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alans
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July 25, 2011, 10:00:19 PM
 #1

One of the problems I'm facing and that I've read other miners facing is a lack of good locations to rent to house mining servers.

1) Power - running at home is great until you start tripping breakers.  Household AC just isn't designed for the loads a mining rig may want to pull.  DIY AC work can be dangerous and electricians cost a fortune. 

2) Security - Who wants to put a $2000 mining rig in someone else's basement?  How far do you want to push a friendship when you need to get to the hardware at 3:00am?

3) Heat - even all the fancy water cooling towers and stuff for best performance don't take heat out of the room.

There are lots of options for data center and co-location but typically these are really, really expensive.  Mining doesn't require a lot of bandwidth.  UPS/power backup just isn't cost effective for the amount of power mining uses.  So, a lot of the features standard in a data center just aren't worth the money to a miner.

So, here's the idea.  BitRack - someone in north dakota or somewhere else that has cheap commercial space rents a building or part of one and then sublets it to other miners.

Multiple 20amp circuits and outlets aren't typically a problem for commercial spaces.  It should be easy to accommodate mining in an old restaurant or light-industrial space.  These kinds of spaces also usually have good ventilation/cooling.

Most commercial spaces provide security features, card access, video and what not.

Providing basic data center service without having to pull multiple fiber connections should be pretty low maintenance. 

Basically what I'd like to see is a X BTC/Month for 4U and a dedicated 20 amp circuit, metered electric usage paid monthly with enough bandwidth to accommodate mining/remote admin access.  Maybe charge $1/reboot for services as a three-fingered-admin.  Costs include maintaining the space at a constant 72F or whatever.

There may be some problems.  For instance, what's to stop someone from hosting kiddy porn or illegal gambling site on the server sitting in your office space?

I'm sure the local UPS guy would get a little sick of lugging 80lb mining rigs in and out all day, but heck, that's his problem.

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July 25, 2011, 11:53:02 PM
 #2

Tis an interesting idea.  Shipping a rig with already-installed, extremely heavy video cards is a bad idea though, which means you would have to have people ship their rigs without the video cards installed, and you'd have to deal with installing them yourself.

You could charge a base amount for a tower, then additional based on electric usage.  With high usage throughout the facility, you should be able to negotiate with the local electric company down to rates like $0.03/kwh.  That would help make up the difference for what it costs to rent the facility.  You'd have to have a way to track total electric usage for each rig each month, which could end up being expensive.  Or you could do it the ghetto way, and just have each rig run through its own kill-a-watt, writing down the data each month and resetting it.

You could offer "rig reset" requests, so that if someone needs a hard reset done on their rig, they submit a request through some web panel, and then next time you are at the data center, you can reset the rig manually.  Or better yet, rig up some sort of PLC that is controllable from the web interface that allows them to cut power to the machine if they like.  Just remind them to set their BIOS to power-on after power loss prior to shipping the machine to you.

One potential problem is having each rig on the same network.  I suppose you could say that each person is responsible for their own rig's security, but that could fall apart if someone hacks into another person's server from their own server and hosts something illegal on it.

I'm not sure there's enough margin in in mining anymore to make something like this profitable, but let's take a look.

Take a typical mining rig:  A Sempron with 3 5850's.  It probably draws about 500w under full load mining.  Ok, so charge a base fee of $25 and $0.15/kwh.  Assume that your actual electric costs are $0.035/kwh, and that you use twice the actual electric draw per rig (to counter the heat produced by the rig, you must have A/C to cool it).

This rig would cost you $25.20/month in electricity.  It would bring in $79/month in revenue (paid by the miner).  It would make the miner 0.61 BTC/day, conservatively (assuming 333MH/s from each of them), or about 18.33/month.  At today's prices, that's $256.66.

So the miner makes $177.66 profit, you make $53.80 profit.

How many such rigs would you need to employ to cover the rent of a facility?  Probably not a whole lot, as small rental offices can be had in my area for a few hundred a month.  8 rigs might be enough to cover the rent for a small office area, and a 9th to cover the internet expense.  But, you'll likely have to upgrade the A/C and electrical prior to starting the project as well, which means higher capital costs that must be eventually recovered.

Interesting thoughts though.  I think there's definitely a market for it, but it might be difficult to find someone willing to take on the risk of spending a bunch of money on remodeling a rental whose sole revenue is reliant upon bitcoin mining continuing to be a profitable operation.
alans
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July 26, 2011, 01:53:48 AM
 #3

This should solve any ac metering/control issues:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120333

IT meters usage and allows remote switching of power.  Could probably find a lest robust version for less $.  I've seen a fairly cheap kill-a-watt with built in cost tracking (program $/kwh and it just shows a running total until reset.

Commercial space where I'm living hasn't been cheaper since the early 80's.  Most places are willing to remodel to suit and would provide the AC/HVAC if not free then at a reasonable rate.

Maybe charge a $50 setup fee to cover installing cards and mounting in the rack.  Also maybe require a $50 deposit for return freight so nobody says you're holding their system hostage.  Just tell me when to ship it back to you and away it goes.
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July 26, 2011, 02:08:33 AM
 #4

I've considered setting up a commercial lot here -- electricity being only 0.048 for a commercial lot is plenty cheap enough to consider renting out some server space.

The problem is initial investment money.

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notme
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July 26, 2011, 06:12:53 AM
 #5

I've considered setting up a commercial lot here -- electricity being only 0.048 for a commercial lot is plenty cheap enough to consider renting out some server space.

The problem is initial investment money.

Talk to IBB, or just do an IPO on GLBSE.  I would buy stock in that.  I may even compete with you one day Wink.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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bluefirecorp
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July 26, 2011, 06:27:40 AM
 #6

I've considered setting up a commercial lot here -- electricity being only 0.048 for a commercial lot is plenty cheap enough to consider renting out some server space.

The problem is initial investment money.

Talk to IBB, or just do an IPO on GLBSE.  I would buy stock in that.  I may even compete with you one day Wink.

Lol, I wish. Believe it or not, I'm not much into business. I know a lot about computers. I understand basic economics (a tiny bit more than the average Joe), but I don't know how it'd all be setup. Stock for mining rigs (1 gigahash) that's invested or overall. I honestly don't have a clue where to start. If anyone has an idea, then send me a PM. Thanks Smiley

~bluefirecorp

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mc_lovin
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July 26, 2011, 12:25:16 PM
 #7

Pretty cool idea, if you had remote access and whatnot, I'd be down to try out a service like that.

SgtSpike
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July 26, 2011, 03:49:25 PM
 #8

I've considered setting up a commercial lot here -- electricity being only 0.048 for a commercial lot is plenty cheap enough to consider renting out some server space.

The problem is initial investment money.

Talk to IBB, or just do an IPO on GLBSE.  I would buy stock in that.  I may even compete with you one day Wink.
I may do just that, if the person I am counting on for funding falls through.

Still doing market research to find out how much it is actually wanted/needed though: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=31761.0
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July 28, 2011, 03:38:16 AM
 #9

Here in Argentina we have almost free electricity (subsidized by the government). In fact in my office building, each company has a filing room about 100 sq ft that has 100% free electricity (hooked up into the general building meter). If someone wants to make the investment for an electrician to run CAT5 cable down there I wouldn't mind hosting some mining rigs in there and give you free juice.

You'll have to ship the mining rigs to Argentina, though, or else buy a new computer here.
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