Homelab setup - part 1 - hardware

Today I will share some details about the hardware in my private test setup.

I had a few key features in mind before building this setup:

  • rack mounted (in the past everything was laying around on my desk)
  • self contained (only one power cord and one uplink should leave the rack)
  • remote access to console interfaces
  • remote power toggle for some equipment
  • remote access 

First let me tell you what is installed. From top to bottom:
  • TP-Link TL-MR6400 (LTE Router. Fallback internet access and used for Aruba RAP testing)
  • Two simple PDUs with a mechanical switch. 
  • Aruba Access Points. From left to right
    • AP-205 (used as CAP)
    • IAP-305 (used as Instant AP)
    • AP-303P (used as RAP)
    • AP-215 (used as CAP)
    • UAP-505 (no specified use) 
  • Intel NUC DN2820FYKH (hidden behind the APs. Used as wired and wireless test client)
  • Raspberry Pi Gen1 (used for remote console access)
  • Aruba 2930F 12G PoE+ Switch (JL693A) (used half productive, half for testing)
  • Palo Alto NGFW PA-220
  • Aruba Aruba 2530 8G-Switch (J9777A)
  • Aruba 2930F 24G (JL259A)

Getting back to my requirements we can verify if this setup matches my needs.
Rack mounted: Check!
Self contained: One power cord. Check! For the uplink requirement: There are now 4 cables going out of the rack. WAN uplink, Workstation, USB-C Dock for my laptop and one cable for my productive AP-505H. I'm ok with that since I eliminated my "desk switch" with this setup.
Remote access to console interfaces: The USB console ports of the switches and the RJ45 console port of the PA-220 are connected to the Raspberry Pi (more on that in part 2). The AP console ports are not connected. I didn't had that much USB serial adapters and cables.
Remote power toggle: The APs are toggled via CLI [no] power-over-ethernet in interface config mode. The second PDU is switchable via a ZigBee Socket (top right of the picture) which is connected to my Philips Hue Bridge.
Remote Access: Yes. More on that in part 2. Teaser: Palo Alto Global Protect and Apache Guacamole.

Part 2 of this series will be about the software setup used on the PA-220 and on the Raspberry Pi.

Part 3 will be about the VMs running on my workstation. Teaser: Have a look at the Aruba portfolio ;-) 

In ongoing blog posts I will write about some use cases I build with this setup to train myself or to test some customer setups.

Stay tuned!