MDNS Across Unifi VLANs

I started working on some hardware projects related to home assistant using the ESP8266. in working on these I learned that the ESP devices use mDNS to advertise their hostnames for communicating with them. My devices however are on a separate VLAN that’s unable to communicate with the internet, and that VLAN was also blocking the mDNS updates from making it through to home assistant, keeping it from being able to know the hostnames. I could use static IPs for this, however I want to avoid locking all my little smart devices to static IPs.

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Network Rack Upgrade

I recently needed to build out a new network. The new network had a box in place that I could use for gear, however that box wasn’t big enough for any rack mount gear. I decided to mount a rack over the top of the box to handle all of the gear and keep it organized. With the new network, also came with a need to expand the number of switch ports I have available. I set it up to drive POE to all the end points so that I could have better centralized power.

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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.