The Systech Cryptocurrency Experiment

How it all started!

Systech Consulting

1253 NW Highland Street Roseburg, Oregon 97470

The Systech Cryptocurrency Experiment

Early 2017

The Systech team decides to build a small scale cryptocurrency mining rig. We mainly did this to research the viability of running at scale. 
During the first few months we learned a lot about blockchains, mining algorithms and the state of the cryptocurrency world.  At this point in time there were a lot of different approaches that individuals were taking to make mining profitable. 

The Plan.

With the data that we gathered from our first generation setup the team decides to work on a set of requirements and a scope for the next phase. At this point in time we are really trying to see where we can make things more efficient. Operating the current system is not too challenging, however power is expensive. We are currently paying $0.14/kWh. Cooling the system is not to bad either as its still early in the year and ambient temperatures outside are reasonable.
 
 

The Search

We need a location where power rates are reasonable. Commercial power is cheaper than residential power. The search begins and we land on a location that we can get power at about half the price.
 

Larger Scale

The team finds a secret location where the power is about 1/2 the residential rate. An inexpensive open air rack design is suggested based on our previous experiments and built. We scale our operation from about 75 Video cards to about 450 over the course of about 2 months.
 

Challenges Arise

We quickly find that managing the systems individually is not very sustainable. We research various management platforms and determine that there is really nothing out there that will provide the tool sets that we require. We decide to build out a cloud platform that we can orchestrate through a set of api’s and interfaces. 

After a few weeks of time and some new power-edge servers we quickly rebuild 25-12 card mining rigs to run with docker.

We can now mine any cryptocurrency that we want and build api’s that will quickly mine what we feel is most profitable or interesting. 

This not only allows us to hash the blockchain it essentially allows us the power to have the systems do any tasks or jobs we send it.

A New Design

The team goes to work creating a new racking design to further increase the supportability and efficiency of the mining rigs. This new design allows us quite a few options for placement in different types of facilities.

It further facilitates some additional options for cooling our systems. We again increase out capabilities and soon are running out of available power at our second location.

Modular by Design

At this point we are the largest cryptocurrency mining outfit in the region. With low power costs and the ability to effectively and efficiently manage our cloud based modular mining platform the team looks for further opportunities to increase its operations. Over the next few months we come up with a design for a mobile capable data center. We order 3 shipping containers and lease abandoned industrial facility that has the amount of power we need at a fantastic price point

Containerizing our Containers

We enlist electricians and fabricators and the team continues to engineer its open air containers. It takes the team 45 days to prepare the new containers and the results are amazing. 

Results

Our 40 foot modified  high cube shipping container designed for large scale cryptocurrency mining.  Distributed power delivered at 240v. Our modular container has a filtered, air cooled solution that moves over 175,000 cubic feet of air per minute.   

Thanks to the efforts of many great people we are able to pull off our modular platform. Here is a look at the finished product. Now to fill them with electronics.

Up and Running

After many grueling months engineering, sanding, painting, and cleaning we have the modular system running. We now have over 1500 devices in our cloud mining platform. They are all passively cooled and cost less to operate than anything we have had running before. 

Final Thoughts

We had a lot of fun building out a farm for ourselves, even with all of the challenges we came across. Would we do it again? Absolutely! The learning experience, the awesome relationships we cultivated, and the fact  that it brought some of the best and brightest engineers in the area together to form our Managed IT Services company make the experience well worth it.

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