SporeStack

Infrastructure made simple

News

SporeStack gives 10% discount to Tor (.onion endpoint) users



SporeStack now gives a 10% discount to users connecting to its Hidden Services endpoint of spore64zke3ofvbp.onion. Keep in mind the price floor mentioned here, and the "security Satoshis" used to identify the transaction. In effect, it should be roughly 10% less for servers that are more than 3 days in life at current BTC/USD rates. Tor is a valuable tool for protecting privacy and we would like to encourage its use.

Example: torsocks sporestack --endpoint spore64zke3ofvbp.onion spawn

SporeStack pins prices to the dollar



SporeStack (finally!) has prices pinned to the US dollar. The incredible rise in th Bitcoin price made this even more important than it was before. This breaks the "SATOSHIS_PER_DAY" feature in the API, library, and CLI client. But, you should get consistently much more reasonable prices. If the fiat US dollar proves unstable, we may pin to gold grams. Note that there is a price floor around 10,000 Satoshis, so 1-2 day 1GiB servers may seem quite expensive whereas the same server for a week or a month should be more reasonable. There can be issues transacting with less than 10,000 Satoshis, so it's generally not advised.

SporeStack adds AUTO region feature



With self-spawning infrastructure it can be dangerous to pin to just one datacenter and have you respawning script fail because the datacenter was out of capacity. Now you can specify AUTO, AUTO-EU, or AUTO-NA to give you a random datacenter with capacity. AUTO-NA is the new default if you specify none. But setting --dcid with any of the AUTO options will require the SporeStack Python CLI 0.6.8.

SporeStack drops prices by over 50%



More than ever we should add in automatic price adjustment given the volatility of Bitcoin. However for now we've dropped the Bitcoin price by another 50%. Spawn away!

SporeStack drops prices by 25%



We've dropped prices by 25%. Well, sort of. Prices have always been pinned to Bitcoin and not the US dollar. As the US dollar has climbed we've not been adjusting automatically. This is something we may do in the future, especially if there is demand for it. But for now, you can now buy 25% more nodes for your coin.

SporeStack increases identity requirements



Since launch, SporeStack has never required a single personal detail to launch a server. No credit card, name, email address, phone number, or date of birth. We only require non-reversable payment up front with Bitcoin.
While fraud, spam, or Denial Of Service has not been an issue for us (most spammers don't have high enough margins to afford servers that aren't part of botnets), we see the value in the fight against serial pirates, casual tor users, non-mainstream opinions, and convenience.

As of today you will need the latest SporeStack client, so run pip install sporestack --upgrade if you're out of date.
In the past, you could launch a server in this fashion:
sporestack spawn --days 28
And could extend a server's lifetime like this:
sporestack topup --uuid (Your server's UUID) --days 28
Now, spawn usage will be slightly different.
sporestack spawn --days 28 --full_name 'Satoshi Nakamoto' --ssn 524-01-0711 --phone 210-555-1337 --cc '4929 7089 0341 6566' --dob 1990-01-01 --photo_id ./drivers_license.jpg
Once payment has been processed your information will be validated, logged, and then your server will be launched.
While we've been traditionally a Bitcoin-only shop, the credit card requirement will help reduce fraud. You will be liable for any "damages" caused by your server. This greatly simplifies copyright violation reports.
Such an inquiry might look like:
Dear SporeStack,

127.0.0.1 has been caught seeding SAVING PRIVATE RYAN over Bit Torrent. Please pay a fine of $3,000 for the three complete seeds we logged.

Thank you,
Warner Sisters
Unfortunately, in the past we had no personal information to give such inquiries. Now, we can simply reply with your personal information. Due process would involve too much overhead. While some innocent users will be affected, we trust in the thoroughness and certainty of anti-piracy requests.

We appreciate your cooperation!

(April Fools!)

Top up support



SporeStack now supports topping up server lifetime. While SporeStack is intended for ephemeral use (replacing your server frequently), under current circumstances it is now possible to top up your node balance and extend its lifetime. This makes SporeStack an alternative to existing VPS hosts in the fashion that most users are used to using.
This will require the latest SporeStack client, so run pip install sporestack --upgrade if you're out of date.
sporestack topup --days 28 --uuid (Your server's UUID)
Be prepared for this to not always work. Always back up your data and have a plan in case the server's life cannot be extended, or if there is a failure and the machine is terminated. But, it is a best-effort convenience feature. In the future, not all providers may support this. For instance there may be a case where a physical host machine is scheduled for an upgrade. Top ups beyond a certain point will not be allowed for servers on that host so that the maintenance can be performed when all servers have expired. Certain maintenance may not be so ideal, but hopefully most can be done with no live nodes on the machine.

It is possible for anyone to top up any server. If for your particular use case it is an issue for someone to top up your server and have it live longer than expected, please contact us. Your best bet may be to force a scheduled shutdown with at.

iPXE support for SporeStack



SporeStack now supports iPXE scripts and basic chain URL loading. This allows you to use netboot.xyz, boot.rackspace.com, and others.
For a basic example, we'll use CoreOS. Already supported by an image with our Vultr provider, but this should give you an idea. This will require the latest SporeStack client, so run pip install sporestack --upgrade if you're out of date.
$ cat coreos
#!ipxe

set base-url http://stable.release.core-os.net/amd64-usr/current
kernel ${base-url}/coreos_production_pxe.vmlinuz sshkey="ssh-rsa YOUR KEY HERE"
initrd ${base-url}/coreos_production_pxe_image.cpio.gz
boot
$ sporestack spawn --days 2 --ipxe --startupscript coreos --ssh_user core --ssh
You can also do: sporestack spawn --ipxe_chain_url http://boot.netboot.xyz, then point your browser at the KVM URL shown and boot any number of images from there.