> surely your institution can afford to support you on a larger Amazon server, DO droplet or equivalent
It's not a matter of costs, I Think. But you don't know German communal burocracy :-)
But if i plug in a server more or less to the mains, no one cares.
My home server is mainly for failover and experimenting. I have another one running in the cellar of our school next to the main electrical power supply connected to a otherwise not used and free VDSL line. This server is really isolated from any other network, so it would do no bigger harm if a hacker break into. This is why I risked to use it several weeks without firewall. Outages occured only the first time I really switched on the firewall, because I forgot to let pass the dynamic DNS-Updater service.
Until then it was running like a charme. Same for my home server, that was protected by a firewall from the beginning. But it is behind a DSL-Router, that does the dynamic DNS-Update itself and when i copied the ufw settings to the school's server I forgot about the difference.
Of course it would be better to rent a dedicated server with fixed IP. But I think, I leave this as an option if bad realiability really becomes a problem.
Thanks for your hints anyway.