MQTT broker for shared server users

Please consider either letting customers run an MQTT broker on our own domains (on shared servers) or setting up a central broker for all Dreamhost customers to use. MQTT is a lightweight messaging protocol that is very useful for communication between IoT (Internet of Things) devices for remote sensing, automation, etc.

By its nature, MQTT is very lightweight in terms of bandwidth and storage, so it should be no trouble for customers to abide by some sort of ‘it’s “unlimited”, but don’t be stupid’ guideline. Even some sensible limit on messages per hour/day/month would be acceptable.

Now, that is an interesting request! I’ve been curious about MQTT since OpenStack Zaqar launched but never had any strong incentive to dive deeper in it. IoT is definitely a nice use case, though. There are a few MQTT brokers that offer their services already, though. What would be the advantage for you to run something like this on your own domain instead of using, say, HiveMQ, cloudMQTT or others?

Well, price primarily. CloudMQTT and both have a free tier, but it’s limited to 5 or 10 feeds. That’s nice to try it out(which I’m sure is their goal), but I think I’d quickly outgrown that limitation. HiveMQ’s test server doesn’t really have any hard limits, but everything published to it is public (that’s not ideal for all of my personal sensing data). I’d like to have a secure server (or at least secure feeds on a shared server), and not rely on those other sites offering a free MQTT broker for however long I want to use one for. At some point, they’ll retire that service. If I have based all of my home sensing/automation on it, that puts me in a bad spot.

I realize that I could install it on a Raspberry Pi or something, run it in my basement, set up port forwarding rules so I can use it from the internet, etc. It would just be SO much easier to run it on my own domain, or even just a fixed location (e.g. so I wouldn’t have to deal with dynamic DNS.

On a somewhat related side note, it looks like is hosted with Dreamhost!

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