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Photo of Dan Ford

Hi, I’m Dan

I have been a computer enthusiast for as long as I can remember, I did my first Linux installation at the age of twelve and started trying to learn C++ shortly after. While I didn’t actually learn C++, I was too young to fully commit to it, I did get a solid foundation in problem-solving and coding fundamentals.

My Tech Journey in Brief

I started my first “home lab” over ten years ago using an old busted up laptop, it was expensive but the display was toast; I knew it was still useful, I just had to figure out how. Next thing I knew I was hooked, I had an Apache server and a downright terrible website, but it was so cool!

Later, I was gifted a retired PC tower from a family member, it was a few years old but very capable with a 6-core processor and 10GiB of RAM. The only logical thing to do was migrate my server to it, and that changed everything; I had more power, more memory, virtualization capabilities, I had plenty of room for growth then and I took full advantage of it.

I found a tutorial on setting up an Email server, read about half of it, and put the idea away, it was so involved and complicated and intimidating. That surrender haunted me for months until finally, I relented to that burning desire, it took me two whole weekends and just as many attempts from scratch to get it all working right.

It was around this time that I built my first really useful website, a personal home page with bookmarking and tab saving that I could log in to from any computer or browser, built on the LAMP stack. I’m still using it today!

I then got into virtualization using KVM and libvirt CLI tools and I was mesmerized, I spent the next month spinning up virtual machines for all of my services and shutting them down on the host server. With this newfound freedom, I was elated to start even more projects, I quickly reached the limit of this server.

By this time I had set up my home network and firewall, segmenting out VLANs for servers and IoT devices, etcetera. But it was time to upgrade my server yet again. I decided to forgo the option to use server hardware, don’t get me wrong commercial servers are great, but I had worked with enough of them at this point through my work in I.T. to know that I wouldn’t benefit from enough of the advantages that server hardware offers for it to be worth the size, noise, and cost for me.

I custom built a PC around the AMD Threadripper 1950x processor, and it’s been everything I wanted it to be! I had stumbled upon Proxmox just in time to use it on the new system, and I have never looked back. At the time of writing this server is running about 25 virtual machines and 10 Docker containers on 6 domains including this one, with plenty of headroom for more growth.