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I’m part-way through the major overhaul of my home network (hosting this blog and everything else that I’ve been planning for quite some time. The current hardware is… uh… currently… described on my Hardware page, but I soon plan on ditching the wiki and moving to a CMS for my entire site.

Anyway, so far I’ve decommissioned my aged HP ProCurve 2424M switch and replaced it with used but less-aged Cisco 2948G from Horizon Datacom (purchased on Ebay). Quite an upgrade. In order to handle network backups a little better, I’m also adding a Cisco 4912G 12-port Gigabit (GBIC) aggregation switch for the administrative/backup VLAN - though this was purchased via ebay from RedApe Technologies in PA. The switch came with 12 1000BASE-SX GBICs, and I plan to do a mix of copper (1000BASE-T) where it’s already available (onboard NICs) and 1000BASE-SX where there’s enough room in the box for a card.

On the hardware side, I also have 2 new boxes - a set of HP Proliant DL360 G2‘s from MJS Global, who I’ve done business with before. The prices were great, and though one of them showed up with a faulty temperature sensor that prevents boot, MJS has been wonderful and is shipping me a replacement motherboard. One of the boxes will be running Vyatta (vee-AH-tha) VC5 router/firewall software, and the other will be a new services box running internal DNS, DHCP, NTP, and whatever else.

On the hardware side, I’m also planning some extended downtime a few weekends from now, when I should finally have a 42U rack to replace the Sears shelves my equipment is now on. It’ll be a fun-filled evening of racking equipment and re-patching everything. Also, hopefully within a few weeks, I’ll be moving my WAN pipe from Verizon FiOS residential to Optimum Business, which is essentially re-packaged residential but provides 5 static IPs, no blocked ports, and 30 Mbps down/5 Mbps up.


When planning this upgrade, I think I looked at every open source router package out there, as well as some of the lower-end or older Cisco models. I’m currently running IPcop, which does everything I need except it doesn’t handle multiple WAN IPs, and all configuration is via a web interface - which means every time I want to make a change remotely (and during the week I’m not home) I have to forward HTTPS over SSH. After doing an extensive feature comparison, I ended up narrowing it down to a relative newcomer - Vyatta. Though I don’t know how much of it is marketing hype, they are targeted squarely at Cisco, and provide relatively enterprise-level features; a JunOS-based CLI, BGP, OSPF, and all of the other important stuff.

Yesterday I attempted an install of Vyatta CE 5 Beta on one of the DL360G2’s. The only real problem that I found was the install script doesn’t support CCISS drives, as found in the Proliants, but a few manual hacks to the script fixed that. By far the best thing about Vyatta is it’s based on vanilla Debian Lenny, and full root shell access is available, so modifying the install script - or even adding non-Vyatta packages - is a cinch. I haven’t really played around with it too much, but it appears to be a wonderful mix of Linux and an enterprise router CLI. While root has a full BASH shell, and the Vyata commands are all done as shell aliases (so users still have access to shell primitives and OS commands), configuration is accomplished via a JunOS-like command set. You still get “commit” and “rollback” in config mode, and can still do fun things like save and load configs to/from tftp, ftp and http. On the other hand, I doubt I’ll do config backups that way since I can just use scp or sftp.

The Vyatta box will probably go home this weekend, and get hooked up to the network for config-only use (and I can always get in via iLO on the hardware) and hopefully come up sometime in the next few weeks.

At this point, the most daunting task is figuring out how to get all of the existing links to my site to work - since will be legacy, and most of the site structure will probably change to use name-based vhosts. Lately I’ve been trying to use the real subdomains in all of my public links, so the transition (planned for a while) will work, but I’m sure there are still plenty of links out there that will need dealing with (maybe keep port 10011 serving HTTP with a massive mod_rewrite script to redirect to the right place???), as well as checking everything on the web server to make sure there aren’t any absolute URLs (like WordPress).


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