UniFi-ing My Homelab

2 weeks ago, I decided to reorganize my homelab. It went from this unmanaged mess to this slightly more managed mess. And I was really happy with it. I posted it to reddit for feedback (and karma), and all was well in the universe.

Until the PM came in.

A Ubiquiti engineer, impressed with the lab I have at my age (I’m 16!), asked me why I was running an original UAP. Well, I never really had a reason to upgrade. Everything important is wired, WiFi was only for phones. But when he offered me some gear, of course I said yes. If you’re reading this, thanks Bjorn! A couple days later, I received this in the mail:

A US-48, a US-24-250W, 2 US-8, 1 UAP-AC-PRO, and 2 UAP-AC-M. More networking gear than I thought I’d ever own. (A US-48 was going to be on my Christmas wishlist, now I don’t know what to ask for!)

My first order of business was to shut down all my VMs except for pfSense. Everyone else had left for the day, so I didn’t have to hear the all too familiar cries of “Why is the Internet down”. I installed the 2 switches in my “rack”, taking out the old 3com and Monoprice switches. I saved my existing pfSense configuration, and then reset to factory defaults.  I set the default network as the management network MGMT (192.168.30.0/24), and created the following VLANs:

  • 5 – LAN – 192.168.1.0/24 – Wired end-user machines
  • 10 – LAB – 10.0.0.0/8 – Servers and VMs
  • 20 – MAINWIFI – 192.168.20.0/24 – Main WiFi Network
  • 21 – GUESTWIFI – 192.168.21.0/24 – Guest WiFi Network
  • 22 – IOT – 192.168.22.0/24 – IOT Wired and Wireless Network
  • 30 – Was supposed to be MGMT but I decided to make it the default network
  • 40 – SCREENWISE – 192.168.40.0/24 – Wired network for Google Screenwise
  • 50 – DFIEL – 192.168.50.0/24 – Network for my Testing Environment

The 2 US-8 switches went to me and my father’s desks, powered by PoE. One of the UAP-AC-M is connected to my father’s switch, powered by PoE passthrough. The UAP-AC-PRO replaced the UAP upstairs, and the other UAP-AC-M went on the 2nd floor. It’ll eventually get installed permanently in the attic, but I haven’t gotten it working yet.

 

I took this time to install the new UniFi Controller (5.6.22 at the time of this writing), and I absolutely loved it. The new design is much better than previous versions (I was running quite an old build, probably from when I installed the original UAP). My only ‘complaint’ is that it can’t pull even basic stats from pfSense. I’d like to be able to monitor latency and throughput all from one console, but I understand that pfSense isn’t a Ubiquiti product so it’s kind of a stretch.

Here’s what my LAN switch looks like. Lots of room for improvement. I’ve got a 4x 1GB LAG between the 2 switches, since I’m using the LAN switch for anything LAN as well as all PoE Devices. IOT1 is my lighting controller. AP1 is the UAP-AC-PRO.

And here’s the LAB switch. Ports labeled HYPER are for my 2 HyperV Hosts. OOBM is iLO and iDRAC for the HyperV hosts and my NAS/SAN. SCREEN1 is the uplink port to the screenwise router.

Here are the 2 US-8s. CLOSET is the uplink back to the server closet. DFIEL-MINI is my desktop, but its currently on port 7 for some testing. Port 6 on my switch is my brother’s computer on the LAN net. IOT1 is a 2nd lighting controller that I’m working on cracking open (look for this in a future blog post). MIGUEL-PC is my dad’s work computer, and the Airrave is a femtocell. AP is connected to one of the UAP-AC-M.

 

All in all, this unexpected network upgrade was much needed. Now maxing out the Internet connection doesn’t take down the HyperV connections to the NAS (which I still didn’t understand, as that was over 10gb DACs, but none the less its no longer an issue). The next thing to upgrade will be a physical router, probably a Dell SFF with an i5-2400, as that’s what I put at my father’s office (where I do all IT) and it handles the 200/200 connection beautifully.

 

Thank you for reading, and I’m hoping to be posting more in the future!

David Fiel

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not obligated by Ubiquiti to create this review. All opinions expressed in this post are of my own, and do not reflect those of Ubiquiti or anyone else. The equipment was free to me but this review was not sponsored  in any other way. 

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