Show and tell on real world solution using LXD

My current project at Heata is coming into a live Trail and I thought it would be fun to share how we are using LXD. A huge thank you to everybody that helped me with my learning curve and problem solving developing this solution it has made my development that much easier.

At its core its using LXD containers to provide customer sandboxed compute applications on a distributed network of compute nodes inside domestic homes.

The concept is a climate friendly distributed data centre where hat generated by the nodes is using by the domestic home user. Thus this technology can offset the energy used by compute nodes with the energy normal used to heat domestic hot water. As currently CO2 from data centres exceeds 3% of the total global emissions this project is a chance to move away from large energy hungry data centres which are due to demand are due to double in size in the next 5-10 years.

The challenges with this architecture are physical security so we have LUKS2 encrypted drives, Secure boot and TPM2 so that the applications and sensitive data on the appliances are safe.

Secondly because this phase of the solution currently works over the homes domestic broadband they are engineered to work standalone with occasional and low bandwidth polls to a controller serve which gives them jobs. PyLXD was particularly useful for implementing a task/job management for orchestration.

We are currently targeting the solution for inclusion for local council made social housing which would supply the occupant with free hot water and broadband.

Any questions please fire away the glossy information for this solution is below:-

Homepage here:-

Technical information here:-
Heata Technical


That’s very interesting!

I remember hearing about a similar type of setup a few years back done by cryptominers where you would effectively get a baseboard type heater which would produce its heat through mining. The user would be paid some fixed fee a month, covering for the electrical usage (and possibly a bit more) and so would effectively get free heat while the operator would get whatever coins they were mining.

Yes domestic data centre nodes have been done before but what’s unique about this is the fact we transfer the heat for domestic hot water.

In an ideal word we would pair the nodes with fibre broadband and be able to offer more conventional micro services.

At which point we can look at a more conventional push method or orchestration which LXD is perfect for.

I love the fact that I use cloud-init to install Ubuntu 20.04 server; then that boots and uses cloud-unit on first boot then the LXD containers are also cloud-unit.

It’s nice to see a single technology working so well across all of the install/provisioning phases.