# Lotus Miner: manage storage deals

This guide describes the different workflows and options that Lotus miners can use to manage storage deals.

During the lifetime of a miner, Filecoin network clients will query the storage price-ask advertised by the miner and initiate deals. Deals go through several phases:

  1. Data transfer (for online deals) or data import (for offline deals)
  2. Sealing sector with deal data (miner)
  3. Proving (every 24 hours)

The following sections provide insights into the different ways Lotus can be used to manage several parts of the storage-deal process.

# Enabling and disabling deals

There are two ways to enable and disable new storage deals in the miner. Either:

Since restarting the miner is a delicate operation, it is best to let Lotus handle things by using the lotus-miner storage-deals selection commands.

To disable storage deals, run:

lotus-miner storage-deals selection reject --online --offline

The commands above will automatically update the values in the config.toml file for offline and online deals, according to the flags used above.

You can verify the current status with:

lotus-miner storage-deals selection list

To re-enable storage deals, run:

$ lotus-miner storage-deals selection reset
$ # Verify that they have been enabled
$ lotus-miner storage-deals selection list
considering online storage deals: true
considering offline storage deals: true

The values above affect new deals. Ongoing deals will still have to be honored.

# Setting the asking price

One of the most important aspects of accepting new deals will be the miners' conditions and price. Incoming deals are evaluated on these conditions and automatically accepted or rejected by Lotus miners.

Storage prices, and other conditions, are set with the lotus-miner storage-deals set-ask command. For example:

lotus-miner storage-deals set-ask \
    --price 0.0000001 \
    --verified-price 0.0000001  \
    --min-piece-size 56KiB \
    --max-piece-size 32GB

The above command sets the price for deals to 0.0000001 FIL (100 nanoFIL) per GiB, per epoch. This means, a client will have to pay 100 nanoFIL every 30 seconds for each GiB stored. If the client wants 5GiB stored over the course of a week, the total price will be: 5GiB * 100nanoFIL/GiB_Epoch * 20160 Epochs = 10080 microFIL.

The command also serves to set the minimum and maximum deal sizes. Be sure to check lotus-miner storage-deals set-ask --help to see all options.

You can display the miner's current ask price with:

lotus-miner storage-deals get-ask

Lotus clients can request the miner price as well with:

lotus client query-ask <minerID>

# Listing current deals

Current deals and their current state can be found by running:

lotus-miner storage-deals list -v

The list displays:

  • When the deal was created.
  • The DataCID that is being stored.
  • The wallet address of the client that submitted it.
  • The size and the duration in epochs (30 seconds per epoch).

# Deals that are pending publishing

To list the deals waiting in your publish queue:

lotus-miner storage-deals pending-publish

You can publish the deals whenever you want with the --publish-now option:

lotus-miner storage-deals pending-publish --publish-now

The miner's default configuration is set to batch multiple deals and publish the message to a maximum of 8 deals per hour. You can change the PublishMsgPeriod and MaxDealsPerPublishMsg in your configuration file.

# Blocking storage deals by PieceCID

The Lotus Miner provides internal tooling to import a PieceCID-blocklist:

lotus-miner storage-deals set-blocklist blocklist-file.txt

The blocklist-file.txt should contain a list of CIDs, each on a separate line. The current blocklist can be checked with:

lotus-miner storage-deals get-blocklist

To reset and clear the blocklist, run:

lotus-miner storage-deals reset-blocklist

# Grouping deals in the same sector

A delay between the moment the deals are received and the start of the sealing of the sector that contains the data allows miners to include multiple deals per sector when space permits it. A higher number of deals per sector allows a more efficient operation since it will require less sealing and proving operations.

The delay can be set using the WaitDealsDelay option in the [Sealing] section of the configuration.

# Offline storage deals

When the amount of data to be transmitted is very large, it may be more effective to ship some hard drives directly to the miner and complete the deal in an offline fashion.

In this case, the miner will have to import the storage deal data manually with the following command:

lotus-miner storage-deals import-data <dealCid> <filePath>

# Offline deal workflow

This is the general process for how an offline storage deal works:

  1. The storage provider must have considering offline storage deals set to true.

  2. The storage provider and the client clarify key aspects of the storage deal. They must come to an agreement on:
    a. How large the storage payload is.
    a. Duration of the deal.
    a. The price to the client for storage of the data.
    a. Whether it is a verified deal or not.
    a. The start epoch for the deal.
    a. When the data should be ready for download.
    a. Estimated/minimum download speed.

  3. The client provides a way to transfer the storage payload, usually using a URL link. However, in cases where the storage payload is quite large, it may be optimal for the client to physically send the storage provider hard drives containing the data. The storage provider must decide where to temporarily store the data. This can be on a slower HDD array.
    a. The client must send the data as .car files and must generate the CID of each .car file before sending the data to the storage provider.
    b. The client must share the CIDs of each .car file with the storage provider.

  4. If the files were compressed by the client to send over the internet, the storage provider must decompress the data. At this point, the storage provider may need to adjust the deal price to suit any changes in data size.

  5. This client sends a deal proposal. This can be viewed by the storage provider by running lotus-miner storage-deals list. The deal will have the WaitingForData status.

    • The storage provder imports each deal using lotus-miner storage-deals import-data <dealCid> <carFilePath>.

    TIP

    Each import can take between 5 to 20 minutes. Sometimes the command will look like it has stalled. Be patient.

  6. The imported deal will go through the normal process EmptyAPWaitDeal until WaitDeal, the sector expires, or is manually pushed. The storage provider still pays the publish and sealing message fees.

  7. If the storage provider changed the storage price for this specific deal, they must revert to their normal price after imports are done.

  8. Once the deal finishes sealing and has the active status, the storage provider can delete the original .car files. If the sector does not fully seal and turn active, the storage provider must create a new dealCid to retry using the same .car file. Storage providers cannot reuse a failed dealCid.

This is just the general workflow for arranging an offline storage deal. Individual workflows may be different from storage provider to storage provider, and client to client.