A few jobs previous I was working as a Network Engineer for a small, local ISP where I was thrust into the beating heart of the internet—or at least a tiny portion of it—for almost three years.

Though the tales of on-call shifts, tower climbing, ice storms, and decade-long uptimes are for another piece of writing.

I bring up this era of my career mostly to say: I'm no longer paying for cloud compute.


This small ISP, in addition to providing a myriad of network and VOIP services to customers in Southern California, also maintained and operated two datacenters in Santa Barbara County.

The newest, GTA, was near the Santa Barbara Airport in Goleta.

The older sibling, SBA, is in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara only one block from State Street (and where I currently work.)

Earlier this summer my contract with the ISP for Internet Mountain's uplink came to a near five-year end. It was amazing that I was able to reside on their network years after leaving my position there.

As part of the termination terms I was able to negotiate a good rate on a half-rack of colocation space at SBA—where my presence on their network can continue! I'm incredibly pleased by their willingness to accommodate me further :).

Soft opening

With all of my 2U Dell servers long gone what am I to "colocate" at SBA?

What about:

  • An older 8-port 10Gb Mikrotik switch
  • An ODROID-H3 (the only new bit)
  • My old, neglected Synology!
  • A steel rack shelf

I was able to deprecate the following cloud resources:

  • $30/mo of B2 backups
  • $20/mo of DigitalOcean droplets
  • $15/mo of AWS EC2 instances

Overall, the new rate is barely above my prior monthly spend—even with 24-hour access and prime real-estate.

With a 10Gb fiber hand-off, geographical diverse network paths, and a rack to fill I expect to be increasingly glad I ditched the cloud for an aging, air-conditioned room two miles away.