My remote network is primarily based on a dedicated server which powers many of my projects.
Running ESXi with an intel i9, 16TB of storage, 128GB of RAM and a gigabit uplink, there’s nothing it can’t do
There’s a fair few machines provisioned, but the main ones include a Unifi controller, web server, mail server, remote desktop, domain controller and proxmox spam filter.
My home network is pretty powerful being built around Unifi, and is designed to be fault tolerant. For example I have two internet connections (DSL & 5G) balanced across two Unifi switches which each have their own router and battery back up – if one switch fails the network will still function and worst case I’ll just need to swap around a few patch cables to keep wireless access points afloat. All Windows machine are linked to the domain controller by lan to lan VPN.
As I provide internet, VOIP and CCTV to my neighbours via wire and point to point wireless links, as well as my home automation, I initially chose to use pfSense in a high availability setup for my router. Whilst I absolutely love Unifi for Wifi and switching, I couldn’t get along with the Unifi gateway as it was so limited for my use.
So I settled for a physical pfSense instance running on a HP T610+ thin client and another instance running via VMware on the HP Microserver, so if one router fails the other takes over instantly and no one notices, but that didn’t last long as I came across a Wathchguard T80 (in the picture below it’s unplugged but it’s now in service chugging away like a beast), so now my home network runs on a fully licensed industrial grade business appliance – woo!
The Microserver also runs ESXi with a virtual machine for my home automation and a PBX server. You’ll also find a Synology NAS which takes online backups from the local and remote server as part of the 3-2-1 backup rule.
- All 24 ports on my patch panel are full
- On average there are 150 devices active, spread over 8 VLANs and 5 physical locations
- I always run solid copper cables (even down to the patch cables) as I don’t like copper clad aluminium, ew
- I still need to tidy a few cables… I’ll get to it eventually, maybe?
There is also a test rack which houses other spare hardware, I’ll write about that soon.
My home network changes a lot as it’s my test environment, below are a few pictures of the crazyness from times gone by.