Networking Labs with Vagrant

Vagrant is a word that I’ve heard from time to time over the last couple of years. I knew the high-level concept but never really saw a use case, until now. My previous project had me setting up a VM on an ESXi box, taking a snapshot of a clean install and manually restoring the VM to the snapshot state every time I wanted to do a new test of my code. Standing up a single VM with a single snapshot isn’t that bad but it doesn’t scale. My next step is standing up labs with multiple machines. Vagrant can support a sensible workflow for those labs. Read on to find out why and how.

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Old Aerohive AP’s for the home

Because I run a virtual firewall at home, I have to provide a separate wireless solution. I started out with a cheap Sitecom AP. Later, I swapped that out for a Linksys WRT54GL that first ran custom Tomato firmware and DD-WRT after that. The Linksys got replaced by a Ubiquity that I kind of liked but not that much. When I noticed Aerohive AP120’s and AP121’s can be had on eBay below 20 bucks, I knew what I had to do.

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OpenBSD firewall with pf using Ansible

I’ve created an Ansible project that can be used to configure and manage an OpenBSD firewall running pf and dhcpd. The project can be found here on Github. The playbooks can be used to bootstrap a fresh install, do all of the setup and configuration tasks and make changes later to a running system. All of the state is put in the variables under host_vars.

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Choosing new home lab server components

I’ve been looking for some more headroom in the home lab department for a while now. I was actually looking into buying a specific platform (Xeon-D) when I decided to re-evaluate my requirements and the options to fulfill them. What turned out to be the best choice for my situation actually surprised me. The process of making my decision might be interesting to others as well, so read on for the details.

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