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A collection of How-To to install and operate a Personal Cloud

Personal Cluster

We tried many options such as using Ceph when we designed our clusters and we end up with the following design. One key element in our selection was to remain independent of any commercial products. We strongly believe in free software. Another key element was the robustness.

We wanted to have several features available from day one:

resulting in a hyper converged architecture.

Hardware requirements

We identified a typical hardware requirements which could be tune on demand.

This procedure can be easily adapted to run a cluster of Raspberry Pi. We managed to run a cluster on 3 Raspberry Pi with limited network capabilities (for instance no routing / no firewall capabilites).


We selected the following components to fulfill our requirements:

Component Feature
KVM / libvirt / virt-manager Hypervisor
GlusterFS Software-defined storage & Scale out storage
clevis / luks / tang Disk Encryption
Open vSwitch / OPNsense Software-defined networking
BorgBackup Data deduplication backup
Prometeus / Grafana Telemetry



Switch 1: 10 Gb
Switch 2 and 3: 1 Gb

You can run one or more OPNsense VM as router / firewall.


You can create as many VLAN as you want using Open vSwitch and OPNsense. Your L2 switch should support VLAN tagging.


The 4 disks of each node will form 4 types of volumes:

All disk are encrypted except the disk used by the Operating System.


BorgBackup lets you save a lot of space using data deduplication. You could run daily backup and keep a year of history of all VM disks on reasonable disk space.

GlusterFS allows you to snapshot an entire volume which can be helpfull backuping up VMs at once.


Install your first nodes