this post is for day 38 and 39 of #100daysofhomelab… and i have finally moved over to my #RB5009… and, well, it has not gone so well… It has rebooted a few times due to memory issues (too many BGP tables being held, so I shut a few down to start with… some cleanup needed there), then the internet connections are a little unstable, and, well, in the last 48 hours, I have spent more time on LTE than on proper internet… It does seem to be working (ish…) now, but not as fast as it was. I am just using the #Zerotier link, so the #Wireguard links are currently off… Anyway, below are some links… I hope to make things work better tomorrow… And i also hope to have a better write up soon too…
Day 31 of #100daysofhomelab and I am going through the config from my CHR to bring over to my RB5009, and, well, I have no idea what I was doing when I built the original config… Now to try and figure out what the config did, since I want to document it here so I know what I was thinking, but to also possibly help someone else… Mind you, at this stage, it won’t be much help… I also need to figure out how to add my Zerotier Bridge into the mix.
So, as trying to get a high level overview of how this works, lets start with this:
The cable modem comes in at 1Gb/s down, 50Mb/s up. It hands off at 1Gb ethernet and plugs into a switch on VLAN 900. Anything on VLAN 900 can get a public IP from that modem (statically assigned, I have 5 usages, the first being the modem to act as a gateway).
FTTH comes in and goes to my small quad 2.5Gb box, which then, using CHR (we call this DUB1-BK01), hands off a /29 to VLAN 905. Again, any devices on VLAN 905 can get a public IP from there, and use BK01 as a gateway.
For the current CHR (DUB1-BGP01) it being a VM has currently got 3 connections: eth1 is connected to VLAN900, eth2 is connected to VLAN905 and eth3 is connected to VLAN901. VLAN901 has a /27 from my block of /24 addresses, and anything on that VLAN can use an IP from that pool and the IP from DUB1-BGP01 as its gateway.
DUB1-BGP01 connects to both lon1 and fra3 over WireGuard connections. All traffic to lon1 is sent over the Cable Modem link. All traffic to fra3 is sent over the FTTH link. Currently, there is no automatic failover if one link dies… This is where (hopefully) Zerotier comes into play.
I have a VM running on my i7 2.5Gb box that has connections to both VLAN900 and VLAN905, along with VLAN911. I have a bridge on that box that connects VLAN911 to a Zerotier network which is used only for internal peering. It has a /28 Public IP Range and anything on that bridge can use an IP from that network and talk to other machines. Currently that bridge is directly connected to my UDM Pro, and it gets a public IP and uses fra3 as a gateway. Sometimes traffic goes though fra3 but comes back over lon1 (due to asymmetric routing). But because of the way the network is working, all traffic can flow without issues.
The plan is to use that VLAN along with the 2 WireGuard links and give me 2 connections to lon1 and fra3. In theory, if one connection goes down, the traffic should be able to flow the other way…
So, at least that is the theory… How well this will work is anyone’s guess… But more messing with configs is required.
I am participating in the #100daysofhomelab challenge and have been posting a lot on Twitter as @tiernano, but some posts and tasks I am doing will require longer-form write-ups. So, some updates will include either Videos (which will be published on my Youtube Channel) or blog posts, which will go here. This is the first of the blob posts.
Up till this morning, if I wanted to update a record, I checked out the DNS records from my private Github repo, made the change, and ran the DNSControl commands on my machine (check for syntax checking the file, preview to show what will change at the provider level, and push to make the changes). But I wanted to have some automation for this. So, enter Github Actions.
I did a bit of digging and found a Github Action from koenrh called dnscontrol-action. The docs on this are quite simple to go through, so I created 2 action files for my Repo: preview and push. a Gist for Preview is below:
and the one for push is as follows:
The important parts are as follows:
In both preview and push, the check command does a syntax check of your DNS config file. Then preview will check the providers to see if any records need an update. When push runs, it will make the changes.
All my required secrets are set in the Github repo as secrets, so when the action is run, it will pull the required keys out. These are put into the environment variables. I use name.com and a registrar for some domains (though most have now moved to Cloudflare, and some, like my .ie domains, are with Blacknight, who are not supported on DNSControl). Cloudflare is used by the majority of my domains, and Route53 is used for 2 domains currently. There are around 53 domains current managed by this, and the plan is to add more. I also plan on getting some more automation around checking configs and sending alerts if anything changes.
So, enough “How it works” and show us it working!
Right. Let’s update my zt.tiernanotoole.net domain, which is used for Zerotier IPs internal to my network. It’s been a while since I did this, so most will be removed and a few adds… first, I create a new branch, called zt-update, and check it out in VSCode. I made my changes, git committed and git pushed to the branch.
at this stage, the actions have NOT run, since this is neither checked in to master, nor a PR for master.
I go into the create PR section, and I can see the changes I have made. in my case, I removed a load of unused records and added extras:
I now create my PR and wait for the checks to complete:
within a short time, I get an alert that all checks have passed, and I can find the results of the changes in the build (It was meant to add a note to the PR with the details, but I might be missing something in my config…)
Also, not sure why it is redacting part of my name here…
I check the rest of the list, and other than the deletes and creates in route53 for this domain, there are no other changes. So, being happy with that, I click the Merge Pull Request and the code is checked into master, and the DNSControl push command runs:
If i now go into Route53, i can see the records on the site:
Happy days! Next challenges to fix:
fix the PR to include the output of check and preview
only run a check and push on the master branch, and no need to run preview again…
run preview once a week and send alerts if anything has changed
A few weeks back, Ubiquiti released a pre-release update for the Unifi Network Controller, version 7.1.61. It got installed on my UDM and I noticed a few interesting bits that you might find handy… First, you will need to be signed up for Unifi Early Access before you can download or even read the release notes, but this is just a quick update based on my findings so far.
The first thing to note: You can see the list of devices connected to switches on the Overview Tab. I can’t remember exactly when that was added, but I think it’s new…
Under the ports tab, you now have a ports insight option:
Clicking this give you:
You can also select multiple ports and make changes at a bulk level:
You can also see a bit more info about each port:
Teleport VPN is also now added. This makes giving someone access to your network a LOT easier than usual. They will need the WifiMan software on Android, iOS or Mac to join. Not sure what happens on a Windows machine… Maybe it’s coming soon? To use it, just generate a new link and send it to your user. Not sure how to remove them afterwards (if you want to give them temp access for example…)
Final Interesting part, and something I have been waiting for for a while, under Traffic Management, you can now create custom traffic rules:
You can set it based on destination Domain Name, IP or even the full internet:
And you can set the Source to be All Devices, group of devices (network) or individual (or multiple targeted) devices.
Finally, you can set the output internet connection.
If you had multiple internet connections, and one had better speeds for stuff like Netflix, or you wanted to send bulk data over a different link, you can do this using this feature. Very cool stuff.
For the last few weeks, I have been running a Raspberry Pi in my car, along with a small UPS and a Wifi Access point, allowing me to download videos from my dash cam and back them up to my NAS in the house. But I have had some teething issues, and I am currently thinking my way through some fixes…
First, the Pi is connected to both the network in the car (via ethernet) and network in the house (via Wifi). It seems that when the car is parked outside, sometimes the Pi can’t talk to the internet, and sometimes it can’t talk to the dashcam… It’s a routing issue, and it’s starting to annoy me…
I thought the onboard Wifi on the Pi was a little weak… it wasn’t getting much more than about 2-3Mbytes/s (16-24MBit/s) when downloading from the Pi to the House. Given the Pi was serving content from an SSD (not the internal MicroSD) I would have hoped for faster. I tried swapping in an external Wifi dongle with an aerial, but the same kind of speed… must be having issues getting through the metal and glass in the car, plus the metal, glass and brick in the house…
I started running out of disk space on the SSD on the Pi after about 3 or 4 weeks of video… so, I needed to tweak the command for the download script to only keep 14 days on the pi. Resilio Sync, the app I use to sync back to the house, has a “keep deleted files in an archive” folder option, so when the pi does delete the files, they are still stored on the Pi… I would like to find a way of automating that…
While trying to figure out how to fix part 1, I came up with an idea: I have an older Mikrotik RB951G that can be powered via a 12v adapter for the car. I am going to use that, along with a Huawei 4G dongle to act as an internet connection. The onboard Wifi will be in client mode, so when it’s near the house, it will connect to the main network and send traffic through that to the internet (or internal NAS) and when away, use the LTE modem. Then, using the Wifi dongle on the Raspberry Pi, use that as a Wifi AP.
Anything in the car that needs Wifi will connect to the Pi, which will act as a bridge to the Mikrotik. When the script needs to download files from the dashcam, it should have a direct connection to it, plus (hopefully) will be faster… then the Pi is connected to the internet through the Mikrotik. The Pi has both Tailscale and Zerotier on it for remote management, and the Mikrotik can be configured to use Wireguard to connect back to the house directly if required.
I have some of this working on a bench in the house, but it will be a while before I manage to get this running fully… Hopefully, I will have some more stuff sorted this weekend…
The Huawei Wingle was a little slower on 4G than I would have hoped…
When the power in the car went out, everything stopped working immediately (12V sockets in the car run for about 20 min after the engine shut off)
It did not connect to the WiFi in the house when parked
No option for backing up Video…
So, I went digging to find some alternatives… and I realized I had a load of them floating around the house: the Raspberry Pi. Specifically, the 4GB Pi 4. I got my hands on a Pi UPS Hat, a couple of 18650 Cells and an SSD Expansion board with a 512GB (overkill I know) SSD. I also got a BlackVue Power Magic Battery, B112, which will power the Dash Cam (a BlackVue DR750S-2CH). It has 2 USB ports, which allows me to run both the Pi and the new WIFI router, a Netgear Nighthawk M1.
When the car starts, it powers, via the 12V socket in the boot of the car (trunk for my American friends), which powers the Blackvue Battery. Cables run from there to the front of the car where the front camera is. (there is also a rear-facing camera in the boot too… more cables!) This then also starts the Pi and starts charging the 2 18650 batteries. Finally, well, at the same time really, the Nighthawk starts running too. Because the batter on this was running hot, the battery is removed from this.
The Pi is hooked to the Nighthawk via ethernet and the WIFI is set to connect to the house when it sees it. The BlackVue uses the WIFI from the Nighthawk for its internet requirements. When the pi boots, it connects to Zerotier for management via SSH or VNC (I use VNC to remote into the box and watch the live video when the car is parked or when someone else is driving).
There is also a python script that is scheduled to run every 15 min that downloads the videos from the Dashcam. It also downloads any GPS and other info. The folder these files are downloaded to is on the SSD and is shared with my machine at home via Resilio Sync. To make sure I don’t use all my LTE usage, the machine at home is set to only download what I want to download. So, if the car is somewhere else, I can download specific files when I want, or when at home, I can download full days, if required.
It’s been running for a few weeks now, and so far, so good. I haven’t had to do any clean up of the SSD, yet, but I would guess that eventually, I will need to look into that… With the 4G connection and Zerotier, I can then connect to my car and watch the live video whenever it is online, and whenever it is driving, within 15 min it will start downloading videos. I could, in theory, do a LOT more with the Pi in the car… Some ideas that come to mind:
Turn WIFI off on the Nighthawk and use the Pi as a Router, probably adding a second WIFI adapter to get better range… This could then have PiHole running on it for monitoring DNS traffic…
Since I have access to the GPS files in (somewhat) real-time, use it to map the car in somewhat real-time. Though, I do this already using Ruhavik and a TeltonikaFMC-001.
Connecting to the car’s OBDII port (On-Board Diagnostics) and getting data from the car… Technically, again, the FMC001 does most of this, but in theory, it could be replaced with something else…
Keep an eye on the blog for future possible projects with this… Not sure where this project will get me, but we will figure it out at some stage… Leave a comment if you have questions!
So, this has been a blog post in the making for a while now but never got around to fully writing it up, so here goes nothing…
I run a UDM Pro in the house. It has 2 WAN Links: 1 1Gb link and 1 10Gb Link. I also run AS204994, my own ASN with its own Transit and Peering connections, mostly in Europe. There is a VM in the house which acts as a connection to AS204994, which gives me a full connection to the Internet through my own ASN. More details on my AS204994 blog are here.
That connection is hooked up to the 10Gb Link on the UDM Pro, which is listed as the primary internet link. Details on how these works were uploaded in this video on YouTube:
In the video above, I was using OpenMPTCPRouter to connect to the internet, but it’s been causing some issues lately, I decided to try something else.
The new setup is an Intel Nuc (i3 with 32GB RAM and 2x512GB SSDs… VERY OVERKILL for the job at hand) running Ubuntu Linux. It has a USB Hub with 3 USB Ports and an Ethernet port connected, giving me 2 Ethernet ports on the box in total. 2 of the USB Ports are connected to USB 4G Modems from Huawei and the external ethernet port is directly connected to my cable modem.
Both modems and the ethernet port are connected to the NUC with full internet connections (The Huawei boxes give up NATed IPs, but the Cable modem is a full public IP) and then Speedify takes those 3 connections and does some bonding magic. Speedify is a handy little VPN service that does connection bonding. You can use it to make sure your internet is rock solid using multiple links, make sure streams are stable, etc. It can bond Wifi Links, LTE modems, Cable Modems, DSL, etc. Anything that can connect and be bonded. The only issue I have with it, compared to OpenMPTCPRouter is that you don’t control the upstream server…
Speedify is set in shared mode, so the internal port on the NUC is set to share the internet connection. This is hooked to the 1Gb WAN Port on the UDM Pro. This is set for failover only (currently the only option on a UDM Pro) so if my AS204994 link goes down (VM reboots, VM host dies, Cable modem connection goes out, etc) I will still have a connection. If the cable goes out, it will use just the 4G links, but if everything is running, I get all 3 connections.
I use ZeroTier on my network for a good few things, including internal network peering between BGP VMs, management of machines, and now, connecting to my car over LTE. This is one of those posts that sounds silly, but is very handy! First, the parts list:
3G/4G/5G modem of some sort. I am using a Huawei Wingle… Can be used without the Router below, but I wanted Zerotier, so I have it in modem only mode…
A router that supports Zerotier. I am using a modified TP-Link TL-WR703N upgraded to 16MB ROM and 64MB RAM. This is required for newer OpenWRT builds
After installing the the latest copy of ROOter on the TPLink (or router of your choice) and getting the modem configured correctly (this took a while) you need to install the Zerotier software though the dashboard. Once installed, I joined my Zerotier network using the CLI (SSH into the router) and the approved it though the my.zerotier.com dashboard. Once its approved and connected, you can now go to the Zerotier IP and get to the router directly. From here, you can either setup a route in Zerotier to point at the internal network behind the router, or, in my case, setup a SSH tunnel to the dashcam. I found the IP given to the dashcam and used SSH forwarding to get to it. Finally, i used the URLs from Digital-Nebula’s hackview repo to get to the different URLs. I use this to download stuff like GPS logs, emergency videos, etc. I have to clean up some scripts at some stage for this, and plan to upload them at some stage.
So, if you are reading this page, it is being delivered with the magic of Anycast… Well, technically, it was before, since i used Cloudflare, and it still is because of Cloudflare, but also because of my own ASN (As204994), some servers in different locations, and some magic, which i will explain a bit of in this post.
This all started late last year when i got my hands on an ASN and a /48 block of IPv6 addresses. I had been reading stuff about BGP, routing, etc, and decided to go all in. it was quite cheap with the help of HostUS. All in, it was about $50 for the year. As part of the process, i needed 2 upstream providers to say they would accept my announcement. They were Hurricane Electric though their Tunnel Broker service, and Vultr using a few of their VPSs.
After i got my space and ASN, i started to announce the V6 addresses over Vultr and Hurricane Electric, and all was good. I had 2 Vultr servers: 1 in London, UK, and one in New Jersey, USA. I had my home machine announce to HE, and then also link to both Vultr servers using Zerotier. All worked well, but due to some family issues, i never got around to putting it into production… till now.
Those 3 servers now share an IPv6 address on the loop-back port. When you (well, Cloudflare) asks for that IP, the closet (network) with that IP responds, and the NGinx server on that box sends back the contents of the site. This site is hosted on each box, since its fully static, but both AS204994 and TiernanOToole.net are hosted in Ghost, so Dublin (my machine in the house) serves them, and both Lon1 and Nyc1 do proxying. so, most requests from the US are hitting the box in NYC and the ones in Europe share either Dub1 or Lon1. I have some tweaks to do with which servers will be running where, and may add more, but currently its working well.
So, how do you figure out what server responded? Simple. Open your Dev tools on your browser, go to network tab, refresh, and see the response headers for anything on this domain. You should see something like below.
Over the next while, i will be updating tiernanotoole.net with more details on how this works, and more stuff will end up on AS204994.net too. If anyone notices any weird and wonderful issues, shout. If you have more questions, shout.
So, after many (MANY) years messing with dual cable modems, struggling to get them working together, to get websites to even allow me in, having to use hacks and kluges to get it to work at all… I have given up. It has been a struggle getting two modems working properly. Load blanching kind of works… but it’s messy at best. Some sites kick you out every now and again because your IP changes. Some sites wont let you login at all… Mind you, some sites work grand and don’t ask questions…
And the whole idea of multiple modems, to allow you to download things faster, doesn’t work for everything… Anything you download in the browser is single threaded, so its limited to one modem… you can use use download accelerators, and they do work, but its an extra step, and some sites don’t work for that either (MSDN for example).
So, i have given up, bit the bullet, and moved to business class broadband from Virgin Media. It’s actually cheaper than the two residential lines i had, but it is also slower than the two combined: previously, it was two x 360/36mb/s. Now i am am on a single 400/40mb/s modem. That being said, there are definite advantages:
Static IPs pretty much as standard, and option of either one or five (no unbeaten!) Guess which one i went with? Its technically a /29 range, but the first usable IP is given to the modem, which acts as a gateway, so i end up with five usable.
Proper business class SLA. Any issues, someone who knows what they are talking about can help
Phone lines on a separate modem. So, i got phone lines with them, and they give a separate modem for those lines, so as not to interfere with the internet. that modem has no internet connection and is just for calls. They are also working on a VoIP/SIP offering, which is something i am interested in.
Guaranteed speed! They guarantee a minimum speed to the modem at all time. Business customers have a priority on the network, which is nice. And, during testing, so far, i am getting the advertised speed most of the time. I needed to download a Windows 10 ISO yesterday from the MSDN, and it came in at between 45 and 48MBytes/s!
So, only had it installed a week, and so far, so good. I have one IP given to my PFSesne box, and the rest given to a VyOS VM. The plan is to use the VyOS box for all network traffic, but first i need to do some testing and learning… Expect some posts on this soon!