Switching to Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W for monitoring...

Alex Schiessl's photo
Alex Schiessl

Published on Nov 28, 2021

3 min read

... or better to show the monitoring website on my monitoring monitor.

So recently I saw some review videos of the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W SoC. All were more or less ecstatic about the performance over the old version. So I decided I want one, too. My intension was to replace my current Raspi who drives my monitoring monitor.

But let's make a short intermezzo, to explain the situation. I'm using a Raspberry Pi Zero WH as my choice of HW to gather my weather data from my padio. And since it was so underperforming when I first installed it in Desktop mode, I quickly changed it to RaspiOS lite version to avoid the Desktop overhead. And to be honest, since this Raspi only gathers weather data and pushes it to a CouchDB, it does not need a Desktop. All configuration can be done with a ssh shell.

Anyway, so this Raspi was running well and I gathered a ton of data. So I quickly built a Node-Red dashboard to visualise the data. Originally I only checked it on my everyday Mac Mini 2014 when I had the urge to check the temperature or the pressure. But for home office reasons I upgraded my monitors on my mac mini to a double monitor setup, hence my old monitor was free for other use.

Well, I had a spare Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB Ram, so I hooked it up with this "old" monitor, configured Chromium with "Tab Rotate" and my uptime kuma and the node-red dashboard websites, added two cron jobs to tun the monitor off and on at evening and morning, and voila I had a monitoring monitor.

I had this setup running for some month now. But since I want to do more stuff with k8s and I only have one Raspi 4B 8GB running as master, I want at least one agent to have a little more options. So when I scored a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, I was happy I could finally free the 4B from monitoring duty and add it as an agent to my Raspi k8s cluster. Sure, it would be nice to add 3 Raspi 4B 8GB as agents to my cluster, but currently, especially in X-mas holiday season and the chip shortage, you cannot find those boards or if you find them only way overpriced.

Ok, so as soon as all the stuff arrived to bring this Raspi Zero 2 W alive, I installed RaspiOS Buster Desktop. Moved all the Data from my 4B 4GB Raspi to the Zero 2 and in about 2h everything was running. And my monitoring monitor was driven by the Zero 2. The only downside I found so far is that somehow the Zero 2 is still a little to slow to render the Uptime Kuma website fast enough, so once in a while a white flash happens, when the Uptime Kuma is reloaded and the original empty white website is shown for a fraction of a second. This never happened with the 4B, cause this SoC was fast enough rendering the website. But for now I'm fine with it, since I'm happy enough to get the Zero 2 running and I have my 4B back to add it as agent to my k8s cluster.

So the next project will be adding this Raspi to the k8s cluster. And if this is successful, I want to try to move all my docker stuff to the k8s cluster and retire my Mac Mini 2007, which currently runs Ubuntu 20.04 with docker and all my services. And even this Mac Mini runs just perfect and I never had problems with the docker setup, I think it is time that I remove this "oversized" Mac Mini with something smaller and newer.

As always apply this rule: "Questions, feel free to ask. If you have ideas or find errors, mistakes, problems or other things which bother or enjoy you, use your common sense and be a self-reliant human being."

Have a good one. Alex

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