Tutorials

Colocation Monitoring and Management

A Hosted World

To increase profitability, it's common for miners to send their ASICs to colocation facilities in an attempt to obtain a cheaper cost per kWh. This process generally includes a negotiation with the colo on terms (power cost, contract length, and some sort of service level agreement) and ends with the miner being shipped to the facility where it's fully managed.

Depending on the company, in exchange for your miner, you're given a pool watcher link where you can observe your hash rate, and in some rare situations, you're granted access to a private subnet with remote access to your miner through a VPN.

However, there are cons to both of these approaches. For the facility, there's a tremendous overhead and risk associated with giving users external access to a subnet. Also, it's easy to become overburdened with service tickets requesting that operators check on hosted miners.

For the customer, if you're given VPN access and you've sent more than a handful of miners, it's unreasonable to manually access each miner management page. If you aren't given external access, nothing feels worse than the feeling of sending your device to the void with no ability to see if it's healthy or failing, hashing as effectively as it could, or if it's even consistently mining to your desired pool and worker account.

How Foreman Helps

At Foreman, we aim to ease the colo setup while providing customers the ability to remotely monitor, and conditionally manage, their miners.

To the facility, you're given a single global dashboard where operators and site personnel can monitor the fleet. As client miners arrive, you can dynamically add sub-clients, putting the miners in their own sandbox where the customer can monitor and manage them remotely.

To the customer, you're given access to a private sub-dashboard where you can view and control your devices from anywhere. Monitor their health and where they're hashing, and if permitted by the facility, remotely reboot, change their pools, etc.

Colocation monitoring and management dashboard.

Getting Started

Create an Account

If you haven't done so already, you'll need to create an account with us. That only takes a second!

Install Foreman

Our colocation offering requires a Windows installation, which means you'll need to download and install our windows-agent. The guide here will take you through that (follow If you're trying to monitor ASICs from Windows).

In the conf/foreman.txt file, you'll need to change colo=false to colo=true. This will make it so once sub-clients are added to your global Foreman dashboard, they'll automatically get their own metrics agent (this keeps every customer in their own sandbox).

You'll know things worked when you see a Pickaxe appear here:

A brand new Pickaxe.

Import Every Miner

Follow the guide here to run a subnet scan and bulk import every miner in your facility. To help group miners by customer, we recommend that in the scan prompt, you select Name Miners By and then select Miner worker name:

Bulk ASIC import and name miners by worker name.

Once the scan is complete, Save and you should soon see them all appear online. For this example, there are 3 clients: Client A, Client B, and Client C. Each of them are mining to their own worker accounts:

Miners online and hashing, named by the worker name.

Add a Customer

Now that every miner has been added, it's time to move things around. At the top of the page, click the Add Client button. Complete the form:

Adding a customer.

The page will refresh and now you'll have the option to move between dashboards (the global parent colo dashboard or the clients).

Selector for which client to display.

Within 5 minutes of adding the sub-client, a new Pickaxe should appear. This Pickaxe will be associated with the Client, so you should see it on the parent colo dashboard and the sub-client dashboard as well. We'll rename it from My Pickaxe so it stands out:

A new agent is running and linked to the sub-client.

Assign the Miners to the Customer

Every miner is still associated from the parent dashboard. Now that there's an agent linked to the sub-client, we'll give them access to their miners. To do that, move the miners from the primary Foreman agent My Pickaxe over to the Client A.

First, we'll apply a global dashboard filter so we're only viewing the miners associated with Client A:

Filter by 'clienta' worker name.

Then, we'll run a Bulk Action and move them to the client's Pickaxe. This will also make them visible on the sub-client's dashboard:

Move client's miners to their Pickaxe instance.

The Client column should change from Demo Colo LLC to Client A.  The miners are now officially linked to the customer, but they can still be monitored and managed from the global parent dashboard:

Miners assigned to Client A.

The miners should also show as online on the client's Pickaxe:

Miners active on the client's Pickaxe.

Configure the Customer's Dashboard

From the top navigation bar in Foreman, switch to the new Client's private dashboard:

Switching to Client A's dashboard.

Before inviting any users, create a custom role on the My Company page to minimize what they can do.  The following example allows a customer to monitor their miners and their configurations while also allowing users to remotely reboot and change pools:

A sample custom role for a user.

Send them an invite and grant them access:

Sending an invite to the customer so they can access their private dashboard.

Now that you've successfully created a sub-dashboard for one of your customers, repeat this process, creating a new dashboard for each of your clients, moving their miners to their own Pickaxe, and then configuring permissions.

Configure the Global Dashboard

Now that there are sub-dashboards with customer access, it's useful to customize the global parent dashboard so operators can quickly see how things look. This allows maintenance personnel to quickly identify when a client's miners have gone offline or there was an unexpected hash rate drop.

Switch to the parent dashboard, enter the Page Builder, and re-configure the Hash Rate Graph to separate data points by client.  You can also add a Sub Client Hash Rate block to  display the current client's hash rate clearly:

Re-configuring the hash rate block to graph clients separately.

If you're looking to give non-admins on the account access to the sub-client dashboards, they'll need the 'Sub-Client Admin' permission under My Company. Once they're added, within 5 minutes, they'll be able to see the client dashboard drop-down at the top and can help administer their accounts.

Operators do not need to be sub-client admins to monitor and manage customer miners. Without this permission, all of the devices will still be accessible and fully manageable from the global parent dashboard.  The 'Sub-Client Admin' permission is only required if a user should be allowed to view a customer's private dashboard.

Stay tuned for more updates! If you have any questions, contact us on Discord, Twitter, or send us an email!

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