Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Lab (part 1)

I learn alot by exploring, breaking and of course by fixing things. This is completely impractical in a production environment so if you don't have a test or lab it's going to be slower learning for you.

I want to build a Cisco Collaboration focused lab here at home. Searching for "Cisco Collaboration Lab" hasn't been so productive for me. Everyone seems to build routing/switching labs but not collaboration. It isn't surprising because the R/S tract is core to everything but does collab need the same equipment.

The equipment I have already is:
- Dell Poweredge 2950 rack server
- Cisco 2960 24 port PoE switch
- Dell 6420 laptop
- RaspberryPi model b
- Netgear r6700 router and a cable modem

My initial thoughts were that the server would be great for VMware hosts (a Windows server for active directory and domain controller). I powered it on once when I got it and it was loud as hell so I spent a bunch of brain cycles scheming ways to run it in my garage. Then I look at eBay and find these things run for about $50-100.
           It might be smarter to recycle this thing instead.

A Cisco 2950 switch will work great; I won't need so many ports, but PoE will be great for phones, touch panels or even some WiFi access points if I want to play with that too.

The Dell laptop is running Windows 10 so I'll toss VMware workstation on it to start with. No big deal there.

A Raspberry Pi is wayore useful than just about everything else in the modern world. Just kidding! But for $35 it is an amazing learning tool. This RPi has been a platform for me to learn Asterix, Debian and Nagios. Monitoring a collaboration environment is going to be my next thing once my lab is running.

Ok, this is going to be a home lab so I can't really interrupt the normal production functions in at Home Corp. The CEO wife would not stand for major service (Netflix) interruptions!

So that's what I have to start with. I'll need more. What experiences have you had?

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