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Leaving the Cloud

02.01.2020

For quite a long time this place on the internet that I call home had been hosted by a third party service. Netlify has treated me very well and provided me with a complete headache-less setup, given that over the last two-ish years they didn't ask me to pay for a damn-thing. They run a solid service, with a fair system in place and I would absolutely recommend it to people who aren't as broken about this as I am. Having said that, I still left the cloud and re-conquered a little space for myself.

But it's 2020… who runs their own web servers anymore, let alone their own hardware? That's a job for the cloud to take care of!
As we all know big to semi big cloud services run our internet today and I work with them on a daily basis. Nevertheless I enjoy being part of the small group of people on the internet that hasn't been swallowed up by the cloud. Cloud services provide great connectivity even to the furthest corners on this planet and almost all guarantee 99% uptime backed by the latest generation Intel Xeon E5 CPUs or something alike (sounds familiar?). For many reasons using the cloud is the right thing to do, but doing the right thing is usually also less fun.

I am consciously giving up all amenities and have decided to serve my own website by running my own web server, on a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, from a datacenter in Hamburg. I rent space there due to many other reasons and since I had more unused IPv4 addresses I decided to tinker a little and let me enjoy this. I run zero important services or applications from this Raspberry Pi. Everything is static HTML created with Hugo & served by Nginx, which I could move to and replicate on absolutely any other service at any given moment. It's my own version of a almost headache-less web hosting setup. Boring, simple and reliable.
The biggest factor which enables me to do this though is N@Work's great peering. They are a great partner even for a very small customer like me and offer direct peering with the worlds biggest internet exchange point in Frankfurt. The DE-CIX is only a couple Milliseconds away and from there my traffic quickly arrives at any destination in the world.
To test everything I asked a friend in San Francisco to open my website, without telling him why. I was told that it showed up almost instantly on his phone over a cellular connection, which made me really happy since it shows that I'm not facing any major downsides to leaving Netlify since this website is small and efficient.

On top of that how many websites can show you a photo of the server that just answered your request to send you this website?