Literally every time I go away…

It really truly seems like every time I go away, something funny happens in the lab and stuff goes down. That pattern continued last week.

Loads of Travel

A previously planned Jamaican getaway butted up against a short-notice business meeting in Austin. Since I could not get a direct flight to either location, I ended up on 8 flights in 8 days.

The first four were, for lack of a more descriptive word, amazing! My wife and I took a short trip to Couples Swept Away in Negril for a short holiday. While I knew it was an all-inclusive, I did not realize that included scuba diving. I took advantage of that and dove five times in three days. Thankfully, I was always back by noon for a few much needed beach naps.

The Saturday that we were gone, I got a few text messages from myself indicating that my websites were down. Since I got the messages, well, that meant I had power to the Raspberry Pi that runs the monitoring software and my internet was up. I tried logging in, but nothing that was attached to the NAS was coming up… So the NAS was down.

A quick troubleshooting session

Since there was not much I could do from the beach, I put it away until I got home Tuesday night. Now, mind you, I had a flight out early Wednesday morning for Austin, but I really could not sleep until I figured out what was wrong.

As it turns out, we must have had a power brownout/blackout. The NAS went down and did not reboot. I ended up having to unplug it to force a restart.

That was, well, the extent of my troubleshooting: once the NAS came back up, Kubernetes took over and made sure everything was running again.

Move to the cloud?

My home lab is just a lab… When stuff goes down, well, no one should care but me. And that is true for everything except this site. I am torn between spending some money to host this site externally, or fortifying my current setup with some additional redundant systems.

What kinds of fortifications, you might ask… Well, a proper UPS would be nice, avoiding the hard shutdowns that could wreck my systems. But, there’s no way I am going to pay for redundant internet to my house, so I will always be tied to that.

For now, I am ok with hosting as I am today and having to live with some downtime. March was a rough month with a few days of outage, but I generally hit 98-99% uptime, based on the data from my StatusPage site. For a home lab, I would say that is pretty good.