Hosting Update


In the beginning of the 21st century, a bunch of my friends/coworkers decided to collaborate to get an affordable internet presence. Running stuff off of your home internet was strongly discouraged (then and now), but the “cloud” didn’t quite exist yet either.

Our first attempt used an early cloud hosting provider (ServPath). This was before virtualization was well established, so this provider rented physical hardware they managed. This host was named “zak”, and was the beginning of all of our personal online presences. We all did email for ourselves and had web pages, all hosted on this server.

This worked, but after a few year we deemed this too expensive. Another friend and colleague recommended that we just buy our own hardware and get it hosted in a “colo” facility, and, by the way, here is a “colo” that you can use. We pooled some money and ordered a 1U Celeron based computer for this. This machine became the successor to “zak”, “zeke”. This was approximately 2005. We ended up hosting this hardware in three different “colo” facilities, the final and by far longest one was By this time, we knew some of the volunteer admins for, and this was a reasonable home.

By 2010, we were already thinking of upgrading our original host with new hardware. While initially we pooled money and just bought a computer, this time we were planning to use a decommissioned host from one of our employers. However, this was planned than done.

Somehow, this computer held on until early 2019, when we finally replaced the hardware. Since everything on this host was lovingly hand-crafted installs of our services, migrating hardware is a little awkward. This 2019 migration killed at least one long-standing service that zeke was provding: a jabber service. There was an attempt to get it running again, but by this point, the need for a jabber service had greatly diminished. I had personally long since stopped using it.

In Feburary 2023, I redid zeke’s DNS setup and realized of the 13 zones it was hosting, only 5 were actually active on zeke. The rest had (old) data, but were effectively dead. In November 2023, we disucussed upgrading the operating system – we were running CentOS 7, but that was going to be truely end-of-life in June of 2024. We nominally agreed to switch to CentOS 8 Stream, but we never quite got around to it.

This brings us to May 2024, the end of the line for this shared hosting experience. By this time, from the original 5 participants, only two of us were actively using it for hosting. Our “colo” provider is ending its service, so all tenants must find new homes. In our case, each of us have moved to our own cloud hosting solutions.

As of May 17th, this blog and related services have now migrated to a linode instance. This migration was not terribly difficult, but for, this is mostly because the number of services that needed to be migrated was fairly minimal.