Kristian Freeman

Getting comfortable with the big machines

I've been operating o7 Node, a private Solana RPC service, for about two months ago.

I have to be secretive about a lot of it - how it works, tricks I've found, etc. It's a competitive space and I've been at it enough that I've somehow built a service that does really well at landing transactions on the Solana network, which is a big competitive advantage. This post isn't about that.

But - the part I can talk about. Working with BEEFY Linux machines! I'm renting a bare metal server from OVH that is in the $1-5k range per month, which is more than I have ever paid for a machine in the cloud. And the specs are, as you might imagine, bigger than anything I've ever worked with.

Only having SSH access to a machine that is mission-critical for my business has been very interesting. I was already quite comfortable with SSH and Bash, but being at the mercy of stuff like systemctl has been a learning experience for me. I can definitively say ChatGPT has made it significantly easier for me to navigate this new world, too. I can give it a bunch of information and ask for simple answers back, and navigate pretty decently through the command line.

It's been very satisfying. I'm a lot more comfortable with Linux internals than I used to be. It isn't what I expected to be spending a lot of time on while working on o7 Node, but I always look for projects that expand my knowledge in new stuff. This project is definitely doing that.