> @Hetzner_online has silently changed their T&C and banned entire IP ranges this morning around 9:20 am. [I] cancelled and moved 50 AX41 in the past 36h. Deeply disappointed, even though the change does not affect me.
Hetzner Online GmbH:
> Yes it's true, we have amended the T&C and forbidden crypto mining. We received many orders for servers with large hard drives. But increasingly large storage boxes are also being rented for this. For storage boxes this leads to problems with the bandwidth of the host systems. For Chia mining, the disks are additionally extremely taxed due to the amount of read and write operations, causing them to break quickly.
> I understand that. But when I rent a server, I want to be able to use the hardware. That is, if I want to roast the CPU or write to the disks 24/7, I should be able to do that, because I rented the full server.
No, when you BUY a server you should be able to do what you want with it, including burning up the CPU in a week. When you RENT a server, you get to do exactly what the owner says you can do.
Meanwhile in a top voted comment from yesterday's thread: "I'm thrilled by [Nvidia cripples cryptocurrency mining]": https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27200700
If you want to treat your car however you like, you can buy a car and abuse it to your heart's content.
And completely off topic.
So you'd oppose right-to-repair if manufacturers are willing to carry out the repairs themselves, presumably negating the environmental/waste benefits?
>And completely off topic.
That's the beauty of comment trees. If it becomes too off topic for you, you can collapse it.
Right where they were, given the rather significant difference between owning and renting.
I paid AWS for that, but I surely impacted the lifespan of that box compared to someone else that would use it for something more traditional. AWS seems happy to let people use EC2 for whatever they'll pay for, for the most part, but does this mean that Hetzner doesn't want me to calculate the next version of my fractal on their machines?
Or has Hetzner just decided they don't want Cryptocurrencies, and that's exactly the line?
Renting out hardware involves setting a price point that turns a healthy profit assuming some average hardware lifespan.
Crypto miners that rent hardware are leveraging arbitrage though, where the price of hardware rentals is just low enough that the crypto mining generates more money than the rental cost.
This means they will rent as many resources as Hetzner will let them and hammer them as long and hard as Hetzner will let them, because it’s pure profit. All the risks associated with buying hardware for crypto mining is dumped on Hetzner’s collective lap for a fee that’s too small to justify it.
Either Hetzner can raise prices to eliminate this arbitrage opportunity (at the expense of their normal/primary customer base and core business), bet big on crypto and pivot to being a crypto mining company and cut out these middle-men, or just ban crypto and go back to business as usual. If Hetzner has any faith at all in their core business model, banning crypto mining is the obvious choice.
Hetzner calculates tightly on the assumption that many renters don't tax the hardware. This assumption enables a profit on rented hardware. Like already said, arbitrage, but different: by taking away profit from Hetzner.
Same with Hetzner. They aren't just renting a box to people. They rent a box and SLAs, basically promises that that box performs as advertised. And to achieve that they have invested a lot, which will be pointless if they'll start mining themselves.
Uh, in the contract (here the Terms and Conditions) the customer agreed to? That's kind of how business transactions work. Hence why they updated the T&C. This isn't some abstract question of philosophy, it's their hardware that they rent under their T&C which they can revise at will (and customers may then go elsewhere, or not).
In the case of rental in general, it often includes some expectations around non-abusive usage. Part of the entire freaking model of "rental" is that a customer of some property can cease usage at will on a rapid time frame, dealing with no capital expenditure/depreciation/maintenance issues, and then the property can be rented to new customer. If one customer destroys said property or massive degrades it such that it can no longer be used for future customers, that completely changes the entire equation. And most rental businesses outside of special (and extremely expensive) situations don't want to deal with that. There isn't anything unreasonable about that. If people want to use hardware to the absolute max with absolutely zero control except the law and contracts for their energy/bandwidth, that's what colo is for.
Well specifically here, their T&C has 9.3 (https://www.hetzner.com/rechtliches/agb):
>9.3 We are also entitled to terminate the contractual relationship for good cause without notice.
>Another important reason, that can result in block or determination without notice, may be that the customer uses content, which affects the performance or the safety of the server.
So basically, "Are you being an asshole and fucking up our equipment and/or experience for other customers? Do that and GTFO." And that's it. It's not a big deal.
>You can't say that T&C ban mining crypto for proof of stake
They certainly could. They can put anything not contrary to law in the T&C they want, and they don't need any reason for it either. They can flat out forbid cryptomining period regardless of if it's proof of work or proof of stake or proof of steak or anything else. They can do it because it mostly tends to be abusive and it's too much of a PITA to sort through and "why the hell don't you just buy your own server and colo", or the can do it if they feel it's morally wrong, or whatever.
>In other words "mining" is equivalent to "computation" of any sort
It's not though, it's mining. They can discriminate by application if they like. Now as a practical matter sure, if you're doing something that causes zero issues then even if they say "no mining" you're highly unlikely to face any sort of trouble. They don't seem to be actively and zealously out to get customers, they just don't want assholes as customers. It's obviously unlikely they'd bother anybody merely doing reasonable computation. But a blanket "no mining" rule may still be worth it to them for what to point to in case of issues given the business incentives involved. And that's ok.
I mean, it seems like you're trying to be cute here and rules lawyer as if they're a computer running a program, not humans running a business. That's not the case though. Customers and Hetzner have 100% short period consensual transactional relationships in a crowded market. Neither side owes the other anything in particular outside a single billing cycle. They don't need a bright line, and indeed bright lines tend to be INCREDIBLY challenging and a bad idea when it comes to this kind of general population service limits (ie., outside of high price serious SLA ones where someone genuinely is paying for everything). It gets too complex to tailor to situations like "John Doe has been a great customer for 10+ years and needed to do this one time super heavy thing and we're going to cut him some slack" vs "Joe Blow who just joined a few months ago on a bottom barrel tier and whined at support constantly and suddenly thrashed our hardware pursuing the latest pump and dump", which businesses certainly can and do treat differently even if both parties "used the same amount of hardware resources in a given period". If it becomes a big enough deal, a judge can sort out whether something was for "good cause" or not, but it's unlikely to go to court over such chickenfeed money (nor would an abusive customer win anyway).
In short: If you want a specific SLA with bright lines and so forth, you need to negotiate a specific contract to that effect. Expect to pay for it. If you want the "sign up in 30 seconds on the website come one come all!" offer I'd pay close attention to the T&C and in particular sections like 9.3 above, which if anything is fantastically generous to the customer vs what you'd get from American companies.
That said, Hetzner will wield the banhammer whenever you do things that interfere with their network infrastructure, so port scanning or connecting to many potentially unroutable IPs is a sure way to get your server taken offline. And I believe most if not all cryptocurrency networks run decentralized with P2P connectivity, which means they would cause a high rate of unroutable connection requests.
Also, they can't really offer a beefy server and free HDD replacements for €50 monthly if too many people abuse it and run Chia. So as a current customer, I'm quite happy that they keep the noisy neighbors out ;)
If you’re asking philosophically: the answer is exactly the same. The line is wherever they say it is, it’s their hardware.
I wonder if the legal concept of “wasting” has been (or could be) applied to rented servers.
Edit: Wikipedia for anyone curious but the article seems a bit incomplete/inaccurate to me because it insinuates the concept applies only to "real property" but it can apply to trust assets, including personal property, as well. I suppose the difference is a trustee owes an equal fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries, including future beneficiaries, while a server user has no such duty to the server owner or future potential server users. I don't see why an anti-wasting provision couldn't be included in the rental agreement, though.
Yes, terms against costs incurred due to extreme, malicious or negligent conduct by a renter are fairly common I think across nearly every service aren't they? I mean for a completely different category, take typical tenant agreements for housing rental. A lot of rentals include some level of utilities, particularly if they're in a location with stuff like public water/sewer. And in turn there is a lot of language like this (first result from a quick search on google )
>UTILITIES & SERVICES
>"III. Tenant may not be negligent in his/her use of any included utility or service. If by tenants negligence, the utility bill or service fee dramatically increases, tenant will be billed for any overages which will then be due and payable by tenant as additional rent."
Which is just another case of writing out legally a pretty common sense social contract "don't be an asshole" type of thing. The included utilities are so that billing is easier and bills more predictable by everyone for something everyone uses and the costs of which are spread out across many. But as adults everyone is expected to not do things like leave the water running, forget and then go on vacation for a few weeks wasting tens of thousands of gallons. Since some people have inevitably decided they can do whatever with no consequences if there isn't force behind it contracts have to cover massive amounts of stuff these days which can be irritating. But the principle itself is not an unreasonable thing is it?
This is fine. If you use your rental car to drag race and off-road, it’s reasonable for them to ban you from doing business with them.
Aside from not being able to do anything illegal, including speeding, it has language around various overages and things that will result in additional charges, like taking vehicles off-road or damage to it from negligence.
EDIT: found it.
"there is just generally a lot of bad actors out there, even people not directly doing mining -- people who don't pay their invoices, commit fraud"
Since this is Germany, we had similar discussions in the early 00 years with the term "flatrate" for internet access as well as downloads. In the beginning many internet access providers advertised using the term "flatrate" but what they meant was "fair use". Reminds me of that.
Not saying that it's right that they do, just saying that they do.
> In the case of current contracts (so-called "continuing obligations"), e. B. Rental contracts, be it for apartments, web servers, software or the use of a social network, GTC may not be changed during the term.
> In the case of continuing obligations, the contractual partners can either voluntarily agree to the new terms and conditions. However, it is also possible to include an amendment clause that allows tacit change. Then the contracting parties must be informed of the changes and that the changes will come into force if they do not contradict them.
Germany has pretty strict laws about Terms and Conditions since they assume no one reads the things anyways or are able to properly understand them if they did.
I don't think this is the case. I certainly don't see anything like that in the [guidelines](https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html)
If you have a single server and you're maxing out the CPU and drive: this probably isn't that much of an issue; most people don't and having the occasional user who does is okay.
An entire community of people doing this en-masse: well, that's a bit more problematic.
I do wonder how they'll monitor it though?
that seems like an overly broad definition of "shared resources". With the exception for rentals with unmetered utilities, those are all billed by usage. Nobody says that driving a SUV is "sucking up shared resources (fuel)" simply because it uses more fuel to do the same thing as a sedan.
"SUVs are the second-biggest cause of the rise in global carbon dioxide emissions during the past decade. Only the power sector is a bigger contributor."
"If SUV drivers were a nation, they would rank seventh in the world for carbon emissions"
By this logic, is every resource a shared resource? Does the concept of ownership not exist anymore? Am I committing the heinous crime of "sucking up shared resources" if I buy a $2000 gaming PC and use it to browse HN rather than to game?
Ownership is a useful heuristic, both for planning ahead and for describing resources that are currently held exclusively. I'm not really sure what your point is on that one.
Intended actions matter. If you buy an expensive PC with the intent of video gaming, but then find that your interests shift, I have no problem with that. On the other hand, if you buy an expensive PC for the purpose of conspicuous consumption, to show off that you have bought it, then I'd be tilting my head at you. If you buy an expensive PC for the purpose of running it 24/7 to contribute to a system that is used primarily for speculation and that has enabled the rise of ransomware, then I have a large problem with it.
It might be worth noting that Hetzner is known to use consumer hardware for some of their lower tier offerings and consumer SSDs usually have a relatively low TBW (Terabyte written) rating.
Their pricing seems to rely on customers that don't maximize power consumption and hardware wear all the time, and I can fully understand if they ban specific use-cases like this from their hardware.
Long term vs. short term thinking. It's more beneficial for them to maintain long term customers than mine a volatile cryptocurrency in the short term.
This does not logically follow. Why does Nvidia bother to sell hardware then when they can just keep the most powerful cards for themselves and use them for mining?
If you rent out your servers at a fixed price and they can mine crypto on them for a profit, then there is a high chance that your flat-rate pricing is not high enough. They would need to consider their missed earnings from not mining themselves as an opportunity cost of renting out servers instead.
"Yes, it's true, we expanded the ToS and banned crypto mining. We received many orders for servers with large disks. Large storage boxes (?) are also increasingly often rented. With storage boxes 1/2"
"this leads to bandwidth problems on the host systems. With Chia mining, there is the additional problem that the many read and write accesses put a lot of strain on the drives which will lead to failure. 2/2"
At most, wouldn't you upload enough data to the servers to fill the drives once and then use a trickle afterwards? That seems like the best case for a storage box's bandwidth.
Have friends in the hotel business. There is a particular type of rich customer who serially trashes every room they stay in.
Some hotels indulge them. These customers pay for their damages and then some, after all. Others turn them away. The extra cash doesn’t make up for the toll taken on employees and other guests. These are both sensible business decisions, and they each have consequences.
Miners are the loud, trashy guest who can pay. Hetzner is saying they don’t want them because they’re ruining the experience for their other customers.
I upvoted your comment, but I think it is worse than that. If miners were willing to pay for their own damn hardware it would be closer to ok. They instead want to externalize the costs they create, by trashing the hardware without paying for the repairs. Remember that Hetzner rents servers for a fixed monthly fee and the miners weren't getting charged more than anyone else, or getting stuck with the repair bills.
SSD's are rated for a given number of DWPD and if you exceed it, the warranty is invalid (the drive firmware monitors the usage). So Hetzner has to pay for the drive replacement that the miner trashed. Even if warranties covered the replacement, that just shifts the costs to other SSD buyers instead of to Hetzner. It's not an attractive proposition either way.
Mining crypto under such a cost structure would force other users subsidize your buttcoins. Personally I wouldn't feel too happy about such an income transfer.
> transfer the costs to the customers (for example for excessive IO, energy consumption,...)
That would be fair, but enabling it might have costs beyond the plain consumed resources: io/cpu/etc schedulers that take the exceptional loads into account and mitigate performance impacts, metering and other business overhead, productisation, investments into all that, etc.
The "buttcoins" part or the "income transfer" part? I guess if you have a grudge against crypto users there isn't anything worth arguing. On the other hand in a multitenant situation there's always going to be users using more resources than others, which means the "income transfer" part will always exist.
> there's always going to be users
... that fit those predictable load patterns I mentioned.
If all the major cloud vendors were to make it so regular consumers are unable to spin up a server and participate in mining, then what makes it 'distributed' and fair?
I don't even know to what extent mining is prevalent on Hetzner. Is this more of a statement or are they having shortages for non-crypto applications?
A similar case could occur with GPUs where the ones effective for mining are not generally accessible to the public and only those who can get them, a small subset of people in some position of power, isn't that different than a non-crypto-distributed currency. The 51% is really being tested by China. How many countries have governments/citizens with the capacity to be represented at that scale?
If anything, a ban such as that would be good at finally putting the nails into the crypto-coffin. Currencies and transactions are really one of the worst blockchain applications that could have been chosen for the first large-scale use of the blockchain.
But that's the only reason it exists? All the other uses so far have flopped.
It is a disaster that somebody made a system by which wasted electricity could be turned directly into financial speculation, though - a subsidy for raising the temperature of the earth.
Not everything is cloud. You can still have regular colocation where you bring your own hardware and pay for rack space, network and power consumption. Then you can trash your CPU and disks as much as you desire.
I got bit by this before with a hoster when I was much younger and starting out where I put a webproxy on a web host. The web host then changed their terms and conditions and blocked my account without informing me. Then to add insult to injury they said they would unblock it for 3 hours a certain day for me to remove. I'm still salty about that to this day.
"We strive to keep our networks operating at the highest possible level, so all of our clients benefit from it.
Therefore the following actions are prohibited:
* Operating applications that are used to mine crypto currencies"
I base this on personal experience: a few years ago, I rented a server with a GPU to run my own deep learning experiments. If my DL queue emptied, a script would run to start etherium mining. I monitored the GPU temperature and configured the mining software to only utilize about 75% of the GPU. I bet lots of people wouldn’t bother to do this.
You're just storing a pile of randomish numbers?
Bitcoin, et. al., sounds like a scam to me, but Chia farming sounds like next-level stupid.
If the "useful" data you're talking about has nobody willing to pay for its storage, is it really that useful? That's where the economical argument is with Chia: rewards are already low, and will get lower with time. So if some data has any kind of value, then there's no incentive to mine Chia instead of storing this data. Just store the SciHub library and rake in donations.
Hetzner decided there's more value in reserving their hardware for other usages. If the incentive to mine starts getting very big, then they can just mine themselves. From a blockchain-security PoV this is the same as customers-managed mining. Crypto mining incentive mechanisms are working as intended here, so as a cryptocurrency enthusiast I don't consider this development negative.
It's easy to look at something new, the use of it you don't understand, and instantly conclude it's stupid. "Why make data use up x10 more space by encrypting it? You should just store it in a secure location to begin with! Disk encryption is a scam!". "Why waste resources to secure some distributed ledger when you could just use Visa and Mastercard? Cryptocurrencies are a scam!"
If you accept the premise of cryptocurrencies at all, it's not as stupid as the pure proof-of-works, which essentially require endless scaling to eat any improved capability and efficiency. Big if there though.
I've never had AWS block me from compute - they just charge more if I want more.
I used to chase the "unlimited" services various of the cheaper providers offered - partly because HN always suggests that. But there are often weird limits. Ie, unlimited but... at some point its not worth dealing with. Either peering and latency is garbage, there is some fine print, or they just can't actually deliver the traffic volume. AWS same availability zone latency / bandwidth is really pretty OK between most nodes I've found.
Hetzner is also much cheaper than AWS.
Very different companies with very different business models. You can’t really compare the two.
Comments like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27212899 are particularly bad. Please don't do that on HN—it destroys this place for its intended purpose, which is simply to have an interesting forum on the internet that hopefully doesn't suck.
Look, I don’t know what’s so hard here. If you sell cloud compute it should be on the basis of usage. If that usage is 100% then charge aptly.
Just don’t market yourself as an open and non limited compute resource charged by usage.
Market yourself as a QOS’d, shaped sub service.
Or, I think more likely, is that the parent can't actually form a cohesive argument and is part of a group of people for whom the term "virtue signaling" has become synonymous with "bad" but is used to try carry more intellectual weight than it actually does.
This is bad for a single reason. It creates apartheid based on compute purpose.
If you can’t figure that out yourself that’s ok. I’m sure you’ll be ok. You seem to know some really big words already.
I’m not looking for crypto to be protected.
I’m looking for all compute classes to be treated equally.
Overriding this, a company should absolutely have the right to offload a customer.
That said, don’t then market yourself as general purpose computing in the cloud.
If I pay for xCPU @ xHz with yRAM I don’t want to have you then tell me what I can do with it. Just charge me aptly for my use.
Tbf I wouldn’t like to think they’d even know what I’m doing. Privacy should be ok.
Folks need to wake up to the fact that if we all end up relying on 3 cloud providers, we also end up having to live with their discretion regarding what is acceptable / moral use.
Also, this isn’t really the same as a DDOS, this is localised computation effectively. Running a hash function.
that would be my biggest concern. how are they deciding what i'm doing, and what happens when my usage pattern triggers their magical detection?
am i booted immediately? do i get a useful number of business days to say "nope, i'm actually doing something else entirely!" and they leave it at that? or do i have to somehow "prove" what computations i'm going to run before i do so?
it's well and good to let them have whatever ToS they want, and that's certainly the direction i lean in, but enforcement of some ToS can imply concerning things.
That said I think your view is short sighted.
“Crap” may turn out to be useful. Have you noticed the US debt ceiling?
The biggest reason it's banned is credit card fraud.