Thursday, January 15, 2009

Re-enginneering my network ...

As I move to having more and more machines on my internal LAN, I felt the time had finally come that I sit down, and rebuild my network to take advantage of things such as gigabyte networking, LDAP, single-user sign on, and so forth. I'm doing partially for fun, and partially because its an interesting experiment to see how Linux from an IS environment compares to a Windows 200x IS environment (one of my former jobs was a 2000/XP/2003/Vista sysadmin position).

So, here's my current network setup
blacksteel <- *wireless* ---------------------------------------------- cerberus <-> Internet
dawn <------ *wired*-----------------------------------------------------
360 <---- *wired* -----------------------------------------------------

Online machines:
cerberus - WRT51GS
backsteel - My laptop
dawn - Development machine
360 - Xbox 360, used to play media from blacksteel

Offline machines (aka, machines I have, but haven't fired up since moving:
helios (PowerMac G4)
apollo (old Dell P3)
junker (RS/6000 rescued from the dumpster, might be dead)
alexandria (NSLU2; gave up its plug for dawn)
coldfusion (Coldfire Board, might be dead; ethernet controller is faulty, but might be able to use a USB based one to breath some life into it; can't autoreboot due to built in bootloader not supporting it; and no JTAG to sanely change the default bootloader).
siren (old MacBook Pro, has a dead internal HDD, but runs fine from an external hard drive. Was my Debian test box until its HDD went to dawn)
exodius - second WRT54GS used to be part of a WDS bridge.
unnamed dev box (not here yet, but likely soon).

Of all these machines, only apollo has a wireless card which ATM is non-functional. In addition, the wired bits of my network are 100Mbps, with a g based wireless hotspot (WPA secured). Futhermore, blacksteel, helios, and siren have gigabyte ethernet. apollo has 100MBps ethernet card. alexandria and dawn have 10MBps, which is painful, especially for NFS root.

I'll drop another 1Gbps NIC into apollo, replacing its wireless card, and give dawn, alexandria, and maybe coldfusion USB based NICs once I get around to resurrecting systems (alexandria and coldfusion don't have hard drives at the moment)

What I would like to do is use an Linux-based router and replace Cerberus. Helios has two gigabyte NICs, so it will take up this duty, as well as provide DHCPv4, and radvd (for IPv6) for the internal network. It's an old computer, and has an onboard model, and its position in my apartment will be close to a phone jack; maybe I'll set it up so I can dial in from outside the LAN in case something goes down (although my phones here are VoIP based so I dunno how useful that's going to be :-)).

Another box (I might task this to apollo, or helios) will run LDAP and NFS services, providing both a netboot based installation with preseed for fast re-installation, and NFS home folders for all machines except blacksteel (unless someone knows a great solution for having a laptop sync NFS and local home folders. helios will run mail, news, and any other untrusted net facing services, with everything else shielded behind it. All machines will run IPv4 and 6.

Anyway, this is the start of my plan in a nutshell, and I intend to continue discussion as I slowly build and implement this updated setup. Wish me luck :-).