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Guide to using the SIA-UI for Hosting ( farming )


 

Overview

Farming is the term we are going to use when you are renting your free space to others. 

Hosts (also called farmers) hold data on the Sia network. They get paid to perform this important task, and ultimately form the backbone of the data network called Sia.

In this article, I will show how to rent your free space. Once you get your Siacoins ($SC), it is up to you to trade them on exchange or hold.

SIA FARMING WARNING AND INFORMATION

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU REVIEW THE ENTIRE TUTORIAL BEFORE, TAKE ADVICE OF THE DAYS PER DAY CASE STUDY AND CONSULT THE ADDITIONAL LINKS AT THE END OF THE TUTORIAL BEFORE STARTING SIACOIN FARMING .

I DON'T RECOMMEND TO BUY COMPUTER EQUIPMENT IN THE THRESHOLD PURPOSE OF FARMER OF SIACOIN. USE A PC WHICH MAY OPERATE 24/24 AND HAS THE DISC SPACE NOT USED TO START.

IN TIME OF WRITING THIS TUTORIAL, THE USE OF THE SIA NETWORK IS STILL ONLY 2%. AS A MORE SUPPLY THAN  DEMAND, THE PRICES OF THE FILE HOSTING ARE NOT VERY HIGH FOR NOW.

IF YOU COMMITS YOU TO BECOME A FILE HOST FOR SIA, YOU DO IT AS AN EARLY ADOPTER. 

THE AUTHOR ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOST YOU MAY CAUSE.

What do i need to farm Siacoin?

There are some requisites to start hosting.

Requirements : 

  • An installed and preferably fully synced with the blockchain Sia client (SIA-UI).

Download Sia-UI for Windows 64 Bit at  : http://sia.tech/apps/

  • A wallet already unlocked.

You need create or recover a Sia wallet.

  • A minimum of 2000 sc for setting up Collateral. 

However more collateral will be required for hosting large amounts of data. 

You can purchase SC from exchange and send siacoin to your sia-ui wallet.

  • At least 20 Gb of free space to offer.

  • A static public IP address. Otherwise renters will not be able to reach the host if the internet provider changes your IP over time.

 Alternatively, a DNS domain pointing to the hosting computer can be used. There are available several free DNS providers, for example NoIP.com.

  • Ports 9981 and 9982 open in the firewall and port-fowarded in the router to the hosting computer.

  • A reliable connection, with the hosting computer being available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. An availability of 97% of the time (uptime) is required.

SLA level of 97 % uptime/availability gives the following periods of potential downtime/unavailability:

Daily : 43m 12.0s
Weekly : 5h 2m 24.0s
Monthly : 21h 54m 52.4s

  • Keeping the integrity of the data is the sole responsibility of the host, and accidental (or intended) data loss will incur in economic damage for the host (collateral being lost). 

While not a requirement, keeping the hosted data in a redundancy scheme, like a RAID array, is advisable.

  • For the same reason, it is advisable to do frequent backups of the metadata stored on the Sia folders “Host”, “Wallet” and “Transactions” (on Windows, located in %Appdata%/SIA-UI). ​

In case of a computer crash, these files are required together with the hosting folders to restore the host.

Networking and Port-Forwarding.

In my case I have a residential Internet connection and a dynamic ip address that changes after a certain number of days.

Here are the steps to setup an fixed ip address in the local home network  :  

  • Do the Win + R key combination (The Windows + R will show you the "RUN" box where you can type commands to either pull up a program.)

  • Type the word "cmd" and press "Enter".

  • Type the word "ipconfig" and press "Enter".

Take note of the curent ip address, network mask and gateway.

  • Open Network and Sharing Center from Control Panel.

  • Choose Change adapter settings on the left side of the screen.

  • Double-click the connection in question.

  • Open Properties.

  • Double-click the IPv4 item from the list.

  • Set the new ip address for one that is outside the DHCP range of your router to avoid address conflities in the future.

  • Use the same Network Submask and Gateway than previeusly obtain by ipconfig.

  • By myself i change the DNS server for the google public for fast resolve  8.8.8.8  & 8.8.4.4

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  • Click "OK", normally your pc get this address each time than start.

Here are the time to add port forwarding to your fixed ip address  :  

Unfortunately as there are too many different router model I can not guide you in this step.

  • You need to forward all incoming internet traffic from ports 9981 and 9982 (TCP) to your local desktop ip address.

Setting up the host

  • Install and sync the SIA-UI on your computer.

  • Create or recover a Sia wallet.

  • Unlock the wallet with your password.

  • You need a  minimum of 2000 sc for setting up Collateral. 

What is Collateral?

Hosts are expected to put up collateral on data that they store. Typical peer to peer hosting networks struggle with churn, frequently because hosts get bored and leave. Sia handles this in two ways. First, hosts are paid for not leaving. But second, hosts promise not to leave by putting up some of their own money as collateral which is forfeit if the host leaves before the contract is completed.

Most of the hosting operations can be performed on the “Hosting” tab of the UI, but there are certain advanced operations that need to be done in the Terminal (or in a Command Line Interface).

Before determining the price for my space and bandwidth, a visit to siahub is necessary.

You can compare the offers of your competitors and positioned you at a reasonable price according to the current market.

https://siahub.info/

You can click on specific host to see what is the price and other valuable information.

For this exemple : https://siahub.info/host/1848

Storage Folders

For my first hosting test we have only two 256GB hard drive in miroir ( RAID 1) to prevent data lost.

  • Add Storage folder

Folders for storing the renter’s files can be added, removed and resized in this section. If a folder containing data is made smaller than its contents, or removed, the contents will be automatically moved to other folders with available space.

  • Choose the Size in GB

You can set the prices from the hosting tab but is remain more easy from the Terminal

  • Go to terminal for customize the host config.

Write each command for specify the desired value for each config item : 

AS WITH ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS TUTORIAL YOU ARE ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOICE OF EACH VALUE IN SC OF HOST CONFIG ITEM.

THE AUTHOR ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOST YOU MAY CAUSE.

  • siac host config maxduration 13weeks

in weeks, at least 12

Max Duration (in weeks): The maximum duration of file contracts the host will accept. By default, the UI for renters makes 13 week-long contracts. However advanced users may try to make longer or shorter contracts, so it is in the hand of the host deciding if accepting those longer contracts.

  • siac host config collateral 100SC

in SC / TB / Month, 10-1000

Collateral (in SC/TB/month): the collateral is a guarantee you offer to the renter that his data will be available and intact during the whole contract. If files are deleted, or the 97% uptime is not met, the collateral will be lost.

  • siac host config collateralbudget 2000SC

in SC,

Collateralbudget (in SC): The maximum amount of collateral you want to offer for all your contracts. Once exhausted, you will not accept new contracts.

  • siac host config maxcollateral 1000SC

in SC, max per contract

  • siac host config mincontractprice 0.1SC

Mincontractprice (in SC): Minimal contract that will be accepted by the host.

  • siac host config mindownloadbandwidthprice 25SC

in SC / TB

  • siac host config minstorageprice 150SC

in SC / TB

Storage price (in SC/TB/month): The pricing for storing the files.

  • siac host config minuploadbandwidthprice 25SC

in SC / TB

Is now time to set my hostname and port.

  • siac host announce th3f4tc4t.ddns.net:9982

I have create a dynamic dns prior on no-ip named Th3f4tc4t.ddns.net and i have set the port to 9982 for this ppecific  SIA-UI

 Note : This cmd swich to on the "Accepting Contract"

  • siac host -v  

This cmd show your host internal setting and contract information.

Note : After 15 minutes, your host appears online if you no-ip point to the good ip and port forwarding is well!

You can find now your host on the SiaHub database : 

Payments and Host monitoring

Over time, contracts will be formed with renters. With every contract formed, the collateral to back it will become locked, and so an outbound transaction will be shown in the transactions history. Space disk is not reserved until files are actually uploaded.

  • If the host successfully pass the Proofs of Storage, showing he kept the files intact with an uptime of about 97%, by the end of the contract: all the storage and bandwidth costs are paid to the host, the collateral is returned and the 3.9% of collateral fees are paid back by the renter.

  • If the contract is not successful: storage and bandwidth costs are not paid, collateral is not returned and the collateral fees are not returned, being finally paid by the host. It makes no difference if the host was available a 0% or a 90% of the time: if the contract fails, all payments and collateral is lost for that contract

Problem #1  keep the SIA-UI and SIAD up to date!

Wallet Version: 1.2.2  Wallet is outdated, don't forget to upgrade your wallet to 1.3.0

Solution from the terminal for the SIAC: 

  • siac update

  • Now Quit SIA-UI

  • Starting SIA-UI again.

Note : The SIAD is now up-to-date but the SIA-UI remain to the previous version.

  • Optional : Download the latest version of the SIA-UI and override the old files for update the SIA-UI.

Note : You have now the lasted version of the SIAD and SIA-UI.

At the next update on siahub your wallet version is now the latest.

Potential problem #2 Score of my host and my rank.

Scoring hosts is a very important part of the Sia Network. Every host receives a score based on their participation. Having a better score will allow you to receive more contracts than others.

Uptime

Having your host available and accessible most of the time is very important. The max your system needs to be available is 98% of the time. There is no direct benefit for having more than that. This allows you have about 14 hours of downtime a month for system maintenance.

If your uptime starts to decrease, you will be penalized for your offline time. There is not very much punishment for decreasing to 95% uptime. But if your system is not available more and more, the punishment against your host will get more severe.

Storage Pricing

Storage price is one of the most important parts of the scoring process. Renters will obviously consider price as they select hosts, and will be reflected in your score as such. Storage pricing is a smooth function, so decreasing your storage cost by 1% will have an impact.

Collateral Adjustment

When you form a contract with a renter, you must put up an amount of collateral. This amount is held in the blockchain and fore-fitted should the host not meet the obligations to store the data for the length of the contract. As such, offering a higher collateral amount is preferential to the renters.

Version Adjustment

Running an older version of Sia will result in a lower score. Newer versions will have bug fixes, scaling improvements, performance improvements. This was implemented to encourage hosts to stay up to date on their installations.

Storage Remaining Adjustment

Long ago, there had been a problem with renters forming contracts with hosts that were low on space. This caused renters to form contracts but ultimately not be able to store data. Up to a point (more than 4TB available), hosts are rewarded with having more data available.

Lifetime Adjustments

Lifetime Adjustments will adjust the weight of the host according to the total amount of time that has passed since the host's original announcement. Being a host longer will result in a better score.

I finally decided to lower my starting price for space and reduce the upload costs on my server.

  • siac host config minstorageprice 50SC

  • siac host config minuploadbandwidthprice 15SC

Note : Conversion Rate is an indicator of the probability, due the scoring of the host, to be selected for new contracts.

For more information about host score on SiaHub please visit :

https://siahub.readme.io/docs/host-scorerank

At the next update on siahub your score and rank have changed.

After less than one day i have gained some ranks.

Because my host is new i have make others some change to get more contract due to the time penalty we affect my rank. After a few time i will raise the price of my hosting.

  • siac host config collateral 150SC
  • siac host config minuploadbandwidthprice 0SC

Estimated conversion rate: 0.9774356267512448% Host settings updated.

Day 2 : RANK 182 (1 Active Contracts) At the next update on siahub your score and rank have changed.

We have now 1 active contract

  • siac host -v  

Collateral fee appear on my wallet for this contract.

It's not really much but it's just the beginning.

Day 3 : RANK 147 (56 Active Contracts) At the next update on siahub your score and rank have changed.

For 56 active contacts i have 886Sc on collateral and only 5.6 potential sc earned by now if i sold no bandwidth :O

I decide to upgrade my minimum contract yo 0.2sc to see what can happened

  • siac host config mincontractprice 0.2SC

Finally i decide to drop to 125SC my collateral... with 0.92% of chance to have contract i take a change to put less in collateral!

Day 4 : RANK 108 (16 Active Contracts)

Since i have change collateral to 125 $SC minimum contract price i have less contract.
I choose to return to 0.1SC minimum contract and add 1 TB harddrive just for fun.

I have also upgraded my collateral budget to 4000.

BOOM! 1 hours later  RANK 30!  i upgrade my collateral budget to 6000SC!

And i choose to return my collateral to 150SC

Day 5 :  RANK 27 (33 Active Contracts 3.81 GB)

More Collateral fee appear on my wallet for new contacts

Day 6 :  RANK 25 (45 Active Contracts 4.30 GB)

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After soon a seventh day, my new host penalty is going to be greatly decreasing ... it's time to increase the price of file hosting to make more money.

  • siac host config minstorageprice 75SC

Day 7 :  RANK 58 (55 Active Contracts 5.88 GB)

Time to test if max duration help to get more contract and get best position with price more high.

  • siac host config maxduration 26weeks

Day 8 :  RANK 64 (65 Active Contracts 7.21 GB )

Day 9 :  RANK 67 (59 Active Contracts 9.7 GB )

To be continued...

Day 10 :  RANK 72 (63 Active Contracts 10.31 GB )

i decide to return back to 13 week.

  • siac host config maxduration 13weeks

Estimated conversion rate: 1.5306652875353655% Host settings updated.

Day 11 :  RANK 70 (69 Active Contracts 19.59 GB )

i decide to charge now 15SC for the upload.

  • siac host config minuploadbandwidthprice 15SC

Day 12 :  RANK 73 (103 Active Contracts 21.96 GB )

Day 13 :  RANK 77 (120 Active Contracts 22.7 GB )

I don't understand why.. my pc have never closed ?!?

Day 14 :  RANK 42 (128 Active Contracts 22.81 GB )

Day 15 :  RANK 40  (154 Active Contracts 24.26 GB )

I have adjusted the storage price finally to 85sc and upload from 15 to 25sc... 

The conversion rate remain good vs 100sc for storage. I supposed to return to the 70th rank.

Day 16 :  RANK 72  (159 Active Contracts 34.07 GB )

Day 17 :  RANK 75  (165 Active Contracts 37.56 GB )

Day 18 :  RANK 84  (172 Active Contracts 46.31 GB )

Day 19 :  RANK 84  (196 Active Contracts 56.48 GB )

Day 20 :  RANK 83  (196 Active Contracts 66.53 GB )

Day 21 :  RANK 84  (196 Active Contracts 73.57 GB )

Day 22 :  RANK 84  (196 Active Contracts 73.87 GB )

 

Problem : I don't have new contract because i have not enough collateral budget.

I have 6000SC locked. It is totally normal to lock a large amount of SC for a few Gb of data. The problem is that renters usually make very big allowances and then they just use a small fraction of it. You lock the collateral for the whole allowance of the renter even if the renter do not store a single file... You can have 50x times in locked collateral than "risked collateral" (the collateral really backing up the files uploaded to your host). SO more or less only a 2% of the contract sizes are being used

i have transfer 7217 aditional sc to my host.

  • siac host config collateralbudget 13000SC

I also lowering the number of collateral... (I suppose to go at rank 100-110 at the next update)

  • siac host config collateral 125SC

Day 23 :  RANK 93  (202 Active Contracts 75.02 GB )

I lowering the number of collateral and limit to 100SC for one contract the max collateral...

  • siac host config maxcollateral 100SC
  • siac host config collateral 115SC

  • siac host config maxcollateral 50SC

Day 24 :  RANK 98 (208 Active Contracts 76.36 GB )

Day 25 :  RANK 94 (211 Active Contracts 79.72 GB )

Chose to return the max collateral to 100SC for get more contract... (for huge allowance and collarteral) 

  • siac host config maxcollateral 100SC

Day 25 :  RANK 97 (211 Active Contracts 79.78 GB )

Chose to return to the original setting  and drop the hosting price to rank a litle bit more.

  • siac host config maxcollateral 1000SC

  • siac host config minstorageprice 80SC

Day 26 :  RANK 83 (213 Active Contracts 81.49 GB )

Day 27 :  RANK 44 (222 Active Contracts 81.54 GB )

Now that my rank is better, I can increase a little bit my price.

  • siac host config mindownloadbandwidthprice 35SC

Day 28 :  RANK 48 (231 Active Contracts 83.06 GB )

Now that my rank is not bad is time to increase a little bit my price.

  • siac host config collateral 110SC
  • siac host config minuploadbandwidthprice 30SC

Day 29 :  RANK 49 (255 Active Contracts 83.78 GB )

Day 30 :  RANK 50 (256 Active Contracts 86.46 GB )

Day 31 :  RANK 50 (269 Active Contracts / 97.85 GB / 57.18 SC expected)

Day 32 :  RANK 52 (275 Active Contracts / 99.55 GB / 58.24 SC expected)

Day 34 :  RANK 60 (305 Active Contracts / 107.39 GB / 63.29 SC expected)

Day 35 :  RANK 59 (319 Active Contracts / 122.08 GB / 68.73 SC expected)

Day 36 :  RANK 59 (328 Active Contracts / 132.81 GB / 73.16 SC expected)

Day 37 :  RANK 60 (330 Active Contracts / 142.29 GB / 75.35 SC expected)

Day 38 :  RANK 58 (344 Active Contracts / 151.05 GB / 80.28 SC expected)

Day 39 :  RANK 58 (357 Active Contracts / 162.03 GB / 83.43 SC expected)

Day 40 :  RANK 58 (361 Active Contracts / 175.14 GB / 87.41 SC expected)

Day 41 :  RANK 63 (375 Active Contracts / 184.70 GB / 91.72 SC expected)

Day 42 :  RANK 38 (380 Active Contracts / 205.04 GB / 97.41 SC expected)

Note : Possible end of the host age penalty after 6 week... 

Two choice possible :

First increase the minstorage price to 90sc

or i can increase the price for download and upload...

With the estimated conversion rate i have finally chose to upgrade the download and upload to 40sc an leave the minstorage price at 80sc for now.

Day 43 :  RANK 44 (382 Active Contracts / 215.47 GB / 100.32 SC expected)

Day 44 :  RANK 60 (382 Active Contracts / 215.47 GB / 100.44 SC expected)

Day 45 :  RANK 66 (263 Active Contracts / 217.46 GB / 101.39 SC expected)

Because I have increased the price of hosting I have to upgrade my collateral.

Day 46 :  RANK 49 (268 Active Contracts / 219.14 GB / 102.49 SC expected)

I only have 8000sc left in my wallet so if it left at 800 each time I will run out of sc.

Day 47 :  RANK 46 (273 Active Contracts / 223.80 GB / 104.81 SC expected)

Day 48 :  RANK 47 (278 Active Contracts / 228.23 GB / 106.61 SC expected)

Day 49 :  RANK 49 (292 Active Contracts / 242.38 GB / 110.11 SC expected)

Day 50 :  RANK 53 (293 Active Contracts / 244.304 GB / 110.76 SC expected)

Day 53 :  RANK 63 (349 Active Contracts / 275.99 GB / 127.56 SC expected)

Day 56 :  RANK 74 (544 Active Contracts / 317.10 GB / 159.33 SC expected)

Day 60 :  RANK 79 (383 Active Contracts / 347.10 GB / 169.53 SC expected)

Day 63 :  RANK 78  (383 Active Contracts / 353.10 GB / 171.38 SC expected)

No new contract because i have spend all of my 20000sc as collateral budget.

  • siac host config collateralbudget 28000SC

To continue...

Other valuable sources of information :

https://siawiki.tech/host/using_the_ui_for_hosting

https://siawiki.tech/host/hosting

http://inside-out.xyz/technology/farming-with-sia-in-my-desktop.html

https://blog.sia.tech/how-to-run-a-host-on-sia-2159ebc4725

https://forum.sia.tech/topic/1037/the-hosting-handbook

https://github.com/NebulousLabs/Sia/tree/master/siac

asked Aug 11, 2017 in Farming Sia by karl_kauffmann (190 points)
edited Oct 20, 2017 by sia.today | 4,664 views
36 questions
12 answers
976 users