How we backup

I woke up to the terrible news that our good friends on another instance had lost their database during a software upgrade. Godspeed and good luck in bringing it back online. We’re pulling for you!

The Free Radical site backs itself up hourly to a private S3 bucket, and keeps a month’s worth of these snapshots. It’s configured to upload all media files to S3 and serve them from there. In the event of a complete server failure, I could – assuming all goes well – re-deploy the software on a new server and restore from backup without losing more than just users and posts created since the last hour’s backup.

Hosting costs – November 2017

In the spirit of continued transparency, and because I haven’t remembered to do this in a while, this is an accounting of Free Radical’s hosting costs for November 2017:

  • The DigitalOcean droplet and persistent block storage (for PostgreSQL) was $22.00.
  • The Amazon Web Services S3 media and backup storage cost $3.59.

The DigitalOcean CPU usage graph runs consistently at about 5%. Memory is always at about 70%, with most of it used by PostgreSQL for caching. Disk usage is at about 0% except during hourly backups. Bandwidth averages about 20Kbps except during those same offsite backups.

In summary, this glorious hot mess costs a total of about $25 per month and has a ridiculous amount of room for future growth.

If you’d like to help support Free Radical, please send $5 in cash to your nearest hungry-looking person and tell them Tek says hi.

Costs of hosting a small server

I had no idea how much it would cost to host a Mastodon instance. This is for everyone like I was who’s thinking about running their own server but wants to know what to expect.

Free Radical currently has 62 users. The numbers here are what I pay our small little instance and would certainly jump up if we grew by a factor of 100x. Continue reading Costs of hosting a small server