Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole



  • I finally took the plunge and bought myself a Raspberry Pi 3B+. As I was imaging the SD card with the latest Raspbian Stretch using Etcher, I found this article about a project called balena cloud (yeah, yeah, I clicked an ad during the flash of my SD card). It actually looks pretty slick and gives you some insight into your Pi-hole fleet (assuming you want that) and allows management and updates.

    Has anyone used this project? If so, did you like it?



  • Never used Balena. Pi-Hole is a pretty odd place to use it since Pi-Hole is essentially zero effort to install or maintain. Even a thousand devices, it seems like setting up Balena would take more effort than setting up the Pi-Holes without it would be. It doesn't appear that Balena manages the Pi-Holes themselves in any way, just gives you a more complex way to do what Pi-Hole does out of the box.

    For more complex projects, Balena looks a little interesting. But "container" is the hot word for "zero value add" these days. People want to slap it on anything and this gives that impression. Mildly interesting but, that's about where I'd leave it. At least it is open source.



  • Unless I read that blog completely wrong, provisioning in conjunction with balenaCloud allows you to update multiple Pi-Holes from a central location and gives you the ability to access the admin interface of each Pi-Hole from balenaCloud. I could see that as pretty useful if I was deploying a Pi-Home for a bunch of different family members or even for several remote offices.



  • @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    Unless I read that blog completely wrong, provisioning in conjunction with balenaCloud allows you to update multiple Pi-Holes from a central location and gives you the ability to access the admin interface of each Pi-Hole from balenaCloud.

    You can already do that SO easily in so many simpler ways. This looks like a lot more work and things to fail. Pi-Hole is essentially zero effort, Docker brings a lot of risk.

    Access to the admin interface of each is kinda handy if you have two. But that's just silly, too much work for no benefit. At any scale you'd not want to use the web interface to manage them anyway, that's fundamentally not scalable. You'd use Salt or Chef or Ansible and do so much more for less.



  • @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I could see that as pretty useful if I was deploying a Pi-Home for a bunch of different family members or even for several remote offices.

    I do that already, and just deploy a single Pi-Hole. If you want lots of Pi-Holes for some reason, I think there are already seemingly way better ways to do that. But mostly, I'd wonder why'd you'd want more than one or two. But certainly there could be reasons. But mostly that would be if you were running some kind of Pi-Hole support company which would be super weird and I think way better suited with something much more enterprise.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    Unless I read that blog completely wrong, provisioning in conjunction with balenaCloud allows you to update multiple Pi-Holes from a central location and gives you the ability to access the admin interface of each Pi-Hole from balenaCloud.

    You can already do that SO easily in so many simpler ways. This looks like a lot more work and things to fail. Pi-Hole is essentially zero effort, Docker brings a lot of risk.

    Access to the admin interface of each is kinda handy if you have two. But that's just silly, too much work for no benefit. At any scale you'd not want to use the web interface to manage them anyway, that's fundamentally not scalable. You'd use Salt or Chef or Ansible and do so much more for less.

    And there are command line options to make it easier to manage pihole too.
    https://docs.pi-hole.net/core/pihole-command/



  • @black3dynamite said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @scottalanmiller said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    Unless I read that blog completely wrong, provisioning in conjunction with balenaCloud allows you to update multiple Pi-Holes from a central location and gives you the ability to access the admin interface of each Pi-Hole from balenaCloud.

    You can already do that SO easily in so many simpler ways. This looks like a lot more work and things to fail. Pi-Hole is essentially zero effort, Docker brings a lot of risk.

    Access to the admin interface of each is kinda handy if you have two. But that's just silly, too much work for no benefit. At any scale you'd not want to use the web interface to manage them anyway, that's fundamentally not scalable. You'd use Salt or Chef or Ansible and do so much more for less.

    And there are command line options to make it easier to manage pihole too.
    https://docs.pi-hole.net/core/pihole-command/

    Oh yeah, Pi-Hole is SO simple. Things like Salt or just scripts would seem to be impossible to beat to manage it on any scale. But it also seems like the kind of product where scale would never really be a factor. But I could kind of see where it might be sensible. But I'd totally want Salt in the case I'm picturing.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I could see that as pretty useful if I was deploying a Pi-Home for a bunch of different family members or even for several remote offices.

    I do that already, and just deploy a single Pi-Hole. If you want lots of Pi-Holes for some reason, I think there are already seemingly way better ways to do that. But mostly, I'd wonder why'd you'd want more than one or two. But certainly there could be reasons. But mostly that would be if you were running some kind of Pi-Hole support company which would be super weird and I think way better suited with something much more enterprise.

    I'm definitely not looking to run a Pi-Hole support company.



  • @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I'm definitely not looking to run a Pi-Hole support company.

    LOL, no one is. I think that the idea is neat, but that Balena is just a weird bit of overkill in this scenario. If you had a lot of other things and Pi-Hole was one of many things, then totally different.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I could see that as pretty useful if I was deploying a Pi-Home for a bunch of different family members or even for several remote offices.

    I do that already, and just deploy a single Pi-Hole. If you want lots of Pi-Holes for some reason, I think there are already seemingly way better ways to do that. But mostly, I'd wonder why'd you'd want more than one or two. But certainly there could be reasons. But mostly that would be if you were running some kind of Pi-Hole support company which would be super weird and I think way better suited with something much more enterprise.

    I was saying I had considered setting up a Pi-hole at each of our extended family's homes. Sorry if that was not clear earlier. But I see what you mean about other options to manage them.



  • @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I was saying I had considered setting up a Pi-hole at each of our extended family's homes. Sorry if that was not clear earlier.

    It was, but why? That's buying one piece of hardware per location, and managing one install per location. Why not just all share one?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    @NetworkNerd said in Centralized Management for Pi-Hole - balena-pihole:

    I was saying I had considered setting up a Pi-hole at each of our extended family's homes. Sorry if that was not clear earlier.

    It was, but why? That's buying one piece of hardware per location, and managing one install per location. Why not just all share one?

    Agreed- if you must- host it on vultr for this.. for less than a happy meal you can have one running for a month