CPU, so that’s good enough.

Do you mind sharing what 14TB drive do you get where for $200?

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I’m gonna go out on a limb and say “SMR” :wink:

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Not sure about 14TB, but there was a promo on 12TB drives at amazon.de: https://de.camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07VXKF1L4

I am seeing them on ebay (WD data center drives HC530 14 TB - not SMR)

I sent @donald.m.motsinger an example.

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i think there is a new variation of the smr drives out there that isn’t called smr… also something to keep in mind… they do seem quit affordable… but then again prices are always dropping in the storage market… maybe they simply amped up production and thus can squeeze prices…

the WD “WUH721414ALE604” are not SMR, the smaller drives might be, the trick is to get the overstock on ebay (new unused) and with this particular drive realize that the recent batches (built in April 2020) have the “Power Disable” feature which requires either a special rig or using a SATA to Molex power adapter that does not send 3.3v power to pins 1-3.


thats interesting… i had been wondering about that… also says its not always a problem…

sure is cheap tho, sadly from the states shipping is usually always a pain…

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Yeah, I recently bought a 240v UPS for my Storj rig, but almost all were in Europe or Asia and the shipping was outrageous. I finally found some in the US for a reasonable price, after putting them on my watch list, the seller offer me a big discount ($100 versus the original $150 with free shipping). A bit of patience often pays off.

BTW - For power disable I buy these connectors that provide two SATA power connectors from one Molex.

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