I’ve been tinkering with computers since I was a kid, but in the past ten or so years, mainstream computing has become more and more locked down, enclosed, lightweight, and, well, polished. I even wrote a blog post about how, nowadays, most computers are amazing. Long gone are the days when I had to worry about line voltage, IRQ settings, diagnosing bad capacitors, and replacing 40-pin cables that went bad!
But I’m always tempted back into my earlier years of more hardware-oriented hacking when I pull out one of my Raspberry Pi B+/A+ or Arduino Unos. These devices are as raw of modern computers as you can get—requiring you to actual touch the silicone chips and pins to be able to even use the devices. I’ve been building a temperature monitoring network that’s based around a Node.js/Express app using Pis and Arduinos placed around my house. I’ve also been working a lot lately on a project that incorporates three of my current favorite technologies: The Raspberry Pi 2 model B (just announced earlier this month), Ansible, and Drupal!
In short, I’m building a cluster of Raspberry Pis, and designating it a ‘Dramble’—a ‘bramble’ of Raspberry Pis running Drupal 8.
I’ve been giving a number of presentations on managing infrastructure with Ansible in the past couple years. And in the course of writing Ansible for DevOps (available on LeanPub!), I’ve done a lot of testing on VMs both locally and in the cloud.
But doing this testing on a ‘local datacenter’—especially one that fits in the palm of my hand—is great for two reasons:
All networking is local; conferences don’t always have the most stable networking, so I can do all my infrastructure testing on my own ‘local cloud’.
It’s pretty awesome to be able to hold a cluster of physical servers and a Gigabit network in my hand!
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