An idea - Mining hosting
An idea to offer mining hosting, your feedback appreciated First a little bit about us(??)Pulsed Media
is a smallish specialized niche hosting company. There is 2 of us working daily on tasks, and we got quite an nice market share for our niche. We do well by our automation and methods to increase stability, performance and usability above all others
I've been familiar with bitcoin for over a year, but have not been doing anything related to bitcoin, letting it to mature a little bit more
Recently, i've setup my first ~1.4Ghash of power, and waiting for GPUs to arrive for another 1.7Ghash. This is just for testing before starting to roll out a cluster.Plans for a cluster?
The plans immediately shifter towards building a cluster, autonomously managed etc. This requires a little bit of sofware development, but nothing we couldn't handle to build quite fast if we put our minds into it and put some time & effort to it. Just something like 50-80hrs of efficient work for internal system built fully Hashing contracts ... Cluster ... This gave me an idea
I saw the hashing contracts and their outrageously high pricing, i mean, more than the mining income is! :O Like WTF? (No offense meant, but really ... Charging HW + Electricity + 100% Margin? and you get to keep the HW!)
Ok, you are free to ask for whatever you want, and if you still get business - Good for you!
They are also quite opaque offers, little background info etc. force for 3 month contracts etc.
Why not offer properly?We got space - We got contacts - We got (some) budget - and most of all, we are established
We are an already established business so there is plenty of BG info about us, we are stable and always looking to expand. So there is certain safety about what we got to offer, and we got established routines for managing a mass of customers in terms of support, and administrative tasks.We got plenty of space and power!
We got roughly 150m2 space which is 4.4m free height, and mostly 5m high, also we got plenty of power. Currently we got installed capacity of 14kW, but being in a industrial building means we can install more with a week of notice, and the upper limit is quite high (being a big industrial building), probably 100kW+. Despite being off-net location we can get there atleast 100Mbps connectivity as well, if not faster, if required.
This space is currently used just for building custom computer chassis', warehousing and other kind of DIY projects. It's rented as cold, so during winters we anyways need some heating there! It gets really cold here during winters, peaking out at around -30C, and regularly over -20C. Summers tho might hit 40C (on direct sunlight), but this space is slightly cooler than outside during summers
Heat will be somewhat of an issue during summers, ambient hitting 35C or so, but downclocking HW should handle that without installing any kind of AC
We already got several outlets for venting air to outside in the wall too, one of them being "damn big". and ceiling being high means there is always room for the heated air to rise and transfer through the ceiling.Contacts
We got contacts to local refurb. hardware dealers, meaning we can reseller rates(=REAL cheap) on older hardware with 2x or more PCI-E connectors, fans, memory, cpus (ie. Celerons with heatsink just 5€ inc. VAT!). So some of the hardware can be built on REAL CHEAP.
We also get access to wholesalers so we get under market pricing. As a registered business VAT will be returned to us in a few months (23%). And this being Finland -> there is quite a lot of competition in computer hardware pricing, and relative to population there is a lot of computer stores :OSome budget
We got also a steady budget to invest into new hardware, which does not affect the day to day operations. The same budget would just go somewhere else instead (ie. marketing, or 3rd party development). We could easily add several Ghash/s each month without selling any BTC, or without any revenue from hosting.In practice
First of we need to add to the available space some shelves etc. nothign major, some exhaust fans, cabling and acquire a steady reliable internet connection there (not some 3G shaky one). 3G could work in the interim, maybe with mining pool proxy (haven't looked into it yet).
Then we can immediately shelve around 12kW-13kW worth of hardware (leaving a bit of room for peaks ie. rebooting etc.).
Add some remote management HW (VPN Gateway, remote reboot etc.).
And build up our software and monitoring. Build an nice interface for end users. This being the major work, maybe not in terms of hours, but how much thought needs to be given to it.How would it work for end users, AKA Customers
When you buy up, you would get an interface where you configure your pools you want to use. It would show the number of cards, and give you ways to distribute among pools, or add weight to pools and it automaticly distributes or uses just as a backup some of them.
You would also see graphs of actual Mhash/s you are getting, and can upgrade/downgrade anytime.
This could potentially work on a Mhash based billing as well, allowing us to choose the most efficient HW possible and billed hourly. Billing hourly would give the user a "upper limit" selection for Mhash/s, and actual Mhash rate would be charged, no need for separate SLA. If monthly rate, then some kind of SLA needs to be provided.
If we cannot flexibly control the rate of Mhash/s (ie. stable multiple instances per GPU and using Aggression to determine rought Mhash/s rate. Something i've not even tested), customers would choose something like Low-end GPU, Mid-Range GPU, High-End GPU and number of them. Definitions being something like under 200Mhash/s, 200 to 350Mhash/s, above 350Mhash/s. However that would complicate matters, and more fine-grained control is best idea to develop.Pricing
Due to heavy investment required (GPUs ain't that cheap afterall), pricing would consist of a setup fee and monthly(or hourly) rate.
An example pricing mostly out of my head:
0.25€ per Mhash/s setup fee and then 0.5€ per Mhash/s per month. So for 200Mhash/s the 1st month price would be 150€, 2nd month 100€.
1Ghash/s would be 250€ setup, 500€ monthly. (afterall with 3x6950s consuming over 600W alone).
Option 2 could be higher setup fee lower monthly:
0.50€ per Mhash/s and then 0.3€ per Mhash/s per month.
1Ghash/s would then be: 500€ setup, 300€ monthly.
On monthly options: Stop the rental, and you have to pay setup all over again if you want to continue.
On hourly basis we could charge just one time setup fee, which ups your upper limit for Mhash/s.
0.35€ Per Mhash/s setup fee. Minimum 50Mhash/s increments.
0.0009€ Per Mhash/s per hour. Minimum 50Mhash/s.
1Ghash/s per hour would be: 350€ setup fee, 0.9€ per hour.
Accounts would have to preload credit, at minimum 50€ worth per time.
All payments in BTC or EUR.Mass discounts
We could give mass discounts for those who get high numbers.
Say, if you pay setup for more than 2Ghash/s, for all above that we could lower the per Mhash setup rate by 0.05€ or something like that Scaling
Hourly rate might be easier to handle scaling in business sense, if charging is based on the actual received. (Say averaging per 5mins and so forth).
So if we get tapped, we can allow people to get setup for their chosen amount, and then we go get more HW. Ofc, if we are completely out and cannot roll extra capacity fast enough we would need to halt new setups.Why would we do this - looks like charity to me?
Setup fees. Simple as that. Allows us to add more HW on the line faster, and we get to keep ownership of the HW for resale if they become useless and for other customers.
Sure, you will earn more than you are paying us, but we also get multiple streams of revenue, and can tap into non-techy markets by making it simple enough! People who have no clue, or cannot setup their own mining rigs.
Sooo, what do you think?