DNS Structure

The goal of the DNS structure of my lab was primarily to create a very stable foundation. Second to that, was the addition of two services, the first a local DNS server to avoid loopback issues with my ISP, and the second was pihole ad blocking.

To set this up, UCS was chosen as a domain controller/DNS server over FreeIPA. Linux was chosen as the platform of choice as that is what a majority of my systems are, and I don’t have any windows server licenses. UCS was installed to a VM, and a second ubuntu VM was configured with PiHole. These were configured to handle local queries first, then everything else. If one of my local DNS servers is down, the clients won’t notice a change as everything uses Google DNS as backup.

Network Setup Evolution

The network in the house has never really sat well with me, starting with the pre-installed phone splitter to the gaping hole the contractors left in the wall for the cables. This then comes to a summit since there were NO outlets near the Ethernet for the entire house.

Revision 1‌

The first revision of my network started with a single 8 Port switch on a shelf with an extension cord running under the door. This was sub-optimal due to a few reasons: first, there are 10 ports to connect, and this was an 8 Port switch, easy to fix with a bigger switch, but second and more importantly, the power was from an extension cable going out of the closet. This was an ugly setup and needed to be updated.

The power cord went to the wall wart for the switch attached onto an extension cord that went outside the closet into a bathroom in order to actually get power for the network.

Revision 2

I removed the need for a power cable by swapping out to a POE setup. My office ran a POE switch, and the switch in the closet was swapped to one that can be powered by POE. The hardware for this is Unifi switches, the USW8-150W for power, and two USW8’s to be powered.

The POE switch sits in my office next to the rest of the core network gear (modem, router, ap).

The first revision of the POE powered switches came with a bit of… extra cable, once the proof of concept was working, I purchased some new ethernet cords and set it up for good.

I setup link aggregation between the switches in order to improve bandwidth between the two segments of the network. This was all simple using the Unifi controller.