Home Lab

Installing DD-WRT on an ASUS RT-AC66U router

Written by Home Lab

I recently upgraded my EnGenius ESR-750H wireless N router to an Asus RT-AC66U wireless AC router. The EnGenius router has been pretty good for me but basic and no support for other firmware. The Asus RT-AC66U not only has a number of added features and support for 802.11ac, it also doesn’t seem to be plagued with the port 32764 bug or the Linksys “TheMoon” virus that’s been going around on select Linksys models, but the Asus also has a number of firmware options that can be used with this router such as Merlin, Tomato, and DD-WRT.

I’ve used DD-WRT in the past with other routers and had great success and decided to go that route with my new AC66U router as well.

How to install DD-WRT on Asus RT-AC66U

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Secure your Synology NAS, install a SSL certificate

Written by Home Lab

I’ve been using the default setup on my Synology DS412+ with HTTPS enabled for a while now but knew it really wasn’t all that secure without a proper SSL certificate and creating a self-signed certificated isn’t all the much better and can be easily forged. I decided it was about time I used a “real” certificate to better secure the NAS.

Prerequisites before starting

  • You need to own a domain name, for example MikeTabor.com and be able to receive email from the domain name.
    If you don’t already have a webhost for the domain, I’d suggest BlueHost.

  • You also need a DDNS service setup. In this case and for my use, I simply use the Synology DDNS service they offer for free.
  • With those two setup, you will also want to add a CNAME DNS forward from your domain (or subdomain if you wish to go that route) to your DDNS service.
  • Finally you’ll want to make sure Port Forwarding has been configured on your router.

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Setup Synology Syslog server for VMware ESXi

Written by Home Lab

After performing my home lab upgrade, ESXi now runs from a USB stick and because of that vSphere would complain that the system logs where on non-persistent storage:

ESXi syslog error

If I wanted I could have ran the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) as it comes with it’s own syslog server, or I could have used something like KIWI or Splunk to be my syslog server. I instead went the route of my Synology NAS as it too has the ability to act as a syslog server and these are the steps I performed to setting it up.

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VMware ESXi 5 home lab upgrade

Written by Home Lab, VMware

In the past I’ve been using a single server to run my VMware ESXi home lab. it was slow, old, big and loud. I’ve been meaning to upgrade my home lab for a while and just never got around to it, until now! When looking for new hardware I wanted the servers to be as compact as possible, quiet, and low energy usage as possible while still having some horsepower.

I debated on going the whitebox solution as I build all my own desktops anyway, I also looked at several other solutions such as the HP ML310e server, Shuttle XH61V barebones machine, but ultimately decided to go with two Intel NUC i5’s.

Intel NUC i5 and 16GB ram

Intel NUC i5 DC53427HYE Features:

  • Uses very little energy
  • Completely quiet
  • Supports up to 16GB RAM
  • A dual core CPU that scores nearly 3,600 in PassMark benchmarking
  • Includes vPro which allows me to easily run both NUC’s headless
  • Extremely small, nearly 4 1/2″ inch square footprint

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