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How i use NEMS - Short version

#1
Hello everyone!

Since i am a huge fan of NEMS and our beloved and bald nerd, i want to tell you a story, how i use NEMS as my daily driver. So lean back and enjoy.

It all started two years ago as i started mining on one Raspberry Pi 3. I was new to cryptocurrency and mining but i was fascinated of it. It took me a few days to find out how mining works, what a pool is and what stratum commands are. As i had a bit more experience and saw the first 0.000000001 litecoins on my account, i was hooked. I bought a couple of Pis more and started to earn 0.000000002 litecoins. Yay!

But with more Pis came more maintenance and more downtimes. Unfortunately you don't notice an offline Pi if you aren't home and wacthing the workers or the Pis itself. I was frustrated and wanted to give up. At that time, i "only" had 4 Pis but as you might know litecoins aren't that easy to get. So i actually wanted to have more. But with the downtime and failing Pis it demotivated me to do more. But fortunately i didn't gave up and looked instead for server monitor. And hell, there are a LOT. From open source and free software, up to business class software for 300 and more bucks. But nothing really worked because i wanted to have a monitor running on my RasPi Zero W. It doesn't cost a lot and it's power consumption is so low, that it wouldn't ruin me. So i needed a monitor which is not expensive and runs on Raspbian/Linux. As you might can imagine: There was NONE. Not a single monitor out there was either working or cheap enough to buy. As i almost gave up i stumbled upon NEMS.

So i downloaded NEMS, put it on my RPiZW and it worked awesome right out of the box. Even though i had really issues to get Nagios running (there is not a single documentation about setting up Nagios via Nconf) i somehow managed to find it out myself a few days later. I did all the neccessary steps and my NEMS server started to ping my Pis, send me mails about Pis being down and so on. That day i started to love NEMS. I worked NEMS out a bit more, got used to it and so on and finally decided to let NEMS running to monitor my 4 Pis. Even tho i couldn't restart a faulty Pi if i was away, i at least knew that a Pi was down and i could restart it as soon as i was back home.

The whole NEMS monitoring and Mining topic started too hook me even more and soon enugh i bought 4 more Pis. So a total of 8 Pis are mining litecoins. Even tho a Pi here and there crashed or stopped working, NEMS really motivated me to optimize the system. But that also means i have to maintain 8 Pis. Which is a pain in the popo. I had to decide: Do i want to update one Pi a day or all Pis and once every saturday or whatever. I soon found out that updating single Pis everyday is unpractial. The week has only 7 days and with 8 Pis, there was always a delay. So i decided to update them every saturday manually. And if you haven't a good internet connection (1 MB/s here in my village) it took hours to update all Pis. Especially if there was a huge Raspbian update or several package updates. But i also didn't wanted to update 8 Pis everyday. I had no time at all anymore. So i just let them run until they fail and i had to restart them. I then stumbled across crontab (please notice that i was a noob) and tried to add an update routine which hasn't really worked out well. Or better: Not at all. It demotivated me again A LOT.

After weeks of searching through google, trying out every ridicolus idea from some "linux pros" and tutorials i stumbled upon Ansible. Ansible is a programm which allows you to send sudo commands at any server you want with a single command. So i installed Ansible on my NEMS server (running on my RPiZW) and what should i say: It was like Peanut butter meets jelly. Connection via SSH to my RPiZW and sending out commands via Ansible worked great. And since NEMS is running all the time anyway and Ansible is a normal command, i scheduled the ansible command for updating and upgrading in the NEMS's crontab and it worked the first second i entered the crontab. Every morning at 5AM the anyway running NEMS server send out the command to all 8 Pis to update/upgrade my Pis and restarting them and since that day, i never had any failures again. All Pis where up to date and if omething went wrong, i could read it up in the ansible logs. It was perfekt.

I then bought 4 more Pis, 2 Pi racks (each 6 spaces for a Pi) and let them do their job about 10 Months without me touching either the NEMS server nor the mining Pis. I then had enough of mining and enough litecoins and decided to sell the Pis. I "played" and learned enough during that time and i didn't want to "waste" the Pis and my power bill.

Shortly after "being into linux" i decided to rent a root server and installed nextcloud on it. Which worked out well and is still running (almost a year) and of course the nextcloud server is being watched and updated from a NEMS server with Ansible. Wink

And because of all the great and positive experience i have with NEMS i decided to use NEMS for official servers for our darts club. So NEMS is my daily driver watching first 12 Pis and now my own nextcloud server and the official website and forum for the darts club and NEMS never let me down (except that nasty wi-fi bug T.T).

So that's actually my story how i used/use NEMS and why i love NEMS especially in combination with Ansible. And that novel above is also the reason i decided to become a Patron. It's a great product from a great guy which deserves a bit of my hard earned money for his hard work.

So long,
Haaku
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