🥳 Greenhouse Enters Alpha Test Phase!! 🎉By Forest Johnson On
That computer can browse the web, but "the web" (or, web users around the globe) typically can't browse files or web applications running on that computer. Publishing a server on the internet takes work, costs money, and requires maintenance and upkeep. It can be especially difficult if you want to use your computer, not rent someone else's. If you live in a dormitory or if you get internet access via wifi from your neighbor or via tethering to your phone, you may not be able to perform the necessary modifications to your router's configuration even if you knew how.
Greenhouse provides an easy way to make one or more computers into servers that anyone in the world can connect to securely & reliably, regardless of where or how the servers are connected to the internet.
Greenhouse is being designed from the ground up as a trustless service, that is, you don't have to trust me or whoever's running the service to keep your data secure — it's designed so it can't access your data in the first place.
For more information about why I am building this, see greenhouse.server.garden and The "Pragmatic Path" 4-Year Update: Introducing Greenhouse!
You may also check out the source code at git.sequentialread.com/forest/greenhouse
Previous post in this series: Greenhouse Development Update 4 - September
Last time I mentioned that my todo list for releasing the alpha version had grown from 8 items to 24. Well, by now it's grown to 38! I've conducted preliminary usability tests, a pre-alpha release, adopted a mascot, and implemented telemetry.
Right now the service is free for early-adopters. Not free so I can hook you on it & extract capital from you later, free because I haven't gotten around to implementing payments yet 😛
When I do, I'm planning on billing $0.01 per gigabyte of bandwidth, which is approximately what you would pay if you went with a provider like DigitalOcean and used about half of the bandwidth they allocated to your VPS (Virtual Private Server). However, unlike the other providers, Greenhouse will have no minimum payment, so you only pay for the bandwidth you use. I estimated that this will make it up to a hundred times cheaper than a traditional VPS, practically free, for many use cases.
When compared to a similar cloud service, PageKite:
|Use Case||Monthly Bandwidth||Price w/ Greenhouse||Price w/ DigitalOcean||Price w/ PageKite|
|blog, chat, online store||under 3 GB||$0.50 per year||$5.00 per month||$4.00 per month|
|photos, podcast, music||15 GB||$0.15 per month||$5.00 per month||$5.99 per month|
|vlogging, streaming, more popular sites||210 GB||$2.10 per month||$5.00 per month||$49.99 per month|
|email server||Up to 500GB||$7.00 per month (planned)||$5.00 per month||Not offered|
Of course, these use cases and greenhouse prices are estimates. The actual bandwidth used may depend a lot on your server configuration, how you built your site/service, and of course how popular it is. As an anecdotal example, during the last month, my server used about 80GB of bandwidth.
Greenhouse also offers security and data ownership by default, plus a much easier setup process which works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, affording both a point and click interface and a CLI (Command Line Interface).
Support for hosting email servers hasn't landed in Greenhouse yet, but it is planned for the future. Unfortunately it will have to cost more, as it requires a dedicated IPV4 address. On the bright side, it'll be bundled with quite a lot of monthly bandwidth.
Besides that, I don't feel like writing any more description or introduction to what you are about to witness. You can check out greenhouse.server.garden and some of my previous blog posts if you want that. Without further ado, enjoy the demo video, and please give me feedback if you decide to try out the service!
"As a user, I want my server to be online 😀"
7 minutes 42 seconds