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Scaleway Kapsule and Rancher-managed Hetzner Kubernetes clusters

I honestly think this is the 3rd time I’m moving things around. First I was on Proxmox managing myself a cluster of bare-metal Hetzner (from the server auction page). Then I was torn between a home server and one on Hetzner. I was using many images from the TurnKey Linux project. Nice, interesting but required immense investments of time.

Then I decided I wanted managed Kubernetes services. Not long ago (half-a-month) did I went over to Digital Ocean’s managed Kubernetes service. For not a small price, got a 3 node cluster with 24GB of RAM and 12 cores. Started installing my stuff and quickly ran out of resources only to be forced to pay more.

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Swithing oceans, from Heztner to Digital Ocean

I think I’ve ignored the Kubernetes movement for many years now. I used to maintain Docker-based infrastructures a couple of years ago, over bare-metal, mostly for work purposes. It was an interesting learning experience back then in the details of the containers foundation.

Still, I am still prudent about infrastructure in general and for a long time have favored pure and simple bare-metal or bare-metal + VM solutions in favor of containers for most of the critical data workloads (a.k.a. Big Data). Even in work deployments, we bypassed the usual performance penalties of containers by bind mounting the disk or using IPVLAN for networking when pure performance was needed. My favoritism for bare-metal is based on the fact that you can’t just ignore +50 years of evolution and documentation (if we intent on saying that we consider the “birth” of 1st operating system (UNIX) in 1969). I don’t want to go earlier than that …

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Getting there …

Another midnight catches me tinkering away at my own little cloud on the Internet. Since renting these 6 machines in Hetzner I’ve been literally hacking away for the past month on setting things up fully automated (that means also dns-01 challenges for all my domains automated with Ansible + FreeIPA for the core services, DNS included and tightening up security).

Out of all 6 machines, given 6TB per machine accumulated 36TB on top of which I put a few volumes of Gluster, two of them as “backup” and “ha-vms-root-fs” as I called it. Understandably, one is for (local, fast recovery) backups, doh, one is to host HA VMs declared as “resources” in Proxmox so the cluster takes care of making them HA if one machine fails). The one for backups in addition to TLK (TurnKey Linux) which provides the “tlkbam-backup” cron.

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Clouds

The €154, 5-node, HA, hyper-converged Proxmox private cloud on Hetzner

For the past few years I’ve been paying around €60/month at Google Cloud to host the equivalent of 4 cores and 8 GB of RAM in total on all my instances. Recently I converted my home i7-3770 to an Proxmox based server and found it super simple to work with it. Through a combination of No-IP, DNS CNAMEs and an HAproxy instance forwarded through my router I was able to get many applications easily installed (and backed-up to S3 through TurnKeyLinux TKLBAM/backup which runs Duplicity) around every single day. So much for complexity as in about 3 days I had pretty much everything up (Nexus, Go.CD and agents, this blog, Mattermost, Nextcloud, etc.)

In the past 3 days I rediscovered Hetzner. I knew them for a long time but I wasn’t so keen on renting “dedis” (dedicated servers). Up until I discovered their server auction going around the €30 per i7-3770 with 2x3TB of HDD and 32GB of RAM.

Initially I just fooled around and played around with 1 machine and the “installimage” script, trying out to see if it’s easy to set-up Debian 10 and PVE. It went smooth. Then I explored the networking part, trying to see if I could get an private subnet on the same VM to be routed in the so-called “single IP, routed configuration” that Proxmox suggests.

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