Affordable Kubernetes for Personal Projects

Affordable Kubernetes for Personal Projects

Affordable Kubernetes for Personal Projects Running a Kubernetes cluster doesn't have to be expensive. In this article we discuss how. I'm a great fan of containerization and the Kubernetes (k8s) orchestration system in particular, and I like messing about with personal projects, but I've always found hosting my own projects in a k8s cluster to be prohibitively expensive.

Ok, I admit it, I'm cheap. But is it too much to ask for a Kubernetes cluster for less than $20 pcm?

I'm a great fan of containerization and the Kubernetes (k8s) orchestration system in particular, and I like messing about with personal projects, but I've always found hosting my own projects in a k8s cluster to be prohibitively expensive.

Why so expensive? Well, you have to pay for a VM (a node in k8s speak) with at least 2 vCPUs (being realistic); you often pay for the master node with a managed k8s service; ingress through a load balancer can be expensive; then there's disk costs, public IP addresses, and so on. It all mounts up. Try all this on AWS and you can easily be racking up over $100 pcm.

Compare this to any of the ubiquitous web hosting services that use shared resources and only cost a few dollars per month to host your website, and you see the problem. I know I'm not comparing like with like here, but I could always rent a VPS to run my own projects on, and that could easily fit within a budget of $20 pcm.

But, it's not just running stuff that interests me, it's how you run it and how you deploy it that's half the fun. It's the joy of finding cool open source tech, reaching for the nearest container image, integrating with other ideas using a bit of YAML config, hitting kubectl apply and watching as hey presto, I'm running my own X, Y, and Z. If I want comments on my blogs, I don't want to use a commenting service like Disqus, for which I have to pay to remove adverts, accept that it will slow down my website, track my visitors and do who knows what else with their personal data; I want to use Commento which is fast, does not show adverts, is open source, and I can host myself easily using a pre-built container image.

So I recently had a go at finding a way to run Kubernetes affordably, and, while it's not entirely pretty, it can be done. What follows is a description of the k8s cluster I've set up. It costs me 43p per day, or about $18 (£13.50) pcm. I could definitely go cheaper, but I'm getting a pretty good service for that money, so I'm happy. I do of course welcome all ideas for improvement.

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