Sunny Garden Hub

The Sunny Gardener - July 2023

The Fediverse And Beyond

It was a pretty wild month here on the Fediverse… I won’t be enumerating the inter-instance issues that came to a head this month, since it’s far too much to dig into properly, and honestly I’m pretty exhausted even though I was only peripherally involved. Let’s all try not to do anything newsworthy in August!

Server accidentally leaked an unencrypted copy of their database to the FBI when the home of one of their staff was raided on unrelated charges.

Mastodon released high priority security patch v4.1.4 to address a critical security vulnerability which was identified during a security audit.

Fediverse server software Calckey was renamed to Firefish, and the flagship server was migrated en mass to

Racist website owner Elon Musk continues to devalue his latest investment with the rebranding of Twitter to X.

Facebook/Instagram/Meta’s Threads app launched, but – as previously noted – is not yet part of the fediverse, and while that is still ostensibly the plan down the road, plans can change. Threads has commented that it might take longer than initially expected, if indeed it ever reaches that point at all.

Backup Strategy

As I mentioned back in May, I was looking at changing how backups are done on Previously full-disk backups were being performed using OVH’s automated backup service, costing $20/mo after a disk upgrade, and when compared to the entire cost of the rest of the server at $35, it seemed a bit excessive.

The other reason is performance, which wasn’t a major issue, but it did bother me that every day the server would bog down considerably during the 20 minutes or so that it took to complete the full disk backup.

I took some time to investigate and set up database backups using pgBackRest. This combined with the media and configuration backups that were already in place, is enough to restore the entire server to working order if needed. Not only will this save at least $15/mo, but it’s much easier on server resources and won’t bog down the server while backups are running.


After an initial surge at the beginning of the month, new signups levelled off but remained elevated, largely driven by users continuing to leave the social media service formerly known as Twitter.

Quite a few users returned to resume using inactive accounts as well.

171 new users, 585 active users, 59k interactions, 8 reports opened, 8 reports resolved

Hosting Costs

Overall costs have returned back to around $55/mo thanks to the new more efficient backup strategy.

The traffic surge at the beginning of the month pushed the current server resources to their limits. If things had remained at that level or continued to increase, it likely would have called for upgrades, but as with most spikes, things levelled off after a day or two, and things are running comfortably again.

This was a useful experience though, indicating that we will likely be due for upgrades in the near future as overall fediverse traffic continues to increase.

Cost spreadsheet, text version follows

Expand text version 2023-08-01
Main Server 4-8GB-160GB -$35
Database Backups 300GB/mo. -$5
Media Storage 150GB/mo. -$6
Media Bandwidth Free $0
Media Backups 16GB/mo. -$1
Domain Name $35/yr -$3
Email Server -$5
Donations One-Time $55
Donations Recurring $49
Monthly Totals
Previous Balance $125
Total Donations $104
Total Expenses -$55
Balance $174

Canadian Dollars

Thank you, to everyone that has donated on ko-fi! There’s no obligation or expectation that you donate in order to use the server, and I’m able to cover the costs myself if needed.

– Brook