FAQ

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The Big Picture

What does Storage@home Monitor do?
Gathers data on how reliably your machine can be reached, as a way of showing how reliable volunteer hosts are on the Internet. The data collection will run through September 28th, 2009.

Only one machine per user?
Yes, you only get one per network connection (your DLS line, or cable, etc). The port forwarding will send all of the packets to only one machine on your home network.

So do I need a fast and powerful machine?
Nope. Any Windows XP+ or Windows 2003+ machine, any Intel Mac (32 or 64-bit), and most Linux boxes should work (each distribution of Linux is wildly different). Right now it takes < 1MiB of RAM, and <1MiB of disk space (logs may grow ~20KiB/day, but you can rotate/delete logs at any time), and <1 second of CPU time per day. That will change in the next stage with disk space needed, but more on that later.

Accounts, does this mean we'll be able to edit more later?
Yes. More info will be needed once the next stage starts. Don't forget your password, they cannot be reset currently - please write down your username, password, and Machine ID somewhere safe.

Should I leave my machine on extra for this?
No!!! It's important you keep using the machine as normal. If you shut it off at night, keep doing that. If you're running Folding@home, keep doing that too.

Why the emails, will I be spammed?
No. Mainly for the forgotten passwords (when that is fixed). If your host does something odd/bad, you may get an email. Keep an eye on the forums for new versions and news.

More to come with this Storage@home thing?
Oh yes :) A very brief version of what's ahead is in the paper Storage@home: Petascale Distributed Storage

Networking

How often will you be sending packets?
Once it is up and working properly, every ~5 minutes. After 6 minutes sah-monitor.exe will contact the server and report in. Usually because your DSL address has changed, or the network fell down somewhere.

And what about a fast network?
You need a DSL, Cable, or other broadband connection that is up 24/7. Doesn't need to be the fastest, in fact even what they call "broadband" in the USA will work. You do not need a static IP address or any other features. But no modems.

Why are pings sometimes so long?
Stanford's network is super mega awesome sometimes.

Security

I have to forward a port on my router, and open my firewall, what shenanigans are afoot?
No shenanigans. The server at Stanford needs to be able to reach your machine to see if it's responsive and gather stats. Think of it as a version of "Can you hear me now?". Normally machines are not really on the Internet, just able to get to it. The port forwarding and firewall puts you on the Internet.

Who can see my hosts?
Nobody but you for now, and you have to be logged in.

Is my Machine ID a secret?
Not really, but edit it out of any logs you paste.

Why do I need to be an administrator on the machine?
You need to own the machine you're setting this up on. Do NOT set this up on a machine at work. Storage@home will later involve storage and some really awesome capabilities, but that is exactly the sort of thing that can get you in serious trouble if you're not the machines owner. But it also allows for some great research to get done.

Any security risks?
sah-monitor.exe doesn't run any other programs, and only responds to a specific fixed packet type, and even then only from one specific server at Stanford. Some pretty serious security will be in place before Storage@home can do anything interesting.

Misc

Who is working on Storage@home?
Adam Beberg, a member of the Pande Group. Any feedback/questions should go in the Storage@home forum on http://foldingforum.org/