Managed vs. non-managed VPS

SPO folks,

I’ve been invested in ADA since 2017/18. I know linux, but have never been an admin or managed a server. I am building for the future and have decided I’d like to try my hand at Cardano Stake Pool Operation. I’ve bought an air-gap machine already… now the nodes…

I don’t want the noise of a server in my home and live in a place that has had power issues on occasion (1-3 epoch per year). So, for me I think it better to setup on datacenters with a Virtual Private Server. I am choosing non-Digital-Ocean; non-AWS hosting companies. I will use at least two for decentralization and plan on nodes in at least three geographic regions on at least two continents.

Now I am confronted with how to rent the VPS – managed or unmanaged? Here’s an image of the typical language I’ve seen on a few hosing sites… What do you think? Is SPO only an unmanaged type of situation? Thanks.

I’d say that you definitely want self-managed!

For the managed solution someone at your hoster has root access to the machine and, therefore, also to all the keys that are on there. Even if you follow the air-gap solution by the book that is still a risk.


@HeptaSean Thanks for confirming my suspicion of that!

Follow-up question would then be what other software do we need to keep up-to-date/patched on our servers besides the cardano-node software?

I suppose Ubuntu OS… any node-monitoring software (seems ppl use garafa to monitor their nodes). What else should I be thinking about keeping updated as an Operator?

Sorry for such noob/non-admin questions… I haven’t read through the existing forum material yet, but I see some of these things as not explained in the how-to Cardano SPO docs.

Most SPOs either use the Coincashew guide at or cntools available at

For monitoring, gLiveView available at is often used.

cncli available at and installable with a script similar to cntools and gLiveView from might also be useful.

Personally, if I would operate a stake pool (which I don’t), I would probably go with the cntools, but only after reading the scripts thoroughly enough to understand, what it is that they are doing (where cross-referencing with the Coincashew guide and maybe the “official” documentation might help).

Maybe, @Alexd1985 has some more pointers.

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Thanks @HeptaSean
cntools just make your life easier… :crazy_face: u will not need to build the transactions manually … it has a friendly interface

  • for monitoring u can use grafana
  • for software upgrade u can use my script or u will find the guide how to step by step each time when a new version will be released

last one is 1.34.1

But the most important thing is the amount of ADA staked/delegated… you must know from the begining that the pool will need ~1-2M ADA to mint 1block/epoch (average)



I second Alex’s comments. Make sure you understand the economics of being a SPO. You’ll be paying a lot of hosting fees with VPS but if you aren’t minting blocks, you won’t have any ADA income. Just go in with your eyes wide open.



Great info, but I would like to provide latest link to CNCLI:


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You should choose self-managed for complete control of your VPS. It’s better than managed VPS

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Thank you! Interesting. Both repositories seem to be on the same state, but neither is a fork of the other. links to the AndrewWestberg repository, not to the cardano-community repository. Should maybe be changed there, too, if development is now to happen in the latter.

Hi sorry to be a buzz kill but before you go this route unless you have a couple hundred thousand ada to stake or know someone to stake that amount or have a large marketing budget i wouldnt start a pool. You kinda need to find a block every 2 weeks just to cover your costs for hosting. 100k ada staked means around 0.1 chance of a block per epoch. So 10 epochs to statistically to find 1 block or 50 days. Hopefully u can see the maths. U may be lucky and find 2 blocks straight away but overtime it will even out. So if u find 2 straight away u should then wait 20 epochs to find ur 3rd block. Dont want to put u off but u have to consider the costs and not angry when ur pool ends up costing you more than u hope to achieve. I love ada. Reality is b i t c h sometimes :wink: good luck man