Setting up my homelab and getting more familiar with various technologies that have come along with the learning process has been like opening Pandora's box. Starting new projects always seems to open my eyes to other fun looking projects that I'd like to implement in my homelab. I thought I'd share with you all where I'm at in terms learning and project ideas that I intend to do.
I know that recently I covered how to utilize Rancher to set up a cluster to run Heimdall in but I think I'm actually going to backtrack on where I'm at with Kubernetes in general.
Yes, Rancher is extremely helpful and well made but the problem I have with it is that I don't feel like I'm truly learning all of the technical bits of Kubernetes. Because of this, I'm actually in the process of going back and reading a lot more. My goal is to get more comfortable with vanilla k8s instead of using Rancher to "automagically" do some of the setup for me.
While the learning curve will be higher, I feel that it'll benefit me (and hopefully you, reading this, as you follow along with me) more in the long run.You can read more about Kubernetes here
Google Cloud Platform
While GCP isn't foreign to me, I'd really like to continue developing my skills within the platform. I've been doing a lot of relying on the GUI to do everything for me and I think it would be a lot more helpful for me in the long run to do more within the actual console. In general, I think that doing more within GCP would be beneficial for me so I'll probably be looking for more projects that I can do within GCP and then share with you all on the blog!
I'd also like to note that I don't intend for my cloud knowledge to only exist within the scope of GCP. I'd eventually like to explore more within AWS and Azure. I've gotten a bit of hands on with Azure in college but haven't done much with it since. I feel that to make myself well rounded, I'll need to be at least familiar with some of the other major cloud providers.You can read more about GCP here
Ansible & Terraform
With me getting more in depth with both my on-prem and cloud infrastructure (thanks for the free $300 credit, Google), it only makes sense to learn about how I can automate as many things as possible. Terraform and Ansible both bring a lot of really neat automation capabilities that I feel would be a lot of fun to get more comfortable with. While I'm familiar with in terms of the concept of what they do, getting hands on with both of these would be a lot of fun. I've been starting to do more reading about both of these and will hopefully come up with a way for me to implement them in a project at a later date.
Self Hosting this Blog
The blog you're currently reading this on is hosted within Blogger, a Google owned site that helps you easily spin up a blog and even lets you put it behind a custom domain with relative ease.
With this being a homelab related blog, it just feels wrong to run my blog on someone else's infrastructure. Because of that, I've started the process of setting up my own, on-prem hosted blog using Ghost. While Ghost likes to advertise their cloud hosted blog services, they also provide the means for you to host it on your own infrastructure, which is what I'm in the process of doing.
The blog is currently set up and running internally on one of my headless Ubuntu VMs but I haven't made it public facing quite yet. I'm still figuring out how exactly to configure Nginx for the first time but the new blog should be coming soon!
Oct 5 2020 Update: I have successfully moved the blog to be hosted on my own infrastructure.
Migrating Media to Google Drive with Rclone
With me now having purchased a GSuite Business account, I'm now able to take advantage of the unlimited Google Drive space that comes with it. Yes, Google says that the "unlimited" part only comes with a GSuite setup of 5 users or more but that's never been enforced.
This idea isn't a new one and I've actually already started to move all of my Plex media up to Google Drive with a command line utility called Rclone. Currently, all of my media is sitting in 10TB drives located in my Ryzen 1800x whitebox server. My thoughts are that, if I can free up that storage by moving all of my media to Google Drive, I could then utilize my spinning rust as a SAN for all sorts of other projects later on.
Docker Containers - There are several docker containers that I'd like to get stood up in the near future but haven't gotten around to doing quite yet. These include:
Backing Up Servers
In my current setup, I don't really have any sort of backup solutions set up. I'm in the process of reviewing a few different tools for me to be able to backup my servers and store them offsite on Google Drive with Rclone.
Refining My Windows Environment
I'll be honest. After setting up both of my domain controllers a while back, I really haven't done much with anything Windows related. Even on my desktop, I've been running KDE neon 95% of the time and only boot into Windows to play video games occasionally. I've found Linux to be a lot more fun, customizable, powerful, and light weight.
I recognize my bias towards Linux and realize that I should probably do a bit more learning within my Windows server environment eventually just to gain familiarity with it. Most of my growth will probably continue to stay in the realm of Linux, though.
Hopefully that provides a bit of insight on where I'm at and where I intend to go in the next couple of weeks, in terms of growth in my knowledge and also the projects I roll out in my homelab.
Feel free to comment with any questions on anything I've covered here or if you have any suggestions for other things I should look at implementing in my homelab.