TMSR North Ameristan Rack Prospectus: Second, Revised Draft.

Note: this the second, revised draft of the prospectus, incorporating feedback from prospective customers. The previous draft can be seen here.

I have provisioned a machine colocation rack for the exclusive use of The Most Serene Republic, as represented by the WoT L1 and L2. If you, reader, are not in this roster, you may safely skip this article.

By explicit request of the prospective inhabitants of this rack, I have written down a properly-scientific breakdown of all pertinent costs as well as detailed development plans. What follows is by no means a final document: it is subject to criticism and revision, and no one will be invoiced until (there is currently one test pilot user -- thank you, Diana Coman!) it is declared battlefield-ready.

Section 1: Current Offerings.


Pricing is to be made as simple as possible: a subscriber will be charged the following monthly fee:

T = (C + I + L) × (1 + M) - D

...where C is the colo cost; I is the cost of a subscriber's IP addresses; L -- the lease cost of leased irons, if any; M is the margin; and, lastly, D is the subscriber's discount, if applicable (when purchasing service in quarterly or yearly terms.) All of these parameters will be explained below.

The impatient can skip straight to the automatic estimate calculator.

Colo Cost: C = Pu × Te

Let's begin with Te -- the baseline cost of operation. From the upstream vendor, currently I have a service package consisting of a 22U cabinet, permitted to draw up to 1200 Watt of mains current. This is bought at a monthly rate of 295 $ (here and below in U.S. $). The vendor also offers a premium service, which will be discussed in section 2.

A monthly overhead budget of 50 $ will be included in the operating cost. This will cover "small change" expenses (e.g. petrol for my visits to the site; cabling; periodic replacements of fans; and similar.)

The total monthly expense of the shared physical resources Te is thereby: 345 $.

Pu, the proportion of shared physical resource expense a subscriber is to be charged for, is defined as the maximum of the quantities below :

  1. Ps (% of Available Physical Space Occupied)
  2. Pw (% of Available Wattage Consumed)

In order to understand the terms Ps and Pw, the reader must be made familiar with the current physical plan of the rack:

Slot # Contents Watt Reserv.
1 Ethernet Patch Panel (Upstream Connection) 0
2 Shelf ("racked non-rackables" on-request; spares) 0
3 Switch (Primary) 10
4 Switch (Secondary) 10
5 Reserved for 48-RK Plant 10 (Wattage of Sub-Switch)
6 Reserved for 48-RK Plant 10 (Wattage of Sub-Switch)
7 1U Reserved General-Purpose 250
8 Available to Subscribers
9 Available to Subscribers
10 Available to Subscribers
11 Available to Subscribers
12 Available to Subscribers
13 Available to Subscribers
14 Available to Subscribers
15 Available to Subscribers
16 Available to Subscribers
17 Available to Subscribers
18 Available to Subscribers
19 Available to Subscribers
20 Available to Subscribers
21 Available to Subscribers
22 Mains Supply Distributor Unit 0

From the above, it can be seen that I have reserved 8 U of physical space and 290 Watt of mains current supply capacity (for infrastructure expansion and electrical demand peaks, respectively.)

Ergo, there are currently: 22 - 8 == 14 U of physical space and 1200 - 290 == 910 Watt of mains current made available to subscribers. This is a conservative limit, as indicated above.)

And so it follows that, for any subscriber:

Ps (% of Available Physical Space Occupied) = U-Height of Your Machine / 14

... e.g. for a 1U server, Ps ~= 0.07143; for a 2U: ~0.1429, and so forth.

And very similarly for energy consumption:

Pw (% of Available Wattage Consumed) = Watts Drawn by Your Machine / 910

... e.g., for a 100 Watt server, Pw ~= 0.1099; for a device which draws 5 Watt, will be 0.0054945.

Consequently, a subscriber's colo cost C = Pu × Te will be equal to: the greater of Ps and Pw, multiplied by Te. This represents the cost of the proportion of upstream-supplied resources used by the subscriber.

This pricing scheme ensures that a fully-occupied -- whether space or energy-wise -- rack, is properly paid for, and that each subscriber is billed in direct proportion to resource utilization.

IP Cost I = (# IPs) * (Cost of IP)

In order to be of use, servers require Internet connectivity.

Initially subscribers will share the current 100Mb/s pipe. However, provisions for rationing are in place, and arrangements can be made to purchase a dedicated portion of this pipe. I reserve the right to ask "bandwidth hogs", if such appear, to request a dedicated portion. It shall be priced exactly as physical space and energy are priced below -- i.e. in direct proportion to the percent of the total capacity reserved by the subscriber.

Note: I expect to upgrade the installation to a 1Gb/s pipe and 42U tower when the revenue permits this upgrade (See Section 2.)

IP Addresses are leased from the carrier in traditional "slash" parcels, rather than individually: e.g. currently we have a /29 for a monthly charge of 25 $; a /28 will cost 50 $, and so forth.

Three IPs at all times are occupied by "gateway", my rationing/filtration switch, and "broadcast", leaving 5 presently available to subscribers (one is already spoken for by the test pilot, Diana Coman). The IP block is expandable on several hours' notice. (In the future, I would like to actually purchase a block of IPs but presently budget does not permit this.)

For simplicity, the cost of IPs for subscribers will be billed as 3.15 $ per IP requested. Every subscriber must lease at least one IP.

Be warned: A release of an IP address for any reason other than the termination of a subscription, will incur a 50 $ cleanup charge. This will happen if, for instance, the tenant commits a "coarse error of pilotage" and his IP finds its way into a public "spam database" or whatever similar "wall of shame" of a kind that may impede normal operation of the entire orchestra. Note also that my upstream carrier, like most other carriers, forbids spam. Subscribers who repeatedly provoke conflict with the upstream carrier (by e.g. spamming) will be banished without refund. And those who deliberately cause problems for other subscribers (I will not bother to enumerate all of the possible ways, it could fill an entire encyclopaedia) will also be negrated.

Lease Cost: L = Value / Amort

A subscriber is not required to lease anything, aside from at least 1 IP address. If you are sending in iron for pure colocation service, the L term of the price equation will equal zero.

However, 12 standard machine types are available for lease; and arrangements can be made to request the construction and lease of custom iron.

The monthly Lease Cost, L = Value / Amort consists of the Lease Value of the iron in question, divided by its Amortization Period in months. The latter is currently specified as 36 months for 'Dulap'-type machines (see below) and 12 months for 'RK'-type machines. This pricing scheme permits the regular physical replacement of worn-out irons, or the purchase of replacement components, as circumstances demand.

BOMs (Bills of Materials) will be provided for all current and future irons offered for lease. However the identities of component suppliers will be disclosed at my option and not otherwise. Potential subscribers who think they can get substantially better prices elsewhere, are encouraged to assemble their machines with their own hands, and to colocate rather than lease.

The following irons are presently offered for lease:

Product Code Description Lease Value (USD) Amortization Period (Months)
D128_0D 'Dulap' 128GB RAM, Customer-Sent Disks 534.00 36
D128_2D 'Dulap' 128GB RAM, 2 x 1TB Samsung SSD 824.00 36
D128_4D 'Dulap' 128GB RAM, 4 x 1TB Samsung SSD 1114.00 36
D256_0D 'Dulap' 256GB RAM, Customer-Sent Disks 732.00 36
D256_2D 'Dulap' 256GB RAM, 2 x 1TB Samsung SSD 1022.00 36
D256_4D 'Dulap' 256GB RAM, 4 x 1TB Samsung SSD 1312.00 36
D512_0D 'Dulap' 512GB RAM, Customer-Sent Disks 1128.00 36
D512_2D 'Dulap' 512GB RAM, 2 x 1TB Samsung SSD 1418.00 36
D512_4D 'Dulap' 512GB RAM, 4 x 1TB Samsung SSD 1708.00 36
RK128 Rockchip ROC-RK3328-CC, 128GB SSD 99.00 12
RK256 Rockchip ROC-RK3328-CC, 256GB SSD 126.00 12
RK1TB Rockchip ROC-RK3328-CC, 1TB (external) SSD 238.00 12

Note: certain configurations may require up to an additional 7 days for component purchases. I will keep certain components in stock at my option.

The BOMs for the above irons are precisely as follows:

'Dulap' (1U 32-Core AMD Opteron); configurable RAM and Storage :

A 'Dulap'-type machine shall consist, in all cases unless otherwise specified, of: a 'Supermicro' 1U H8DGU-FAMD with a pair of power supplies for redundancy, 2 AMD 'Opteron' 6380 16 Core 2.5GHZ processors, a LSI 9265-8I RAID Controller, and 4 3.5" to 2.5" SATA trays.

Note: The 'Remote Management' chips found in these boxes will be at all times disabled, as they are a security risk. Under no circumstances will an Ethernet connection be made to a 'remote management' jack in any machine hosted in my rack.

The "skeleton" (chassis, PS, mobo) of this machine is valued at 99.00 $. Each CPU: 88.00 $ (usually available in pairs, and in any case a maximum of 2 may be installed). The RAID card: 50.00 $. Disk trays and SATA harnesses, 11.00 $ per disk slot. RAM for this machine (in all cases ECC) is valued at 198.00 $ per 128GB, and may be installed in increments of 128GB. (For optimum operation, the total RAM is to be 128, 256, or 512 (max) GB.)

All disks, other than when customer-supplied, for 'Dulaps' and 'RK1TB', shall be 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs, and valued at 145.00 $ each for the purpose of leases. Note: the market price of such disks fluctuates.

Note: if a subscriber wishes to guarantee that "virginal" disks are installed in a newly-leased machine, he must purchase his disks up front; otherwise disks with "non-zero odometer" may be installed. Subscribers are encouraged to make use of their RAID cards to set up resilient systems.

If, on the other hand, a subscriber wishes his disks to be destroyed at any point in the duration, or after the termination of, his lease, he must then also purchase his disks. At all times the purchase price of a disk shall be the one given in the BOM at the time of the the initiation of his subscription. Disks that the user wishes to take physical possession of after the termination of service, shall be mailed to an address given by the subscriber, and the latter is responsible for postage expense.

A 'Dulap' occupies in all cases 1 U of physical space, and is rated to consume an average of 250 Watt of mains current, and each SSD adds 4 Watt to this figure.

All Dulap machines will be installed with my 'Dulap-Gentoo' operating system unless otherwise agreed upon.

'RK' ('Rockchip' 4-Core 64-Bit ARM); configurable Storage :

A 'RK'-type machine shall consist, in all cases unless otherwise specified, of: a ROC-RK3328-CC board, equipped with (non-upgradable) 2GB of RAM, and a 4-core non-upgradeable 1.4GHz ARM64 CPU. They are mounted in a purpose-built fixator which occupies 2 U of physical space and can house up to 48 such machines.

The RK BOM is as follows. The machine itself is valued at 40.00 $. The (vendor-supplied) heatsink : 10.00 $. The (custom) fixator mounts : 18.00 $. Screws, cabling, and the SD card which holds the boot kernel : 5.00 $. This makes for a base value of 73 $.

However, the machine is of no use without disks. The following selection of storage devices is offered:

Samsung MUF-128BE4/AM 128GB (USB 3.1) -- 26.00 $. Samsung MUF-256BE4/AM 256GB (USB 3.1) -- 53.00 $. And, finally, the Samsung 860 EVO 1TB -- 145.00 $ (and requires a 20.00 $ USB3 converter snake, and a second 1/48th U of physical space, as well as 4 additional watts of electrical supply.) All of these variants are reflected in the above Irons table.

All RK machines will be installed with my 'RK-Gentoo' operating system unless otherwise agreed upon.

The Margin: M

The margin is presently set at 45 percent.

The Discount: D

A bulk discount is obtained when a subscriber arranges for payment in quarterly or yearly intervals; this value is presently set at 5 percent.

Special Offers :

New RK users will receive 50% discount for their first two quarters, and a one-year domain registration.


Tmonthly = (Colo cost + Ip cost + Lease cost) × (1 + Margin) - Discount

This equation, as demonstrated above, determines the total monthly cost of any subscription.

Mechanized Price Estimator:

An automatic estimate calculator is available for prospective subscribers.
(Warning: requires Javascript)


All billing shall be carried out in BTC (at the TMSR Auction rate, if such auction held within past month of billing; or otherwise an average of major heathen market rates, to be determined), and paid via Deedbot.

Users may subscribe in quarterly or yearly parcels, to lock in price; the discount for either option shall be 5 % (of the total T.)

Section 2: Business Plan, Future Offerings; Subscriber Demand.

On account of yet-uncertain demand for this service in my WoT, I have deliberately structured my system so that at all times henceforth I will have at my disposal at least a private 22U rack, suitable for filling my own hosting needs.

However, presently there is a WoT-hosting drought on account of the untimely demise of Pizarro. And my private rack offers resources in considerable excess of my own demand.

And so I would like to offer, ASAP, aggressively-priced commercial service to my L1 peers and their L2.

It must be noted that the upstream vendor offers a premium package which delivers palpably more 'bang for the buck', for an additional monthly 200 $ : namely, a 42 U rack, equipped with 20 Ampere (2400 Watt) electrical supply and 1G/s Internet connection.

Prior to continuing, I will propose a model with 6 phases of development for the contemplated offering:

Stage Description Prerequisites
Phase 0 Rack: 22U, 1200W, 100MB/s; Private operation by the author, services strictly his own irons and a small number of 'demo' users. Currently operating.
Phase 1 Rack: 22U, 1200W, 100MB/s; Commercial operation servicing L1 and L2 customers; rack is partially populated. L1 (and optionally L2) Subscribers request service and pay.
Phase 2 Rack: 22U, 1200W, 100MB/s; paying subscribers are serviced; Rack is fully populated. Shared resources are exhausted.
Phase 3 Rack: 42U, 2400W, 1Gb/s (+200 $ in operating cost); subscribers are serviced; Rack is partially populated. See discussion below.
Phase 4 Rack: 42U, 2400W, 1Gb/s; Rack is fully populated. See discussion below.
Phase 5 Expansion beyond one 42U Rack. Outside the scope of the current discussion.

Currently we have Phase 0, i.e. the rack is a private rack. If no one in my WoT takes interest in the current offerings, it will remain there indefinitely.

When the final draft of this document is reviewed by my WoT, prices are agreed upon, and subscribers sign on, we will have Phase 1.

When the physical and/or electrical capacity of the current system is exhausted, we will reach Phase 2 and a planned expansion to the 42 U rack will be in order.

Phase 3 begins with an upgrade to the premium 42 U rack discussed previously. This merits detailed discussion, which follows below.

Note: Presently I am not soliciting investment from any third party to facilitate a transition from Phase 2 to Phase 3, or for any other purpose. There are three reasons for this:

  • Until Phase 2 is actually reached, the operation is to be considered 'extremely high risk.'
  • Presently the level of demand for the service is virtually unknown to me. (Further discussion follows.)
  • As indicated at the start of this section, I intend to retain complete control of the operation at all times, and to retain full authority over all technical and financial decisions therein, such that my personal hosting needs are guaranteed to be met, regardless of WoT demand -- or lack thereof -- for the commercial services described in this prospectus.

Therefore, transition between Phases 2 -- 5 inclusive, is to be financed strictly by revenue.

Let's describe several Phase 2 scenarios that would enable a transition to Phase 3 per the currently-contemplated scheme.

Sample Phase Transition Scenarios:

Per the current draft of the price calculator, a 'Dulap'-type lease (disregarding of memory or disk configuration), or colocation-only hosting of a similar (~250 Watt, 1U) machine, brings in 100.85 $ ( with Margin, 146.23 $ ) in Colo Cost charge strictly. (The charge for Iron Lease and IP Charge we will disregard for the purpose of these calculations, as all Iron Lease income is to be reserved for physical repair and upgrade of the fleet.)

If three such machines were to be subscribed, they would therefore bring in 438.69 $ in usable (i.e. not reserved for physical amortizations) yield. After the 345 $ of fixed cost, this leaves 93.68 $, which does not yet suffice for a phase transition.

Sample Scenario 'A':

A 'RK'-Type machine, per the current draft of the price calculator, yields a monthly colo of 1.90 $ (2.75 $ with Margin.) The monthly fixed cost delta of the transition from Phase 2 to Phase 3 is 200 $. Three 'Dulaps' cover 93.68 $ of this, leaving 106.32 $; 39 RK type machines however would yield an additional 107.20 $, which would then meet the phase transition requirement; with a total wattage occupancy of 3 * 250 + 39 * 5 == 940, above the conservative 910 Watt boundary given earlier, but well within the physical limits of the Phase 0--2 rack.

This is the least desirable scenario among those which actually enable a phase transition out of Phase 2, given as it leaves the operation in Phase 3 for an indefinite time, but at the same time with nearly zero profit.

Sample Scenario 'B':

Four 'Dulaps' would yield a colo of 4 * 146.23 ~= 584.92, which would handily finance a transition to Phase 3 and leave ~384.92 monthly still remaining. The required wattage, 1000, is above the conservative limit but remains within the physical limit of 1200, and permits a continuation of RK service.

Sample Scenario 'C':

BingoBoingo and Mircea Popescu have proposed the construction of a shared hosting system similarly to what was offered at Pizarro. Potentially this could bridge the gap between phases. However as this system is not currently in place, and its creation will take time, this variant will not yet be discussed in detail.

Sample Scenario 'D':

Certain subscribers with substantial electrical or bandwidth requirements may wish to pay in advance for a fixed share of the expanded (Phase 3+) rack. No one has yet indicated an interest in this variant, but I am including it for completeness.

Modelling Pricing in a Phase 3+ Rack :

In order to preview prices such as would be offered by a Phase 3+ Rack, set the selector at the top of the calculator page to 'Future Rack (42U 20A 1Gb).

Analysis of Current and Near-Term Demand :

  • No one in my L1 or L2 WoT has just yet committed to subscribing.
  • Diana Coman is test piloting a RK128. Appears to be satisfied presently; indicated strong interest in subscribing at least this one RK128. Operates large fleet of machines. Also expressed a possible interest in subscribing a personal 'Dulap'. Operates SMG with generalissimus Mircea Popescu (SMG will be considered separately.)
  • Mircea Popescu offered scathing but very useful criticism of the first prospectus draft. Test-piloted a machine ('APU1', an experimental iron not currently considered for immediate fleet inclusion) but found the supplied instructions and software unsatisfactory. Also indicated that he is not currently considering subscribing given as I am presently unable to offer him full time personal service as a rack operator. Operates a very large fleet of machines, with considerable bandwidth and availability requirements, including the machines of SMG (over which he presides.)
  • mod6 indicated a preliminary interest in subscribing a 'Dulap'-type machine for the use of TBF.
  • BingoBoingo indicated interest in subscribing or co-operating a L1/L2 shared hosting system. This would require at least one Dulap-type machine.
  • Potential subscribers from L2 (incl. Pizarro lifeboat occupants) have not yet indicated interest. May do so after prices are finalized.
  • Lastly, the author is definitely subscribing a personal 'Dulap'. This will be listed and accounted for just the same as for other subscriptions, rather than rolled into overhead.
  • If I left anyone out, please write in!

This document is doomed to be revised again. And probably yet again.

~ To Be Continued! ~

This entry was written by Stanislav , posted on Sunday October 27 2019 , filed under Bitcoin, Cold Air, Computation, Friends, Hardware, Mathematics, NonLoper, Services, ShouldersGiants . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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