Disclaimer: I’m no expert on this.

I realized recently there are two common types of Self Hosters here.

  1. I work in IT and host some services for my employer so we don’t have to rely on the big tech companies, for economic or other reasons.

  2. I self host some services at home or on a VPS, as a hobby or for other reasons, but nobody pays me to do that.

The answers people provide seem to vary greatly based on whether the commenter is in the #1 or #2 camp. I myself have gotten answers along the lines of, “why aren’t you acting more like a paid IT person?” and it’s a little off-putting.

How to resolve this? Could we refer to one group or the other differently?

Maybe I’m making a bigger deal out of this than is warranted and I’m the only one confused?

If nothing else, I will call out my hobby status from now on when posting/commenting here.

Edited to add: TIL. I’ll use these terms carefully in the future. Thanks!

  • incogtino@lemmy.zip
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    1 month ago
    1. On-prem
    2. Self-hosting

    And I’ll argue it’s on-prem even if you don’t have the physical server in your building

    • slazer2au@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      If you want some extra budget start calling it Private Cloud instead of on prem so when your bosses get calls about cloud strategies you can say we already do cloud and we don’t need their particular product.

      • shnizmuffin@lemmy.inbutts.lol
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        1 month ago

        Fucking hell. Teach me more money spells, wizard.

        (I already know about Scotty Time, framing sexy upgrades as “tech debt reduction,” and fending off trendy frameworks as “lacking maturity.”)

        • satanmat@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          We make it a drinking game…

          Whenever a salespeople or a demo uses weasel language. DRINK!

          Thank you. I’m totally going to steal “Tech debt reduction “. Ffs

        • slazer2au@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          I prefer technical neglect over technical debt because debt implies it is manageable where most of the time those systems are genuinely neglected due to their complexity.

      • Cole@midwest.social
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        30 days ago

        I once heard a consultant refer to it as “The Fog” because it’s like a cloud that you’re inside of. 🤮

      • exu@feditown.com
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        1 month ago

        Using whatever works better for the current project is doing Hybrid Cloud. Now your boss can brag about how modern the infrastructure is.

    • SorteKanin@feddit.dk
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      1 month ago

      Agreed, I would definitely not refer to the first one as self hosting without qualifying further.

    • peregus@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      Why do you distinguish on premises from self hosting? If the server is in a server farm or in my basement, I’m still hosting myself my services.

      From Wikipedia:

      Self-hosting is the practice of running and maintaining a website or service using a private web server, instead of using a service outside of someone’s own control

      A private web server is not defined by its location.

      • cron@feddit.de
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        1 month ago

        I would say that “on prem” defines a location, “selfhosting” an action. You can do both at the same time, e.g. selfhosting nextcloud onprem.

  • Monkey With A Shell@lemmy.socdojo.com
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    1 month ago

    Self hosted in this context is pretty well aimed at the ‘I do a service on my own time and usually own gear’ crowd. IT for a company is an entirely separate thing. Professional self-hosting would be more on a community like ‘serveradmin’.

    • BearOfaTime@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      Professional self-hosting was the way it was done until SaaS took off over the last 20 years - we just never called it that, because it was the only way to do things at the time.

      Now we say things like Cloud or On-Premise. And as another commenter proposed, call it “Private Cloud” to sound fancy (wel, it’s not the same thing, but it sure sounds good!).

      To my thinking, self-hosting means consumer-level hosting of services for a person, family, friends, generally at home, with VPS as an alternative server host.

  • SayCyberOnceMore@feddit.uk
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    1 month ago

    I’d also split #2 further:

    2a: Using a domestic DSL router and Synology NAS to run everything 2b: Has a Raspberry Pi (or 6) maybe a 2nd repurposed old PC and possibly an unmanaged switch 2c: Full height 19" rack, UPS, firewalls, managed switches, full virtualisation with SAN, redundancy and 100Gb full fibre internet

    I’m somewhere between 2b and 2c

    • computergeek125@lemmy.world
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      30 days ago

      /j hey some of us only have 10GbE

      Jokes aside, I get the classification. I’m pretty solidly in the category of 2c - more tech than some medium business but without the SLA to go with it.

  • Joël de Bruijn@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    As a #2 person, when my level-of-current-knowledge hits a ceiling and I ask for technical advice in forums or lemmy or even social media, it often comes from a #1 person.

    Assuming its specialized knowledge few other #2 have.

    Half the time I get an answer (about what and how) AND background explanation (giving context and WHY).

    But half the other time a #1 doesnt realize easy things for them are hard for me. When they are miles ahead their answer assumes I have a host of other skills already in place. But I dont know what I don’t know so I dont ask for them.

    But … every answer from a helpfull stranger is appreciated. Just bridging knowledge is hard.

    • philpo@feddit.de
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      1 month ago

      You forgot the “basement dwelling gatekeepers”, there are the ones whose minds never left their parents basement and whose social skills aka lack thereof is evident in their gatekeeping.

      Their way is the only correct way and Linus has actually no idea how to run Linux, hardware manufacturers don’t know anything about their products, anyone using not their service of choice is automatically an idiot and if you don’t know how to compile xyz yourself by using a self taught technique you really should get off the internet right now.

      Often their advice is inefficient, sometimes it’s outdated and some even blatantly lie (had one boast in a discord that he has a myriad of secret user accounts where he intentionally gives bad advice to a FOSS product he hates).

      Some also intentionally make whatever the goal is appear much harder in an effort to look smarter (that behaviour is often found in the professional world as well*)

      They are the cancerous sore of FOSS and social media,imho.

      PS: Anecdote: I work in healthcare,not IT originally. Everything I know is self taught, therefore. Started a new consulting gig and one of these guys, very much a “IT gatekeeper” always made the company he worked for think it takes a massive effort to install a certain product. Which made everyone’s life much harder because yes,he did install it, but he manually compiled it which took him weeks at a time, while his other work piled up. So they tried not to use this essential product whenever possible and worked their way around it.

      I came there, saw that I needed said product and had it installed within 20min. The CEO sat right next to me and was stunned. “You prepared that, right?” “Uhm,no? You can just download and install it like this?”

      IT-Gatekeeper was asked to join the meeting asap and told to explain why they need so long. His only excuse was “I need to review all the code” - which he did diligently, but he always reviewed ALL the code not only changes, according to his notes.

      I made the mistake of saying to myself a bit to loud “but if you compile that stuff yourself then you are liable if it breaks,if you use the advised packages from the manufacturer they are”(medical device law can be interesting). IT-Gatekeeper exploded and screamed at me how I have no idea how IT works,etc.

      He was let go shortly after that.

  • PieMePlenty@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    Self refers to oneself as in, a person. I never associate selfhosting with a company which runs their own servers. Technically they do self host but is it a company asking questions on an online forum and referring to itself as oneself? Is a company a person? What is a company even? Philosophical questions we dont have time to discuss.

    To me, self hosting means a person is self hosting things. Some have racks and use 1kW of power on idle, some have micro servers. In any case, just one paragraph explaining what you have at the top of a post is sufficient to get the point of what you know across.

    Id say a more important distinction is persons who self host software only (VPS) and those who do hardware as well.

  • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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    30 days ago

    Ignore the host part. It has to do with the definition of self. Self can refer to a person but it also can refer to a group like a company.

    However, in IT you will mostly see the term on prem.

    • Brad@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      29 days ago

      This was my first thought. I’ve never said “self hosted” to a client and, honestly, never would. “On-prem” or “Running on your server.” The idea of a company “self hosting” something is literally just “hosting”.

    • Shardikprime@lemmy.world
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      30 days ago

      This. Most app servers need to be isolated from the internet anyways so any license servers for activation or metrics or whatever needs to go on premises. Same thing with mail engines, is usually a few outgoing ports, heavily warded for the mail ip and everything behind all the opSec tools they can muster

      Even AWS and GCP have on premises deployments were you basically create your own mini local region for banks and such

  • catloaf@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    I myself have gotten answers along the lines of, “why aren’t you acting more like a paid IT person?” and it’s a little off-putting.

    We’re all hobbyists (though some of us do it profesionally too). Wanting your service to be reliable is a fair assumption. If you don’t care if Jellyfin goes down while your girlfriend is trying to watch The Bachelor, or if you accidentally delete all your photos with no backups, then just say you accept that risk and nobody should give you a hard time.

  • poVoq@slrpnk.net
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    1 month ago

    Hmm, I think there are more people that are #1 and #2 the same time (not me though) and the bigger divide is between those that rent a VPS and those that run a homelab.

    • fjordbasa@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      I agree. Definitely see more home hardware or cheap VPS related posts than work environment posts.

    • vividspecter@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      I think there are more people that are #1 and #2 the same time

      Probably where some of the attitude comes from. People are assuming that it’s paid IT people bringing their work home with them, which is a different case then a casual user trying out self-hosting without the broader background.

      Although I haven’t seen this attitude myself so I suspect it’s not that common, and probably just a handful of users jumping to conclusions.

  • fine_sandy_bottom@discuss.tchncs.de
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    30 days ago

    I don’t think it’s really a big deal ?

    We’re all playing around with things in the same domain. Does it really matter if someone is paid and someone else isn’t?

    I don’t necessarily agree that a paid / qualified person will necessarily be operating at a higher level just generally than a hobbyist. Professionals tend to know lots about very specific things, hobbyists tend to invest a lot more time and effort into building elegant solutions.

    Yes some answers from IT professionals may be unhelpful for hobbyists but that’s just part of interacting with other people.

  • Nibodhika@lemmy.world
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    29 days ago

    For me self-hosted refers to #2. Many of us also have jobs that are either fully or partially related to #1, but I wouldn’t expect a #1 answer here. Questions here are usually directed to, and answered with, the #2 mentality.

  • ITGuyLevi@programming.dev
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    1 month ago

    Mine is definitely a hobby… possibly a borderline addiction. I am an IT person by day and then selfhost a bit at home. Most of my equipment is good old eBay specials (R720xd, R610), or just accumulated over the years (a few HP Microservers, RAID enclosures, etc).

    The uptime is decent but my ISP isn’t great, plus one of the servers has been having issues so until I find a few hours to focus on it, it is not something I would consider “acting like a paid IT”.

    Not to make myself sound like a bad IT person, but my homelab is held together with hope and scripts to recover when it goes down. One day I’ll cluster some lower power proxmox systems with portainer and ensure everything important has a way to fail over and backed up offsite (no, I’ll probably just take a nap if I get a free afternoon lol).

    Sometimes people in these communities don’t realize how they come off, tone is hard over text, and I’m just as bad in person (thankfully I work remote most days).

    • the_crotch@sh.itjust.works
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      1 month ago

      but my homelab is held together with hope and scripts to recover when it goes down

      That’s every IT guy. When I’m done with work, I’m sick of doing things right. If it works it’s fine. Where’s my duct tape

  • Decronym@lemmy.decronym.xyzB
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    29 days ago

    Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I’ve seen in this thread:

    Fewer Letters More Letters
    NAS Network-Attached Storage
    RAID Redundant Array of Independent Disks for mass storage
    SAN Storage Area Network
    VPS Virtual Private Server (opposed to shared hosting)

    [Thread #818 for this sub, first seen 19th Jun 2024, 06:15] [FAQ] [Full list] [Contact] [Source code]