"You know what would be really cool?" I asked myself, "What?"
"The ability to dish out virtual private servers to my friends, like how Vultr and Digital Ocean do!"
And so an idea was born...
August 15th, 2017
Originally, I had many of my VMs scattered about the internet. These were the beginning of my experimentation with running virtual machines for specific services or applications. Above, you can see one of my first cloud instances- this is a droplet running on Vultr for my Minecraft server. I had this running for a couple of months on one of their VPS instances prior to firing up instances on my own hardware.
I've had server hardware for years, sitting in my storage room at my parents' house, never thinking to actually those rackmount servers for anything. No rack, no rails. They were there for an if I need them kind of situation. After administering several website droplets for friends and companies in the past, I felt like this year (2017) was the year I'd finally learn how to configure my own OpenVPN and then boot up my servers after rack-mounting them. But first, the acquisition of parts to get things running...
Above, you can see another example of a server I ran in Vultr's cloud. As of 9/26/2017, I retired the Minecraft server and consolidated any other game servers (two) into one vm. Now Factorio and a WIP both run in one Ubuntu container on Vultr. Man, I'd love to clone that beautiful frontend they have for their system, but I just don't have the time to rework all that- guess ProxMox will likely be my go-to going forward. Soon I will be rackmounting my servers I keep in on/off states- sleeping next to servers isn't really ideal for my sleep cycles, so moving them elsewhere will be nice.
Recently, as in the month of July 2018, I've further consolidated all game servers that I don't have friends actively playing on. Now I mainly help run a Minecraft instance on a friend's VPS instance and I've begun developing a way to automate the rollout of new Factorio servers that have many presets. I'll link the playbook in Github or Gitlab when it's more ready. Gotta figure out some more things in Ansible before it's done. Above is a screenshot of current work.
November 5th 2018, I am now working on trying to get the main HP server, “bigboi” setup as a HaaS for the most part- a homelab with VPN access per VM that my friends can access…while working on a Senior Design capstone project.
February 4th 2019 - I finally have the R710 setup as an unRAID server, however the “bigboi” server has been turned off for a while to save power. Currently working on getting a PXE boot vm up and running under unRAID, as well as a Nextcloud instance and am also working on changing the kickstarter file of a CentOS instance, then testing in a VM to see if our capstone project in college can be simulated efficiently.
For the capstone project, we’ll be doing something similar to what I originally envisioned with my VPS project, regarding the VPS instances…however this sandbox project my team is working on will spin up and spin down as needed for teachers in high schools to effectively teach IT material.
June 3rd 2019 - All prior 2U servers that were setup while I lived in Ohio have been decommissioned, wiped and sold. Now I’m looking into an alternative server system based on either something like a corebooted NUC or the Vikings server board as I search for lower-power alternatives to massive rack-sized systems.
August 12th 2019 - All servers have been sold. A small home Nextcloud/Plex server will be built soon, based on the Asrock Deskmini A300 case/motherboard combo, but other than that I’m done. This project will be on indefinite hold or ended until I have space/money to startup a large homelab again.