Chia-Plotting-Farming-Part 2-Power-&-AutoPlotting

Jun 17 2021

Scott Shadley

In my previous article, I discussed Dirt and Tractors… Now it is time to wrap up the discussion with a conversation on Power consumption (even for Chia, yes) and more on what AutoPlotting is all about. So let’s get started… Chia doesn’t just grow on its own after all.

With Dirt, or starting with open space in storage, and then Tractors, the plotting process, there is a need to discuss how to ‘feed’ the plots and also how to get more plots with less work. Why try harder when there are ways to simply do better with what you have.

Topic 3 – Feeding the Farm

An image of a water pipe placed in the middle of farming soil to illustrate storage devices and the issues with reliability and power consumption.

One of the most challenging aspects of previous versions of Crypto Currency has been the need to drain the power grid for the GPUs to do proof of work. While this need has subsided with Chia, the ideas of Proof of Space still require the storage devices to be active. This can still cause some issues with reliability and power consumption. So, while HDDs are a great farming solution and touted as the path to success for the farm. They can still create challenges. Power consumption, heat generation and response time to the request are a huge issue when it comes to ‘massive PB scale farms’. To keep the spinning drives active, you need a stable location (shock is not a good thing… neither is ‘random placement’), and the drive power consumption to ensure you respond to the Chia.net ping must be fast enough that going into ‘offline’ or ‘no spin’ modes to save on power becomes problematic.

An illustration of the Chia.net TCO calculator that shows OpEx of a HDD or fast SSD platform.

So the logical step is to look at SSDs as a solution, but wait! Many new SSDs have been solely focused on ‘speed’ and as we already know, max speed means max power too… A simple solution is to look at the Chia.net TCO calculator. It shows the OpEx of an HDD or fast SSD platform is cost-prohibitive to that of a Power, Performance, Capacity optimized Computational Storage SSD (CSD). Now, do not get me wrong… Yes, acquisition cost (CapEx) is another topic altogether and is not lost here, but there is a point where ongoing costs create a larger burden than CapEx. And to think, the lifetime of the drives, the failure rates of HDD, and other impacts to what could most certainly be a cost-prohibitive move. One Failed 18TB drive does lose you over 100 value-added plots…

So when you go to look at the path to feeding the farm, don’t forget about the best way to ensure you have a source to feed them, a simple solution, and the best fit product for the needs over the lifetime of the fields… That is where the NGD Systems, 32TB CSD comes into play. Read more here.

Topic 4 – AutoPlotting – Self Aware, Self Plotting

A picture of a farming equipment that displays as an analogy for fast and effective storage capacity solutions.

When it comes to Plotting, the life’s blood of Chia, the need to get more plots fast and effectively is key. Once you own the storage, once you have the farm, sure, sit back and watch the coins come in. But with the workspace growing into the Zettabytes (ZB) soon, the current Exabyte (EB) and Petabyte (PB) scale farms are still waiting weeks, months, or longer to ‘earn’ the reward of hosting the blockchain. So, one simply needs to grow their plots faster and faster… how do you do this? More CPU? More Memory? Well, guess what. That is all even more expensive CapEx… A single AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3900 can run over $6,000 and has “NO VALUE” in Chia once the plots are made. Why not spend that money on storage that comes with Compute embedded? We all love 2-For-1 Deals, so why not here as well.

NGD systems offers drives that can ‘AutoPlot’ by using the OS and Memory embedded in our Solid State Drives (SSDs) to add plots to the drives while the host is also plotting. Concurrent plots that do NOT get in the way of each other and that have independent resources. Novel idea, right??? Check out our partner page here. Now, do not get me wrong, our drives are NOT going to compute as fast as a host, but why buy more CPU when Storage and Proof of Space are key, not compute!! What is the value you need to see the net benefits here? 10%, 20%, 40%? Well, we have data that shows all of these based on the system used, the drives bought, the size of drives, and the work being done… Oh, and since we have industry-leading Endurance, we don’t die, wear out or have any issues with re-plotting over and over and over again…

A diagram that shows the efficacy of Chia plotter.

So, are you intrigued? Do you need more plots, not more compute? Are you in need of storage? What about that fancy Computational Storage doing what NO OTHER SSD, HDD, or vendor can do today… AutoPlot, AutoTransfer, AutoFarm… Yes, folks, self-aware SSDs (CSDs) are shipping now… Even Pre-Plotted… Find out more by commenting or reaching out. Data upon request for serious inquiries about the 40% improvements…

Originally published on Scott Shadley’s LinkedIn page.

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