Note: Dragonhive is not affiliated with Unfortunately someone over there appears to have decided to set up a hosting company with an identical name, I don’t know why, it’s sad considering how long I’ve been using this name already that someone would randomly do this.

Q: So, what is this “DragonHive” all about?

Well, it’s a bit long of a story, but the current short version is: my (anthropy’s) personal servers and services, shared with some friends and family.

The long version:

Back in 200….5? 2? 1996? Basically, when I was a smol bored child, I started messing with electronics, and computers that were being dumped along the street on garbage pickup days, and having plenty of them available, eventually made servers out of those, started hosting stuff on it, and as internet became more readily available, also share those things with friends and family. I think it was around 10-13 when I ran an active directory at home, I had a small personal website with some games and useful things I made, and a bunch of game servers. It was about then that I started naming those projects to give them more of a place and goal.

Dragonhive happened around 2007 or so, when I went to college and wanted to really make a space for myself where I’d feel comfortable storing all my things and doing all my stuff, as I felt weird about using public free services because ‘if you’re not paying for it you’re not the user’ + being a broken student = aaaaa, BUT, always messing with my own homeservers and redoing everything from scratch every few months didn’t really make it a good end user experience. And now, I really was the end user of my own services, and suffering if I couldn’t save or share my notes or work. So I made a separate server that I wouldn’t mess with, kept up and running like it was a sacred thing, and only ran the things on that I could guarantee to make working from scratch in a short period of time if everything inevitably broke again from running on non-ECC consumer hardware. That, was my Dragonhive.

Fast forward a few more years, I got through college in 2011 ish, got a job and started to make actual tangible amounts of money I could buy things with. And one of the first investments I did, was making a much more solid server, with 20TB of disks in a ZFS RAID10, a single stick of 32GB of ECC RAM for future upgradability, and a motherboard with room for 2 xeons, starting with just one. This machine was much more capable and stable, and I therefore also trusted with more things, and more storage. Additionally, I got 500mbit fiber, so then sharing my file storage with friends actually started to make sense, and I did so.

Then in 2018 or so, I started redoing my infrastructure based on containers instead of VM, which made backing things up much easier, sharing storage along the services much more dynamic, and most importantly, made setting up new services much more easily. Suddenly I could prove to myself I could redo all these much more complex services from scratch in basically zero effort and time if needed. Suddenly setting up things became much more fun, because all you had to do is define a config file and tell docker to have a go at it.

Since then I’ve been slowly improving on that, and recently been building out a whole dragonhive system from scratch, slowly replacing parts of my stack until everything is made mostly by me– to reasonable extend. I do want to use other people’s applications and services, but the infra underneath, I wanted to completely do from nothing, because I have some views on how things ‘should be’, and I want to slowly move towards the point everything is as how I think that would work. This includes a fully custom monitoring + intervention + status posting + updating + more stack of subroutines that run in a program called ‘Monitor Lizard’ which is already ‘in production’, and plans for other things like a custom linux distro, a custom distributed storage solution, and more.

The long term plan being that, if I ever manage to build out these services in a way I like and feel comfortable sharing with a bigger audience, after having shared my code with the world and having tested it thoroughly, to take paid customers, to have a private space where they can do all their stuff. What that service may look like at that point I’m not sure yet; I’ve also been thinking of building little NAS-like hardwares that people can buy and run from their homes as their homeserver, using some STUN server for UDP hole punching towards a client, so everyone can host their precious files at the safety of their home, and only optionally back it up to my servers, or other places. We’ll see where it goes.

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