My homepage was on http://www.mathematik.uni-stuttgart.de/~floeff for many many years, since I first had set it up (at the time writing HTML code in the vi editor and using the very first Mosaic web browsers on a RS/6000 Unix machine) back in 1993 or 1994… but in 2018 the University seems to have put some control in place and I cannot use their server any more.
So I decided it was time to grow up and run my own server. First I was thinking about running it in my home… but then I found that the security risks in opening the Firewall on my OpenWRT/Tomato home router were higher than the benefits.
I opted for renting a VPS hosted by my friends at OVH and I installed state-of-the art webservers and applications on it (basically, OpenVPN, nginx and WordPress).
But then I made a really stupid mistake, pressed the wrong button and reinstalled the debian System on the machine. Of course there was no backup. So I had to do the stuff again, and of course over the few weeks working on this I had learned quite something: It became clear to me that I should really not do the whole UNIX application integration on the machine, but I should use microservices and containers.
So… here I am proudly opening Version 3 of my web presence… running still on an OVH VPS, but this time fully containerised (using docker/docker-compose).
Needless to say, this time I also got the groundwork right (I hope at least): The website does support HTTP/2 protocol, and it is reachable over IPv6. On the same server, in different containers, I am running a dedicated nginx web server, a nginx proxy to redirect to various containers, a nextcloud container allowing me to do file sharing, and a completely customized OpenVPN instance to allow my Android OTT Set Top Box at home to access the Internet from a special IP address that cannot be tracked easily. While I first was using a free DNS service from spdyn.eu in September 2020 I decided to move over to a DNS registration of my own, and the loeffler.ovh domain was set up.