Skip to main content

A hosting company from a closet? Raspberry Pi web hosting is now a reality

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Rasprberry Pi)

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer was designed primarily for teaching and tinkering some eight years ago, but since 2012 the single board computer (SBC) has been applied to a wide variety of applications outside of the education world. 

Mythic Beasts, the company that provides web hosting services to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, recently started to offer hosting powered by a Raspberry Pi 4. 

Several weeks ago, the Raspberry Pi Foundation decided to try running its website on a Raspberry Pi 4-based cluster featuring 18 SBCs (quad-core SoC at 1.5 GHz, 4 GB of RAM). 14 boards were used as dynamic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) servers, two were static Apache servers, and the remaining two served as a memcache-powered memory store.

Raspberry Pi hosting

The organization says that the cluster worked good enough to serve around a million of visitors a day for a couple of days and could even handle the load when ‘tens of millions visitors’ headed to the Raspberry Pi 4 website the day of the Raspberry Pi 4 8 GB launch. 

Following the successful experiment, Mythic Beasts began to offer hosting services using Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs. For £7.45 per month (~$9.40), Mythic Beats offers a Raspberry Pi 4 server with four cores, 10 GB of NFS storage, a 1 GbE NIC, and 1 TB of bandwidth. 

According to Mythic Beasts, a Raspberry Pi 4 server performs substantially better than Amazon Web Services’s a1.large and m6g.medium Arm instances at a much lower price.

(Image credit: Mythic Beats)

Raspberry Pi 4-based hosting is not without caveats. SD memory cards are not the most reliable storage devices these days, so if one fails, the whole node will need a manual intervention, which takes a lot of time. 

The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers a solution though: build a large Raspberry Pi 4-powered cluster with loads of redundant units and just disable the failed nodes when they break down.

Via CNX Software