Homenet update September 2017

I recently went for a month long vacation in Europe, and while in there I managed to do some infrastructure clean-up that was long overdue.

Sayonara Watchguard

As of today most of my network runs on Watchguards. This is because I was able to get them very cheap on ebay 2nd handed. Plus I had a deal with their reseller who in exchange for some consulting I done for them in the past was able to get me decent price on the LiveSecurity support contracts. That had changed recently, as the said reseller is no longer carrying Watchguard.

Not a big problem just yet, because I only renewed most of support contracts with a 3 year pack at the end of 2016.

Except that one ancient Watchguard XTM22-W that has been EOL for a while and that I couldn’t be bothered with until sometime this summer when it had a close encounter with a lighting that partially killed the thing.

I say partially because it still pushed packets, did switching and all that, but the WIFI and all gigabit ports were as dead as it gets.

Hajimemashite UniFi

So I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ubiquiti’s UniFi AP range, and for a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of trying them out, but just because the Watchguards worked all fine I couldn’t justify the purchase until now! Oh happy days!

I ordered a UAP-LR model that is a Long Range model as we got a bit of land at this location and it would be nice to have connectivity in the yard.

I initially connected it to a 100M port on the watchguard, since 1G ports were all kaput.
I then set up the UniFi controller (went with a docker image route), and to be honest I am loving it.


After playing with it for a few days, I convinced myself that it was worth the money and that when the support on other Watchguards expire this is the way to go.

But that 100M port on a watchguard didn’t really appeal to me so much and one very late evening I pulled a trigger and ordered an EdgeRouter POE.

To keep a long story short this turned out to be complete mistake and waste of money, brain and time.
Not that I have anything against that model, but the truth is that I didn’t do my research properly and did not realise that it did not support VLAN-aware which I need for this specific use case.

# set interfaces switch switch0 switch-port vlan-aware enable
Error: platform does not support this setting in switch0

Oh well, we live and learn.

I then some $100 shorter, convinced myself that I need to be bothered to do the research properly this time!

This time I settled with a Edgerouter-X which is vlan-aware, has PoE pass-through and is half the price of the ER-PoE model.

I really love the PoE pass-through as this means that I can power up both the router and the AP from a single PoE injector.

At the time of writing this blog post this kit has been in service for just over 2 months and it’s been pretty much rock solid.

Oh and the HP Microserver g7

I’ve also finally shut down the old HP Microserver G7 that has been severing as my Primary European Domain Controller, WSUS, WDS, and File Server for a good few years now.

These services were virtualized and migrated to a newer HP Microserver Gen8 over the years, and the only reason it wasn’t decommissioned earlier was that Microserver g7 doesn’t have the ILO, so I couldn’t do that remotely. Oh yeah, I totally love ILO functionality on the Gen8.

I then listed both the Microserver and the Edgerouter POE for the sale on the Internets, and the Microserver had sold the day I listed it, and strangely I made a profit on if we count the HP cashback that I received when I originally bought it. Not bad!

Now only if I could flog that Edgerouter PoE that would be great!