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RPi colocation: we won't stop until at least 2000 Pis connected

  • Thor de Regt from PCextreme answers few questions about current state of RPi colocation free housing. They already connected 600 Raspberries and their queue is more than 1000 requests long. But IPv4 addresses are running out.


Czech version of this interview is also available.

How many RPis do you host right now?

We're hosting close to 600 RPi's right now. We've recently added a counter to the website's homepage to show the amount of RPi's that we've brought online and it's being updated real time.

How many new requests do you have?

We have about 1000 new requests in the queue, a number that still grows daily. Each week we're getting more requests than we can process, as we can only put a certain amount of RPi's online per week.

Author: PCextreme

Do you manage to connect all those new devices in time? Or you are late and your queue is too long?

Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. We've had our fair share of delays due to many different things. We're hoping to close in on the queue as soon as we have our power boards ready.

Did you expect that huge response from community and enormous number of connection requests?

We truly had no idea that there would be so much interest from within the community. We simply thought that it would be a cool thing to do and that there would perhaps be a few people that would think the same. As it quickly turned out there were more than just a few, a lot more.

Did you manage to do some optimization when putting RPis to rack? How many devices are you able to build into one rack?

We've recently finalized our RPi power board and are looking to have more made. On each board we can connect 48 RPi's and we can place around 10 boards in a single rack. Solving a highly advanced mathematical equation tells us that each rack can host 480 RPi's, which is a lot more than the current limit of 128.

Power board
Autor: PCextreme

Power board

Your capacity cannot be infinite. Do you have any idea when you will have to say „stop“ to new requests? Can you give a specific number?

We're not even thinking of stopping before we have at least have 2000 RPi's. We still have to decide what we'll do from there though. Perhaps we'll only give out IPv6 addresses as our IPv4 ones are getting scarcer by the day.

Autor: PCextreme

Which part of this free service is most valuable? Electric power, place in rack, switch port, IPv4 address?

Definitely the IPv4 address. Our IPv4 addresses are flying out the door and we have actually only a few hundred left. We also can't get new ones from RIPE, so we'll have to get creative soon.

Did you observe some other products sales increase after you announce this colocation? Is it real advertisement for you?

We have seen a slight increase in direct sales but nothing major to be honest. We received a lot of exposure internationally and the sheer amount of goodwill created is truly awesome. Every week we receive one or two emails from RPi enthusiasts asking how they can help and it pretty much results in chocolate being sent our way.