About the Site

Thought it might be useful to give some background about the website for those that are interested.

Under the hood there are two Hetzner Cloud virtual machines running Ubuntu OS, one for the database and the other for website elements.

Hetzner’s minimum spec offering at less than 3 Euros/month per server is proving more than adequate for the current traffic and load.

Here’s a breakdown of what runs on each server

Database Server

  • InfluxDB
  • Grafana

Web Server

  • Ngnix
  • WordPress
  • Cloudflare (for caching and SSL)

To pull the data from Octopus each day I schedule a bunch of self built Python scripts to call the Octopus Energy API and insert the data into the Influx database.

There are also other custom scripts that create the graphs (using MatplotLib) and tweet out to the @energystatsuk Twitter account and also prepare the updated CSV files for the Download data page.

Luckily for me, the Grafana graphs are static html calls as you can use date ranges like -1d and -7d etc so that the graphs just pull the correct data each time they are run.  Every time a page on the site is visited and a graph populated on screen the data is pulled every time from the database server and displayed on the web server.  Thankfully, as the two machines are on the same local Hetzner network the throughput is pretty rapid.

Whilst I have worked in IT for almost 30 years making this site was well out of my comfort zone and a journey of adventure.  I’m like a jack of all trades, master of none and I don’t mind admitting that Google and Stack Overflow went a long way towards the building of the site.  Just goes to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Any questions about the site, any suggestions about future blog topics or comments about any of my other existing blog entries, please let me know via the contact form.