How to make Money from your unused disk space from Storj

How to make Money from your Idle Disk Space using Storj - TutLinks
How to make Money from your unused Disk Space using Storj – TutLinks

The advent of the crypto currency and its applications led the world invent Highly reliable, decentralized and scalable applications. The Distributed Ledger Technology brought the transparency in a way Technology startups operate fostering trust and reliability. The applications built on blockchain with the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology are making their way to break monopoly in their respective domains by providing reliable, affordable and faster access to the services being built and offered.

Storj is one such application from which allows you to not only make money by offering your unused and idle disk space by becoming a SNO (Storage Node Operator) of Storj, but you will also have the satisfaction that let you contribute to the world of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

How does Storj Works?

Storj offers the disk space provided by you, in fact many such contributors like you, who has unused disk space that is lying idle to the users in need via its object storage platform Tardigrade. Tardigrade.io offers safer, faster, completely decentralized enterprise-grade cloud storage solution.

How much will I be earning from Storj?

Let’s talk about the earnings from Storj. The initial and the subsequent monthly payoffs are not highly rewarding and if you are expecting huge payouts, this is not the space you should be looking for. You must understand that this is a platform for Sharing Storage Space for Fun and Profit .

My Earnings for the First 10 days

I had set up a Storj to offer my unused 1 TB disk that I bought half a decade ago and I felt like I no longer need it. Having an infrastructure to become a SNO with continuous internet connection and uninterrupted power supply, I just wanted to give Storj a try. Its been 10 days and here is how my earnings look like.

November 2020 (Version: 9.4.1)                                          [snapshot: 2020-11-25 06:36:06Z]
                        TYPE            PRICE                   DISK       BANDWIDTH            PAYOUT
Upload                  Ingress         -not paid-                          11.65 GB
Upload Repair           Ingress         -not paid-                          19.92 GB
Download                Egress          20   USD / TB                      525.11 MB          0.01 USD
Download Repair         Egress          10   USD / TB                        6.96 MB          0.00 USD
Download Audit          Egress          10   USD / TB                       10.24 KB          0.00 USD
Disk Current            Storage         -not paid-          26.24 GB
Disk Average Month      Storage         1.50 USD / TBm       4.26 GBm                         0.01 USD
Disk Usage              Storage         -not paid-           3.07 TBh
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________+
Total                                                        4.26 GBm       32.10 GB          0.02 USD
Estimated total by end of month                              5.27 GBm       39.67 GB          0.02 USD

Payout and held amount by satellite:
SATELLITE       JOINED     MONTH HELD%    HELD TOTAL          EARNED            HELD            PAID
us-central-1    2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0031 USD      0.0023 USD      0.0008 USD
    Status 11% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
europe-west-1   2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0034 USD      0.0026 USD      0.0009 USD
    Status 4% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
europe-north-1  2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0010 USD      0.0007 USD      0.0002 USD
    Status 2% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
asia-east-1     2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0027 USD      0.0020 USD      0.0007 USD
    Status 8% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
saltlake        2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0068 USD      0.0051 USD      0.0017 USD
    Status 15% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________+
TOTAL                                       0.00 USD      0.0170 USD      0.0127 USD      0.0042 USD

Estimate your Earnings on Storj

Before you proceed if you want to estimate how much you are going to earn from Storj, then you may definitely want to try out Storj Earnings Estimator excel sheet. This excel sheet have options to change the disk size and bandwidth you can offer that will generate the respective monthly revenue estimate accordingly for at least 10 years from now.

For a 2TB storage with 10 mbps Upload and 10 mbps download speed, the estimator shows $60 per year for Net revenue per TB stored. That eventually sums to $120 per year for 2TB storage. Not bad though! This is not fixed calculation and it varies accordingly based on bandwidth you offer and also heavily dependent on how much of your disk space is consumed by Storj. If you provide 10TB but only 4TB is consumed, they you will be paid only for consumed 4TB disk space and the egress bandwidth $20/TB at the time of writing this post.

Is it profitable to set up Storj on Cloud?

Some cloud hosting providers often have their term sheets stating Crypto mining is illegal on Cloud Platforms. As this is not mining of crypto currency, I believe Storj can be set up on cloud platforms. But, when it comes to profitability, it is not recommended to set up Storj on Cloud or On-Premises Virtual Machines and disk spaces, as the payout from Storj is significantly lesser than what you pay off monthly for the Cloud Hosting providers.

As a prerequisite, you need 24×7 internet connected storage disk that will boost your reliability index in the decentralized world.

Before we begin how to set up Storj, we will set up the infrastructure that will facilitate offering disk space. Once successfully set up, your disk will be officially termed as Storage Node and you will become a Storage Node Operator.

So let’s begin the journey to become a successful Storage Node Operator (SNO). I will be showing the setup of Storj on a Ubuntu PC. The steps are more or less similar if you have a PC running *nix such as Ubuntu or CentOS.

Setup Infrastructure

Register and Get Auth Token

Register with email here and get Auth Token.

Get a Computer

Get a PC or a laptop with the minimum specified Hardware Requirements

  • 1 Processor Core
  • Minimum 550GB of available disk space
  • Minimum of 2TB of available bandwidth a month
  • Minimum upstream bandwidth of 5 Mbps
  • Minimum download bandwidth of 25 Mpbs
  • Keep your node online 24/7

Mount Storage disk on the Ubuntu PC

If you have a Ubuntu PC with disks that you want to offer as Storage Nodes already mounted on to the PC, you can skip reading this paragraph.

If you have an external disk that needs to be mounted, you can refer this video tutorial on How to Attach & Mount 1TB Disk on Ubuntu VM on Azure. If you have a disk larger than 2TB in size, then it is recommended to mount the disk partition using GPT. You can refer to this tutorial on How to Mount disks larger than 2TB using GPT on Azure Linux VM. Though the video demonstrates on Azure Linux VM, it is the process is similar to mounting disk on your Personal Computer running Ubuntu or CentOS.

Generate Identity for Storj

From a Linux machine run the following commands.

curl -L https://github.com/storj/storj/releases/latest/download/identity_linux_amd64.zip -o identity_linux_amd64.zip
sudo apt install unzip
unzip -o identity_linux_amd64.zip
chmod +x identity
sudo mv identity /usr/local/bin/identity
rm -f identity_linux_amd64.zip

This command will take significantly longer duration (30 mins to more than a day!!). So sit back and relax.

identity create storagenode &

Once done you should see output that says Found a key with difficulty 37. I got 37, you may get higher number too.

Output:

Found a key with difficulty 37!
Unsigned identity is located in "/home/tutlinks/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode"
Please *move* CA key to secure storage - it is only needed for identity management and isn't needed to run a storage node!
        /home/tutlinks/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode/ca.key

Authorize storage node with the auth token associated with your email.

identity authorize storagenode YOUR@EMAIL.COM:1XcCK6tKB5SaeQE6LDNefRTssFjuQYKYRKchQ3o4YberP2jRPdPLWUnR8arJFTGyzLX9phnJBxu1jjPVe66sd1v7onhe9x

Output:

Identity successfully authorized using single use authorization token.
Please back-up "/home/tutlinks/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode" to a safe location.

Confirm the identity by running following commands

grep -c BEGIN ~/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode/ca.cert
grep -c BEGIN ~/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode/identity.cert

If you see output 2 and 3 respectively then identity confirmation is succeeded.

Install Docker on Ubuntu

In the command terminal, run the following commands to install Docker on Ubuntu OS.

sudo apt update
sudo apt -y install docker.io
sudo systemctl start docker
sudo systemctl enable docker
sudo docker version

Keep Storj Software Up to date by installing watchtower

Watchtower will look for new updates to the Docker container on Docker Hub in a random interval between 12 and 72 hours and automatically update your storage node when it sees a new version.

sudo docker pull storjlabs/watchtower:latest
sudo docker run -d --restart=always --name watchtower -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock storjlabs/watchtower:latest storagenode watchtower --stop-timeout 300s

Get ERC-20 Token from Metamask

Install Metamask chrome extension. Open Metamask and click on copy and save the ERC-20.

This is my ERC-20 Token address. Yours will look different.

0x0689Ecd747d6F4eA9CE491aD0b1734fEe62b2229

Click on Add Token, search for and choose Storj token.

Spin up Storage node on Ubuntu

Start our storage node to take latest updated software into effect.

sudo docker pull storjlabs/storagenode:latest

Run to spin up storj docker with our details

docker run -d --restart unless-stopped --stop-timeout 300 \
    -p 28967:28967 \
    -p 14002:80 \
    -e WALLET="0x0689Ecd747d6F4eA9CE491aD0b1734fEe62b2229" \
    -e EMAIL="YOUR@EMAIL.COM" \
    -e ADDRESS="fqdn-or-ip-of-machine:28967" \
    -e STORAGE="1TB" \
    --mount type=bind,source="/home/tutlinks/.local/share/storj/identity/storagenode",destination=/app/identity \
    --mount type=bind,source="/storj1tbdrive",destination=/app/config \
    --name storagenode storjlabs/storagenode:latest

Ensure to change the arguments with your own data.

  • WALLET – Your ERC-20 token id that generally starts with 0x
  • EMAIL – Your email id registered with Storj
  • ADDRESS – FQDN or static IP address (recommended to setup FQDN in case your PC has dynamic IP)
  • STORAGE – Storage you want to offer in MB, GB or TB. (More storage, more revenue)
  • mount type for destination=/app/identity – Your directory path where identity is stored
  • mount type for destination=/app/config – Path of the directory where the Storage disk is mounted to

If you want to know the full path of the directory, cd to that directory from the terminal and issue the command pwd that gives the full path of the directory.

To check the status:

echo 'sudo docker exec -it storagenode /app/dashboard.sh' > nodestatus.sh && chmod +x nodestatus.sh
./nodestatus.sh

Status must show ONLINE

Storage Node Dashboard ( Node Version: v1.16.1 )

======================

ID     <YOUR-STORAGE-NODE-ID>
Status ONLINE
Uptime 257h16m12s

                   Available         Used        Egress      Ingress
     Bandwidth           N/A     32.04 GB     532.08 MB     31.51 GB (since Nov 1)
          Disk       0.97 TB     26.58 GB
Internal 127.0.0.1:7778
External <YOUR-STATIC-IP-OR-FQDN>:28967

Earnings from Storj

Run the following command to display earnings from Storj.

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ReneSmeekes/storj_earnings/master/earnings.py
echo 'sudo python3 earnings.py "/storj1tbdrive/storage"' > earnings.sh && chmod +x earnings.sh
./earnings.sh

Output

November 2020 (Version: 9.4.1)                                          [snapshot: 2020-11-25 06:36:06Z]
                        TYPE            PRICE                   DISK       BANDWIDTH            PAYOUT
Upload                  Ingress         -not paid-                          11.65 GB
Upload Repair           Ingress         -not paid-                          19.92 GB
Download                Egress          20   USD / TB                      525.11 MB          0.01 USD
Download Repair         Egress          10   USD / TB                        6.96 MB          0.00 USD
Download Audit          Egress          10   USD / TB                       10.24 KB          0.00 USD
Disk Current            Storage         -not paid-          26.24 GB
Disk Average Month      Storage         1.50 USD / TBm       4.26 GBm                         0.01 USD
Disk Usage              Storage         -not paid-           3.07 TBh
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________+
Total                                                        4.26 GBm       32.10 GB          0.02 USD
Estimated total by end of month                              5.27 GBm       39.67 GB          0.02 USD

Payout and held amount by satellite:
SATELLITE       JOINED     MONTH HELD%    HELD TOTAL          EARNED            HELD            PAID
us-central-1    2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0031 USD      0.0023 USD      0.0008 USD
    Status 11% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
europe-west-1   2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0034 USD      0.0026 USD      0.0009 USD
    Status 4% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
europe-north-1  2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0010 USD      0.0007 USD      0.0002 USD
    Status 2% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
asia-east-1     2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0027 USD      0.0020 USD      0.0007 USD
    Status 8% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
saltlake        2020-11-13     1   75%      0.00 USD      0.0068 USD      0.0051 USD      0.0017 USD
    Status 15% Vetted >Audit[0.0% DQ|0.0% Susp] >Up[100.00%]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________+
TOTAL                                       0.00 USD      0.0170 USD      0.0127 USD      0.0042 USD

To conclude, to be able to earn as a Storage Node Operator, you have to have lot of patience and 24×7 online storage node with decent bandwidth.

Disclaimer

I do not have any affiliation with Storj and this is not a paid article from Storj by any means. This is being articulated in the interest technology and how you can earn by contributing to the world of Distributed Ledger Technology. This is completely about my experience and the short journey I have made being a Storage Node Operator till date.

Navule Pavan Kumar Rao

I am a Full Stack Software Engineer with the Product Development experience in Banking, Finance, Corporate Tax and Automobile domains. I use SOLID Programming Principles and Design Patterns and Architect Software Solutions that scale using C#, .NET, Python, PHP and TDD. I am an expert in deployment of the Software Applications to Cloud Platforms such as Azure, GCP and non cloud On-Premise Infrastructures using shell scripts that become a part of CI/CD.I pursued Executive M.Tech in Data Science from IIT, Hyderabad (Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad) and hold B.Tech in Electonics and Communications Engineering from Vaagdevi Institute of Technology & Science.
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