Richard Bucker

Anstle on Prem

Posted at — Jun 27, 2020

I have both Synology DSM and VMware ESXi systems in my lab. I also serve some services from my lab like some personal static websites. I also do a lot of software development in the lab… whether local or report to the lab. And so enter Antsle.

The advert I saw on facebook read “…cheaper than cloud” or something like that. After spending many thousands of dollars on my lab it really comes down to personal choice. Let’s examine…

Cloud storage is cheap but unless it’s encrypted the service provider has access to the raw material and that may be undesireable depending what you are storing… financial spreadsheets or passwords… Further, while you might have backups your cost may be 2x. And you are at the behest of the service provider and if they lose your data you have to hold them harmless.

Compute and RAM. These are expensive when you compare them to the “on prem” alternatives, however, the difference is that depending what you are doing there is typically an amount of resources that are idle. You might have a batch reporting system that needs 8 cores and 8GB RAM but only runs for 5min once a day and so you are paying for all that ilde time. And while you might do this work in your lab…

The network is now the weakest link. Whether it’s symetric throughput, security, load balancing, backups, wifi, configuration, SSL or other…. When the first storm hits and you have to work from the library or hotel or camper… all those resources have to be moved with you.

I have an 8-Core i7 NUC with 2x 500GB SSD and 64GB ram. I also have a Synology DSM with 4TB of disk. This setup cost about $3000. Compared to a cloud version this cost $320/mo for a compute node and $100/mo per TB. My on-prem network 1G/1G WAN connection from my ISP costs $100/mo. What’s nice here is that you can scale up and down as needed.

While that’s all the bare metal, what else do you get for your money. With the on-prem Synology you get a lot of security software and plenty of in-a-box services like a virtual domain web server and email server with webclient. And plenty of plugins with web gui management and installation. When compared to the cloud all that software and management has a cost whether prepackaged or installed by hand.

At some point in the process you need dev, staging, QA and production resources. This segregation has a cost… not to mention all that idle time and compute. And if all your work is going thru one IP on-prem versus DDOS mitigation in the cloud.

For a startup it seems like hit or miss… but you have to decide where you are going to spend your time… on the product or on the infrastructure.