As we prepare to celebrate the new year, I thought I’d put down a few thoughts about 2022. I started this blog in 2019 to document a huge project I’d assigned myself to minimize my reliance on technology services which use my data to enrich themselves at my expense. This doesn’t mean going completely off of them, but using them in a way that produces least amount of (useful) data possible. I’m a huge advocate for open source software and I’m mixed on the “the cloud”.

I think it’s a huge mistake for companies to move their entire IT infrastructure to public clouds. I’m all for the cloud where it makes sense and I support many of the techologies that made it possible (I remember when it was called Utility Computing), but it’s a huge mistake to put the entire company’s future into the hands of a cloud provider. That’s the literal definition of vendor lock-in.

I think there will come a day when the demand for the services outpace available capacity and prices will skyrocket. There will be rationing and prioritizing those willing to pay the highest price. This is the main reason, outside of additional privacy, I’m a “self-hoster”.

Here’s a quick list of this year’s self-hosting accomplishments:

  • Added a 2nd physical server to my rack to create a Proxmox cluster.
  • Added 24TB of new storage so that both servers have the same capacity.
  • Resolved a significant network driver issue with the new server which caused all kinds of havoc and almost killed the project
  • Migrated from the old Rancher-based kubernetes cluster to a new cluster on k3s.
  • Deployed Longhorn for native cluster storage.
  • Built and rebuilt the cluster many times using Terraform and Ansible automation while troubleshooting the network driver issues causing corrupted Longhorn volumes. This was complete confirmation that the effort to adopt Infrastructure-as-Code was worth it.
  • Deployed many new applications, which I’m still catching up documenting.
  • Deployed a Docker image registry, a Github clone (Gitea), and a CI/CD platform (Drone) all running on the new k3s cluster.
  • Converted this blog from Ghost to a static site using Hugo, Gitea, Drone, and it runs as it’s own application on the k3s cluster. I now write posts in markdown and commit them to Git, the entire site is rebuilt into a Docker image and deployed automatically.
  • I have a begun the deployment of Crowdsec IPS/IDS, Domotz network monitoring, and a SIEM to capture logs and detect threats in the network.

I would have made more progress, I think, if I hadn’t run into some stability issues which I couldn’t figure out for the longest time. There are still some problems with at least one Postgresql database running on the cluster, but it’s manageable. I almost gave up, but in the end I figured it out.

It didn’t help that I launched a new business in 2020 that started to take off in 2022 which took my time and attention away from the project while I juggled a full-time IT job. I left my salaried job in July to run the business full-time. That’s given me more time to get other projects such as my security infrastructure project off the ground.

I was able to develop the habit of posting to this blog regularly. With the exception of some weeks I took off due to holidays, illness, or traveling, I posted almost every Saturday in the last quarter of the year and I plan to continue that into 2023.

Overall, I’m happy with how 2022 went despite the setbacks and I’m looking forward to making more progress in 2023. This project gave me a surprising amount of confidence to make the leap to running an IT services business full-time.