360-320-6221 caperren@caperren.com

Homelab

Summary

Odds are if you clicked on this page, you probably know what a homelab is, but I’ll explain it quickly for those who don’t. Homelabbing is a hobby centered around running and maintaining somewhat advanced networks, severs, and/or services at home or in a non-professional sense. Normal home networks generally consist of a single central device such as an ISP provided modem/router combo, but homelab setups tend to more closely mirror professional setups used in businesses. Homelabs therefore tend to be much more complex and aren’t plug and play, but result in a network with much finer control and the ability to add new features easily. For example, my favorite feature of my homelab is that my network has a built in ad blocker. This means that ads that normally would be impossible or very difficult to block, such as in mobile phone aps or youtube, are now blocked before they even reach the phone.

My interest in all this comes as a side-effect of having worked for San Juan Island School District’s IT department for six or sevens years, along with a general interest in computers from long before that. I set up many services for their networks back then, and I carried a lot of that into my home as time went on. I learned to webmaster there and it is the reason I’m comfortable hosting my own website and home services!

Anyways, in no particular order I’m going to cover the fun stuff I have in my house. At some point I’ll diagram all this out, half for my own sake.

Networking/Server Gear
  • Ubiquiti Unifi AC Pro Wireless Router
  • Dell PowerConnect 5324 24-Port Gigabit Switch
  • Motorola Surfboard SB8200 (XFINITY: 1 Gbps ↓ | 30 MBps ↑)
  • Cat6 wall panels in every major room for Gigabit ethernet to each computer
  • Custom File/Virtualization Server
    • Intel i7-2600
    • 32GB DDR3-1600
    • 6 x 2TB WD Green Drives (head park disabled)
    • 1.25TB Misc SSDs
    • IBM Serveraid M1015 SAS Controller
    • Norco RPC-4020 20-Bay Hotswap Server Rack Mount Chassis
  • HP Compaq 8000 Series Desktop
  • Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d NAS
  • Ancient APC Back-UPS 900 (unknown model, upgraded to 25Ah, 24V battery pack)
  • HP 3600N Network Color LaserJet Printer
  • Lack Rack (upgraded castors)
Network Services
  • PfSense (main router/firewall/ad blocker) – HP 8000 Series
  • FreeNas (main NAS / virtualized systems) – Custom Server
    • Native
      • Backblaze B2 Cloud Backups
      • Iomega Local Backup Scripts
    • Ubuntu Server (Virtual)
      • transmission
      • pgl
    • Ubuntu Desktop (Virtual)
      • plex
      • mysql database (IoT data storage)
      • grafana
    • Ubuntu Desktop (Virtual)
      • google drive sync
      • unifi controller
      • sftp server
IoT Devices
  • 3 Phillips Hue Bulbs
    • 2 – Bedroom for auto brightening on wakeup alarm
    • 1 – Living room for ambience
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Networked Denon Home Theater System
  • Home Built IoT Outlet Switch Box
  • Google Home Mini
  • 1x Chromecast Ultra
  • 5x Chromecast Audio
  • Steam Link
Remotely Hosted
  • DigitalOcean Virtual Private Server / DNS
    • Web hosting (this site!)
    • Tautulli (Plex statistics and monitoring)
    • Proxies for misc services
    • Google Apps for Business
      • @caperren.com email

One day I’ll have the money to buy a real metal rack, put some server grade gear in it, and have way too much fun! For now, as a college student I’ll stick with the mishmosh of random stuff I’ve thrown together, even if it means the whole network dies when updates fail as I don’t have anything to fall back on. Below, you can see some of the live stats about my house and network!