Introductions - Say Hi!

Who are you? What are you working on? What kind of things are you interested in exploring as part of the Reclaim Cloud beta? Give a shout in this thread and get to know others who will be kicking the tires over the next 2 months.

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Hi, I’m Jim Groom and I am interested in not only moving some existing WordPress sites I run into performant Clusters on the Reclaim Cloud, but also interested in exploring what’s possible with getting Docker containers up and running easily. I’ll be trying to document as much as I can along the way, and as always appreciate any and all feedback you can provide!

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Hi, I’m Tim Clarke and I am an instructional designer at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. I am the friendly DoOO tub-thumper here and I’m really excited about this beta.

I’ve held a far off dream of easily deployable tools and platforms for higher education that’s never quite been realized (except for web hosting). I’ve wandered through Linode’s stack scripts and swum through Digital Ocean droplets. I’ve read Docker documentation until my eyes crossed, and I feel we’re so close. It’s right there. And maybe for some large or lucky institutions it may have already arrived. But smaller schools and staffs, and those whose CIOs have a very conventional view of administrative IT, are likely still dreaming with me.

I’m hopeful for faculty course-based requests AND student independent research. Fairy standard install/configuration of software that can support the projects that are currently just out of reach, and a little too substantial for DoOO. Things like geoservers & web mapping, text analysis, web crawling/scraping, citizen science, data visualization and RStudio Server, etc.

I’m also super interested in the possibility of self-platforming across my whole institution. Specifically stuff like OpenETC has looked at: A GSuite alternative like Sandstorm, a Slack alternative, and other collaborative workspaces we could host like Etherpad.

But why stop there? Really, lots of stuff is on the table if you think about it. Self-platformed LMS, Student Information Systems, Library Systems (ILS), Library Discovery Platforms, Institutional Repositories – there are F/LOSS alternatives ready now, or fast emerging, that could do so many things now done by data extractive and gobsmackingly expensive vendors.

If the hosting, containerization, security, and other specialized administrative overhead can be handled by an awesome, responsive, humane partner, and if a cooperative and community-of-practice approach to self-platforming takes hold across Higher Ed, then good things will really happen and the benefits will really compound.

I think so much depends on the culture and community that forms. That is why I am truly excited (I mean, typing this feels like I’ve had waaay to much coffee, but it’s just ideas making me feel this way). The community around Domains, facilitated and grown and tended to by the folks at Reclaim, makes me really happy to participate.


I’m Tim Owens, one of the cofounders at Reclaim, and while there’s definitely a lot I’m looking forward to experimenting with during the beta I think the biggest thing for me is going to be diving into the scripting options to build automated installers Reclaim Cloud has a lot of power for people that want to manually build out their stack and deploy applications, but much like in the cPanel world, I expect a huge number of folks will appreciate the ability for that work to be automated in the form of clickable installers for things like Jitsi Meet, Discourse, Mattermost, Jupyter Notebooks, etc (I have a very large list already to look at).

Yes! I’m looking at this for us internally too. We setup a Jitsi server and have been using that for some meetings with an Etherpad instance. I’m interested in what it would take to switch from Slack to Mattermost which would be a massive move for us given how much historical data is there, but to not only save some money but also be able to say we use free and open source tools at the heart of how we do our day to day work is of great interest to me and having a platform to be able to easily accomplish that is awesome.


Hi folks,
I’m Shawn Graham, I’m at Carleton U in Ottawa. I’d like to give mattermost a spin as a kind of virtual dept space for this upcoming year. I’ve already pushed up against the limits of my knowledge getting things set up, so I’m hoping to learn with/from others here!


Hi everyone! I’m Meredith Fierro and I’m the Customer Support Manager at Reclaim. My main goal is to learn as much as I can about Reclaim Cloud and developing the support docs and infrastructure to support Reclaim Cloud!

I have played around with the system yet, but I’d like to see what it looks like to move my personal site,, from Reclaim’s current infrastructure. Other than that I’ll be diving into exisiting documentation and the like to learn more

I’m excited to have everyone in the beta now! I think this will be a great collaboration to create a base for all users when we launch officially.


Hello! I’m Taylor Jadin and I work an Instructional Technologist at St. Norbert College. Really excited to play around with !

I’ve been messing around with cloud hosting on Google Cloud and Digital Ocean recently and have played around with setting up temporary-ish applications for faculty at the college to use, as well as some projects for myself, so I’m really interested in seeing how I can do this with Jelastic.

I’ll probably start playing around with setting up elabFTW which is lab notebook software that we currently have a faculty member using to see how that works vs. our current setup.

Some other things that come to mind that I’ll want to try and play with right away are Jitsi Meet, Mattermost, JupyterHub and a Minecraft server (we have some Computer Science folks that were interested, no really its not just for me!)

When I saw the invite email come through I did quickly try and get Archivebox up and running and through sheer dumb luck I had something working in a few minutes. I currently have it dump the archives it makes over at looks cool and I’m excited to keep exploring!


I’m Chris. I’m just a random education guy that Tim and Jim were foolish enough to let poke around in the Reclaim Cloud. I’m interested in figuring out how this system works and to explore Ghost and Etherpad, at the least.

And, when things are official, perhaps Own Cloud.


Hi all

Tony Hirst from the OU in the UK… Interested in how we can make computational envts available to distance learners who have a range of skills and available technologies.

Docker seems to me to be a useful way of packaging and distributing stuff, whether it’s to Docker Desktop on their machine, their own cloud host, or an institutional server.

I’m betting hard on Jupyter tools as an architecture / framework for a couple of things:

  1. providing ephemeral or persistent, authenticated multiuser access to personal containerised environments using JupyterHub and BinderHub;
  2. providing an instructional environment that supports teach and learning (Jupyter notebooks).

As a spin off, we can also run (end-user developed) apps using things like Voila, but that’s a secondary concern for me.

Jupyter envts can proxy remote desktop and graphical apps running on them, as well as native web apps (eg VSCode) so even if you donlt use notebooks, the multi-user access and the web app proxying can be useful to get apps to students on a personal basis, either through a multi-user server, or by them running their own personal notebook or notebook-as-a-proxy server (another advantage that is that even if you run the notebook server just as a proxy, it has a password login so students can protect access to their personal proxied apps).

So a couple of key things I’m looking to explore are:

  • how does the Reclaim Cloud work from perspective of a student who has been told to run a containerised app on their own computer when they only have an ipad?
  • how does Reclaim Cloud work for an academic who wants to make the same personal containerised application envts available to a class of students via a multiuser server?

In each case, I’ll be exploring Jupyter mediated envts in the first instance.

Keen to bounce ideas around if anyone else is on a similar journey…



Hello everyone!

My name is Ed Beck and I am an Instructional Designer at SUNY Oneonta. Our Domains Project is a little bit unique in that we share one DoOO instance across multiple campuses.

SUNY has been doing a lot of work with OER, and some of the best platforms for OER are setup in a way that multiple campuses end up utilizing the same infrastructure. All 64 campuses share a commercial Pressbooks instance that our vendor keeps pretty locked down, for example they won’t install the H5P, Hypothesis, or other plugins that many other national OER community members use because of how many more tables that adds to the database. I’m always interested in learning about infrastructure that can scale!

I used to run my own Pressbooks on the AWS cloud that I built from scratch without a template or one click installer. Just that experience made me very useful in SUNY, especially when troubleshooting problems and issues with our vendor. They used to tell us that certain things weren’t possible, until I got in the habit of sending them directions of how to fix it (everything I know is because I broke it on another site)!

Beyond the idea of scalable infrastructure, I am interested in platforms that we wouldn’t be able to run on LAMP. Open Assessments by MIT, Discourse, Ghost. I’m excited to try to build some things other than what I already know!

(And then I installed Moodle on Reclaim.Cloud, an application that was familiar and comfortable. Got to start somewhere I guess)



How much traffic does a website need to have before they would even seen the benefit of being on a performant cluster?

I’m curious about your first impressions.

I would say it has to getting at least 1500-2000 views a day, and even then with good caching you might be able to get away with shared hosting. A good rule of thumb is that most WordPress sites will not need Reclaim Cloud at all, the few that do would be running into resource issues on shared hosting. I had that issue enough times with bavatuesdays that it was draining the shared hosting resources, so it was time to break it away.

For a slightly a different scenario, ds106 gets less page views/bot traffic than bavatuesdays, but it is more resource intensive because it relies heavily on FeedWordPress which is constantly running cron jobs pinging hundreds of RSS feeds. Whats more, the database is bloated with over 100,000 posts, so any call demands more resources. This sites eats up 3x the resources as bavatuesdays on the Cloud, and it was a regular culprit bringing down shared hosting services.

So those are two examples, but I would say WordPress Multisite instances for a campus that has peak traffic when faculty and students hit the service all at once, such as sign-ups during class, Sunday night submissions, conference sites, etc. would be perfect use case for Reclaim Cloud because you would only pay for resources you use, but it can scale when and if you were to get a rush of concurrent traffic.

So, I am thinking by and large our bigger, legacy WordPress Multi site will see the most advantage of Reclaim Cloud, most WordPress users would be crazy to move given the cost of running a modestly trafficked site in the Cloud would be significantly more expensive.

Update; For your use-cases above (I read backwards), Reclaim Cloud might be a really good model for you because you would not pay based on users in the SUNY systems (which could be thousands and thousands) but exactly what the SUNY Pressbooks instance uses resource-wise. While not being able to promise anything given how early on this is, I think one of the motivating factors for us to get the Cloud going now is that I believe it will have a major impact on infrastructure pricing for servers that will get away from the model of always paying for the most expensive server or tier in expectation of certain traffic, but rather paying exactly for what has been used (which can also be capped). It is thinking of server resources akin to how we treat utilities like water, electricity, and gas right now, and that is a powerful and important shift for systems like yours trying to do this still at scale.

Thanks Jim,

That’s why alot of my focus has been on Pressbooks honestly, and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record that everything is about Pressbooks.

One of the things that is unique about a full Pressbooks install is that it can connect to other Pressbooks servers and clone openly licensed content from one server to another. So if or has a book that I want a local copy of, I can clone the entire book to my server, including all of the images, H5P interactives, etc. Then utilizing the open license, I can start to modify my copy to deliver to my students.

The issue there is… the cloning operation itself is a much higher workload than just showing the website, even on a very busy website. We have had issues when new servers have spun up in the middle of a complicated and long task, and somehow broken it.

The Pressbooks core team blames the load balancers from Pantheon hosting that Lumen Learning uses. I want to learn more so I can understand the problem.

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Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, and a perfect use-case for Reclaim Cloud. I would love to discuss this in more detail, and I will setup a call with David and see if I can learn more about how Pantheon works and if this might me a good stress test example for Reclaim Cloud. I’ll keep you in the loop on that.

I’m late to the introductions, but I’m Brian and I’m a K-12 teacher in Michigan. I’ve been on shared Reclaim for several years and much of my dabbling recently has been with Python backends (Flask, mostly). I can get it running in cPanel, but it’s a little bit of a bear to do. I’ve wanted to learn about distributed cloud hosting, so I’m giving Reclaim Cloud a spin.


Hey All - Ethan Watrall from Michigan State University. I’m stupidly excited about cloud for a ton of reasons. My own person infrastructure, infrastructure for my lab, my fellowship program, my digital heritage & archaeology classes…the list is endless. I’d like to test deployment of our digital repository platform (Kora).


Hi, I’m Christopher from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch College, City University of New York.

Trying to keep our (as Jim calls them) “bigger, legacy WordPress Multi site” Blogs@Baruch up and running. Since we occasionally get spikes that bring things down at the start of semesters and during finals, thought Cloud might work better for that.


Hi everyone! I’m Brian Geyer, a Doctoral Candidate at Michigan State University; Ethan Watrall above is one of my dissertation committee members. I’m here to poke around and figure out installing php applications on Reclaim Cloud, as well as to further improve my systems infrastructure knowledge.


Hi everyone, my name is Paul Hibbitts and I am an educator (Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada), interaction designing open source author, and long-time Reclaim Hosting fan🙂 My Grav CMS projects (e.g. Open Course Hub) and Docsify projects (e.g. Open Publishing Starter Kit) are for tech-savvy educators and publishers who want to leverage Markdown and Git (e.g. GitHub, GitLab, etc.) workflows with their open content. Through the kindness of OpenETC I’ve tried a few apps out on both Sandstorm and Cloudron. I look forward to possibly trying out RocketChat and Grav on Reclaim Cloud.

My slogan for FOSS is “Open Source is Choice” so I am totally jazzed to see what is starting with Reclaim Cloud - congrats to everyone involved in the Beta launch🚀