About me

Remember in the 1990s when people made websites with frontpage? (maybe not). Everyone had an “About me” page where they listed their hobbies, employment, number of fish in their pond etc.

I’ve been “doing computers” since, well, pretty much 2000 in a “professional” sense. At least, being paid for it. By day, I work as a linux sysadmin/devops/operations/infra/network engineer. So I come in to contact with most open source technology as well as fancypants things like hardware load balancers, fibrechannel switches, brocade and cisco or juniper stuff etc.

I’m very much into things like Docker, Kubernetes, Openstack, Virtualisation, hosting, networking and routing and Linux in general, but besides all of that I really like photography and video editing (I don’t claim to be good at them, just express my interest for it) I also really like 3D printing stuff. I find making models and printing them quite interesting.

Another great passion and hobby are IoT (Internet-of-Things) .. things. Like using Ardunios/Raspberry Pis etc to do home automation tasks or do something cool around the home. I have several Pi’s: one runs RTL_SDR tcp – a software defined radio over ethernet, one runs octopi for remote 3D printing, one runs my asterisk/gsm gateway (so i can make VOIP calls over my GSM SIM card) etc etc etc….

If you want to see what I do / have done and what I know and don’t know, you can check out my linkedin profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-faraday-79647990/

In whatever short free time I have, I’ll either be 3D printing something, watching a good documentary about something, or cooking something tasty if I’m not tapping away on my computer building something.

About my network:

I go for the lean and efficient approach. I also face up to the fact that I’m sitting at the end of (albeit two) residential ISPs and a 4G mobile last resort and I’m running this website/linux on a box that is primarily for the benefit of myself and my family so it’s not a critical money making endeavour for me.

Essentially my home network goes like this

  • Internet connx 1 (Virgin Media 500mbps) -> Ubiquiti Edgerouter (nice fast download, pants upload – 25mbps. Regularly goes offline hence multiple ISPs required for WFH/Running services)
  • Internet connx 2 (Vodafone VDSL 80mps) -> Ubiquiti Edgerouter (I route my email out of this one unless it’s dead, then it uses ISP1)
  • Huawei B525 4G router (4G , i mean whatever mbps) -> Edgerouter (doesn’t allow port forwarding or incoming connections, but keeps me and my family online in the even that both my regular ISPs are down – it has happened …)
  • Edgerouter -> switches and lots of cat 6A (two in each room), and BT whole home wifi (4 APs all connected via ethernet).

Everything currently runs at 1Gbit. But the NAS and cabling are capable of 10Gbit, just need switches too but I have no need right now. Overall everything works just great. And I’m secure in the knowledge that a) my data is backed up – both to external USB HDDs and also the cloud, and that I can recreate my entire home setup within 5 minutes of having a setup network and linux box.

My edgerouter “load balances” between the various ISPs for failover (doesn’t do aggregation it can be done but it’s messy and has multi point VPN madness to contend with) and my webserver and home internet use whichever one is preferred (fastest) and available. This system benefits the entire house so that if any one or even two ISPs go down internet connectivity will be restored to my entire house and every device inside it with just a few seconds. Unfortunately, VPNs will die and calls/meetings/video conferences/ssh sessions will die, but that’s the nature of the game .. the point is that internet will be restored to everything in a moment.. no whipping out your phone and having only your laptop be able to go online via tethering.

In 2015 I had solar panels installed on my house, and I’ve been increasinly interested in my energy use and what I pay for in terms of energy costs. Suffice it to say that technology bites into that budget in quite a significant way.

I was so interested in energy use in fact, that I wrote a scraper that would gather my consumption/solar generation/hot water divert data and dump it into influx DB and graph it with grafana. You can find my project on github here https://github.com/mattfaraday/sunscraper

So I opted for the lean and green approach. I bought green ethernet switches (which sense cable length and adjust transmit power accordingly) as well as a new mini ITX machine that would have 4 cores, 8GB of RAM (or more if I wanted) and solid-state disks. On top of that, I’d setup snapraid and mergerFS so I could keep all my files stored reasonably safely.

I also wanted to be able to run lots of docker contianers, write and use docker-compose scripts etc, but obviously with just one node I can’t run swarm or kubernetes so I just run docker, plain simple docker, with docker-compose and my containers are set to restart automatically.

Today, I have one linux box that runs my NAS, this website and all my docker containers and uses less than 50W of power even under heavy load. It does everything I could possibly want. It would be great to have a backup docker worker, and i’ll perhaps look into that in the future.

I’m very pleased to say, that all of my computing, including this webserver serving you this website run on 100% renewable energy and not one single watt of electricity from the grid. I built my own powerwall that charges 18650 lithium batteries using a solar array on my roof. That powers all of my computers including the linux host that runs everything in my home.

I’m currently running the following docker contianers

  • Portainer – lets me see and quickly administer docker containers
  • LibreNMS – monitors my router and network devices
  • Grafana/InfluxDB – I use this for sensors around the house
  • MySQL – Database for various projects
  • This container (wordpress/apache)
  • nginx/letsencrypt – acts as reverse proxy and also handles SSL certs
  • Raindrop – Provides webmail for my email domains
  • OpenVPN – Gives me a VPN from internet to my home network

But I just love the ability to look at a new piece of software and just do a docker run and have it up and running in seconds. I also really like being able to destroy it all, and re-create it with just one command.

Oh did I mention I like ansible too ? More on that another time.

I like technology, I like arduinos, electronics, motorsports, WW2 history, cooking, learning new languages and lots of stuff.

If you want you can reach me via email :

matt <at> faraday.at