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Redoing my whole home network infrastructure towards a business one for testing...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello......

Currently my network is composed of 3 Windows PCs domain capable and 1 nondomain capable (will be upgraded to domain capable). There are other devices (smartphones, TVs, etc) in the network as well.....

Connectivy of these devices is held by one DD-WRT router (with a ISP standalone modem) and another DD-WRT simply extending the wireless range.

Basically since Im going to go towards Cisco in the future, I want to restructure my entire network.

My idea is this:

2 new "PC" in this structure. I call them "PC" because of the following:

1 will have 2 NICs running pfSense, which will essentially act as my router (and a couple of things also, see below). One NIC goes from my broadband modem and the other NIC to a yet to be determained switch.
Another PC will be a domain controller

Next:

A L3 switch where I can configure it to the level almost of a router.

So my questions are:
What do I do about wireless? Should I get a dedicated device that can really extend wireless thruout my house (3 stories and it will be located in the attic)
The two new PCs should be more than enough with low priced right? For example, two of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883155554

Should be more than enough, right? Like I said 4 PCs are going to be connected to this domain.
This network, for future proofing (and learning), I wish to be mixed IPv4 and IPv6. Means each PC will have a local IPv6 address (even if unneccesary) and a local IPv4. They should be also ready to access IPv6 sites (thru tunnels or otherwise).
The pfSense will act as I said a router but should be my firewall and also a VPN server. What kind is yet to be determained.

As you can see, my network is complex but also something that I should see in the future in business networks. If someone could help me out with tips and orientations, thank you very much.
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post #2 of 21
Are you going to have a windows server?
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye071292 View Post

Are you going to have a windows server?
Yes. That will be the domain controller.
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post #4 of 21
Ok, just making sure.

I would suggest getting a really strong wireless router, and running a cat6 to it and mount it somewhere on your second floor. That way it will reach most of the house better. Wifi travels through roofs better than through walls. So mount it* in a corner.
Edited by hawkeye071292 - 5/28/13 at 8:11am
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye071292 View Post

Ok, just making sure.

I would suggest getting a really strong wireless router, and running a cat6 to it and mount it somewhere on your second floor. That way it will reach most of the house better. Wifi travels through roofs better than through walls. So mount it* in a corner.

Due to the physical layout of the house, this is undoable. At most, Ill be able to mount a wireless outdoor all weather access point.
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Also I need a recommendation for that L3 switch......Perfer something (cheap) from Cisco but...
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post #7 of 21
If you have 3 floors to cover, and you have a problem with using only one access point, then you could bridge over powerlines like http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=TL-PA211 to put additional wireless access points on other floors without having to run cabling. Incidentally, I even tested bridging multiple tagged vlans over these to see if it worked, and it does - so you can bridge multiple SSIDs (or additional wired VLANs) over your power wiring, then break them back out at the other end on another 802.1q capable switch. Throughput in my tests has been good enough for extending wireless coverage, ie. 50mbps or so, which is as fast as you can expect from 802.11n in practice. Performance will vary based on the quality of your home power wiring. If you're wanting to bridge wired LANs over powerline you'll obviously take a big hit on throughput.

For wireless access points, if you only want/need 2.4GHz then I've had good experience with the TL-WA901ND which can run OpenWRT, supports everything you might want (vlans, multi-ssid, 40MHz channel bonding etc.) and is very cheap.

If you want 5GHz, I wouldn't know, but make sure to get something that runs open source firmware like OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato otherwise you'll likely find you want some functionality later that the stock firmware doesn't give access to even though the hardware is capable of it.

The hardware you've suggested will likely be enough for pfsense depending on your needs - if you want to move bulk data through the router (eg. big file transfers to and from a NAS which is on a different subnet to the client machines) then you might find it lacking in CPU, depending on how fast your NAS can read/write data. Most likely, it will be enough, even to saturate gigabit ethernet, but if you expect to do lots of heavy file transfer it's worth looking at some throughput benchmarks first. Of course, if you don't anticipate having fileservers or other high-throughput devices on separate subnets, it doesn't matter, any modern CPU will easily handle the throughput of your WAN connection.

RAM might be a problem if you intend to run snort - it can use a lot of memory. 4GB or even 8GB would be better if you plan on running snort, especially multiple instances.
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post #8 of 21
I used some netgear powerline adapters in a tight spot at work. I would highly suggest avoiding that route. If you lose power you have to manually resync them (maybe it was because these were cheapo's but I wouldnt use those ever again.)

Do you have a port number requirement for the L3 switch? I think the smallest L3 switch I have seen is 24 port with PoE which is a bit more expensive.
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post #9 of 21
A managed L3 Cisco gigabit switch isn't going to be cheap. Several hundred dollars, at least.

Are you sure you need a full L3 switch? Dell PowerConnect switches can be had pretty cheap on eBay, and their CLI is very similar to Cisco. If you are wanting to learn Cisco networking, you should probably just buy some hardware that will run IOS 15 and build a lab.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheSpider View Post

If you have 3 floors to cover, and you have a problem with using only one access point, then you could bridge over powerlines like http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=TL-PA211 to put additional wireless access points on other floors without having to run cabling. Incidentally, I even tested bridging multiple tagged vlans over these to see if it worked, and it does - so you can bridge multiple SSIDs (or additional wired VLANs) over your power wiring, then break them back out at the other end on another 802.1q capable switch. Throughput in my tests has been good enough for extending wireless coverage, ie. 50mbps or so, which is as fast as you can expect from 802.11n in practice. Performance will vary based on the quality of your home power wiring. If you're wanting to bridge wired LANs over powerline you'll obviously take a big hit on throughput.

For wireless access points, if you only want/need 2.4GHz then I've had good experience with the TL-WA901ND which can run OpenWRT, supports everything you might want (vlans, multi-ssid, 40MHz channel bonding etc.) and is very cheap.

If you want 5GHz, I wouldn't know, but make sure to get something that runs open source firmware like OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato otherwise you'll likely find you want some functionality later that the stock firmware doesn't give access to even though the hardware is capable of it.

The hardware you've suggested will likely be enough for pfsense depending on your needs - if you want to move bulk data through the router (eg. big file transfers to and from a NAS which is on a different subnet to the client machines) then you might find it lacking in CPU, depending on how fast your NAS can read/write data. Most likely, it will be enough, even to saturate gigabit ethernet, but if you expect to do lots of heavy file transfer it's worth looking at some throughput benchmarks first. Of course, if you don't anticipate having fileservers or other high-throughput devices on separate subnets, it doesn't matter, any modern CPU will easily handle the throughput of your WAN connection.

RAM might be a problem if you intend to run snort - it can use a lot of memory. 4GB or even 8GB would be better if you plan on running snort, especially multiple instances.
I have 3 floors to cover and ethernet cable avaliable to 2 floors (where the network equipment will be setup and the one below it).

Right now, not interested in PoE.

I want to be 5GHz ready. I havent seen any 802.11ac routers that run DD-WRT as that would be my choice (because later im almost 100% sure it will run the final spec later)

Like I said, this is for a small home with 4 client PCs. I dont plan to have a NAS as currently I have a 4 drive RAID5 (on a RAID card) in one of my client PCs which is only for me for now...No plan for now to move that and I only use the transfers for that..

No I dont plan to run snort. AFAI see, snort would be the same as having a L3 switch that has a port mirror function....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye071292 View Post

Do you have a port number requirement for the L3 switch? I think the smallest L3 switch I have seen is 24 port with PoE which is a bit more expensive.
Smallest possible. I just want it to have a port mirror function to make sure I can monitor the entire network. Id be willing to go with a 3rd part firmware router if it had this function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Are you sure you need a full L3 switch? Dell PowerConnect switches can be had pretty cheap on eBay, and their CLI is very similar to Cisco. If you are wanting to learn Cisco networking, you should probably just buy some hardware that will run IOS 15 and build a lab.
Does it have port mirroring?

Thanks for all the help
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