Network

Remote

My remote network is primarily based on a UK dedicated server which powers many of my projects – I’ll write more about this soon.

Home

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.

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 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.

The Microserver also runs 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.

Fun facts:

  • 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
  • I still need to tidy a few cables… I’ll get to it eventually, maybe?

There is also a test rack which houses spare hardware, I’ll write about that soon.