Hello. I am a 24 year old from Romania, currently a student in IT school. Despite my age, I don't have a job yet for several reasons... primarily anxiety disorders and most tasks being more than I can handle. I've still been looking to earn money from my limited computer skills for a while. A few weeks ago I thought about something that I could do easily: Running a server farm for any service which pays for such. I heard of super-computing in the past, and even ran a voluntary server. I know about such servers being used in research, render farms, and I assume the practice exists for other tasks too such as large scale code compilers.
In essence, this is what I'm looking for: I register an username on the website of the service and add my Paypal or bank account to it. I then download their application, configure it to login to my user, then leave it running in the background. The program can use the machine to process and upload data. Based on the work it did in a day / week / month, the service adds the amount of money it sees fit to my account. Sadly I don't suspect anything this simple exists yet, but it's what I'm generally hoping for. There are only a few things I care about specifically:
- I don't want a gun pointed to my head about the server's uptime. 99% of the time it would be up 24/7, but there are cases of power or internet failures and I might not immediately detect if the machine or program freezes. In essence: If it goes down for a week, don't pay a penny for that week, but also don't send emails saying "if it's not up in a day you're fired" (in this case banned from the service).
- The service must not rely on my machine permanently storing data. I want to make a server for processing, not hosting. It can of course unload and cache anything within the drive's space limit... just not rely on the files being there forever, or hold me responsible if everything on the drive is lost for some reason.
- The service must be able to send money either to my debit card (bank BCR from Romania) or Paypal account. The first is preferred, since I don't trust PP that much.
- The application must run natively on Linux. I no longer have Windows or plan to get it again.
If those requirements are met, the software is free to fully use the machine's resources (100% CPU / RAM / drive space) and do whatever it wants through them. It can also use all the bandwidth it needs, although I might limit the server's connection in the router to avoid it slowing down my desktop. I'm not looking to make a fortune from this, and any payment is ok... although I'd prefer a service that offers at least 100$ a month. I'm willing to buy expensive server parts for this, and if all goes well I might gradually build more servers.
What I'd like to know first of all is what services or companies pay anyone for offering data processing servers. Second, what hardware should I get for such a machine, and what should I focus on most (CPU, memory, video card, drive space)? Also, which Linux distribution is best for the job?
Edited by Taoki, 26 September 2013 - 06:02 PM.