My home lab setup

My current homelab in ESXi

The last few days I have been busy with creating my new home lab. For years I had the possibility to use my employers or customers test/lab environments, to test new technology and reproduce/troubleshoot issues. I have started working as a freelancer earlier this year and needed my own test environment.

Why a home lab

For me, I use my home lab almost daily. To try and reproduce customer issues and verify their setup or to setup and test new software/settings but most of all to study and gain/improve my knowledge and get my certifications. I will combine my home lab with an Azure environment.

My gear of choice

I want my lab environment to be available 24/7 with low power consumption and I want it to be (very) quiet. I also wanted it to have a dedicated GPU. I did not want to build my own custom computer (takes to much time for me) so I wanted a pre-build computer. Intel offers a large choice of pre-build hardware with good specs!

I have chosen to buy the Intel NUC Hades Canyon. The Hades Canyon offers a good dedicated GPU, fast CPU, M.2 SSD and 32/64GB of memory and a small form factor. The exact specifications of my NUC:

CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G (quad-core, 8MB Cache, up to 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GH graphics (4GB HBM2 VRAM), Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM: 2x Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR4
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD

The Intel NUC Hades Canyon

The Hades Canyon is in my opinion currently one of the best pre-build systems to get for a homelab environment. The dedicated GPU allow me (for example) to configure and play with GPU Passthrough in an RDS environment.

My laptop

Besides my homelab I have a 2019 Apple Macbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pro that I take with me at work. In my homeoffice I have an extra Intel NUC with Windows 10.

  • Apple Macbook Pro 15″ Touchbar (mid 2019)
  • Intel Core i7 (2,6GHz QuadCore)
  • 16 GB RAM 2400Mhz DDR4
  • 265GB SSD
  • Radeon Pro 555x 4GB

This laptop is running a Windows 10 Virtual Machine and applications like Edge Chromium (love it!), Office 365, RoyalTS, 1Password..

My current VM’s

My current homelab is running 6 VM’s with enough space/memory available to run more. This NUC will be able to run roughly +- 8 VM’s easily.
Currently i’m running a full (hybrid) RDSH environment with a few Azure components. All the VM’s are running on Windows Server 2019 except for the Ubiquiti VM, which is a Ubuntu VM.

  • 1x Domain Controller/DNS/Azure AD Connect/SQL Server.
  • 2x RDS Server (RemoteDesktop and RemoteApps).
  • 1x RD Web/RD Gateway.
  • 1x Management/Fileserver/RD Broker.
  • 1x Ubiquiti Unifi and UNMS server (which currently manages 3 different sites with routers/access points).

Besides this I have a Site2Site VPN to from my homelab to Azure, AD Connect and a few virtual machines, like a Windows 10 desktop for Windows Virtual Desktop and Azure storage for FSLogix profile containers.

T-Mobile Thuis Fiber with EdgeRouter Lite

The amount of configuration information on T-Mobile Thuis fiber connections with EdgeRouter equiptment is a bit scarce. The configuration looks a lot like the KPN Fiber and Vodafone configuration, but is slightly different.

I have chosen to use a fiber to ethernet converter, the TP-Link MC220L. But I think that I will buy the new EdgeRouter 4 when it comes to the Netherlands. Which is roughly the EdgeRouter X with fiber port and the EdgeRouter Lite combined. But for now, this configuration is based on the EdgeRouter Lite 3.

T-Mobile and their VLAN’s

At first, we need to know that T-Mobile seperates the internet and IPTV connection using VLAN’s. VLAN300 is used for the internet traffic and VLAN640 is used for the IPTV traffic. T-Mobile seperates this traffic in their own router. We will have to do the same in our configuration. Later on, we will devide our connection using a bridge in to two seperate VLAN’s. These VLAN’s will be made available in the switches.

My set-up

My set-up is fairly basic. In the diagram below, I have drawn out my setup. Let me talk you through it; The fiber connection comes in at the fiber converter and is attached to the ETH0 interface of the EdgeRouter-Lite (ER-L). The LAN connection is on ETH1 and is connected to anĀ managed ethernet switch. The ETH2 is (in my case) directly attached to the IPTV box.
The switch has (multiple) Ubiquiti UniFi access points attached, a few wired devices (laptop, Ikea Tradfri gateway, a computer) and a (trunk) connection to another managed switch in the living room for my Playstation, TV and HTPC.

 

The configuration of the EdgeRouter Lite

Below here is a copy of my configuration, with a few details cleared. These are port mappings, static IP assignments and passwords. What this configuration does is the following:

  1. Create ETH0 for the WAN connection, with DHCP enabled so it receives it’s (external) IP from T-Mobile
  2. Split ETH0 in to ETH0.300 for the VLAN300 and ETH0.640 for the VLAN640 traffic (internet and iptv)
  3. Creathe ETH1 with local IP adresses in the 192.168.0.0/24 range. ETH1 has VLAN300 attached for the internet traffic.
  4. Creathe ETH2 without an IP adres (T-Mobile will handle that itself) with VLAN640 attached for IPTV.
  5. Create a few default firewall rules to block harmful traffic.
  6. Allow NAT for VLAN300 for the internet traffic
  7. Enable an IGMP proxy for IPTV

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