Home Day 3: Failing at VLANs

Day 3: Failing at VLANs

At the beginning of this week I only had a vague idea of what VLANs were, in fact until today I barely had any idea and I’m still learning more as I write this. So you can say me accidentally locking myself out of my internet a few times at midnight or later (because I have roommates who I try not to disturb with my network shenanigans) was a common occurance.

My basic network setup looks vaguely something like this:

flowchart LR

    A[OPNsense] --> B[Aruba S2500-48P]

    B --> C[U6-Pro-US]

    C --> E1[Wi-Fi Devices]

    B --> D[TL-SG108E]

    D --> F[My stuff]

    B --> G[Servers]

    B --> H[Roommate's PC]

If this isn’t rendering right it’s because there has been an ongoing issue with Mermaid.JS

Initially, I had all of these devices on the same network, which for a home network is acceptable but not great. So I finally decided to logically separate my network via VLANs.

My plan was to have these VLANs:

  • DMZ: for servers
  • Users: Normal network users like my phone and my roommates’ devices
  • IoT: For internet of things and other devices I don’t trust not to try and snoop on what’s on my network (looking at you Google/Nest products)
  • Guest: Guest network for people who do not visit often

In OPNsense this way pretty easy to set up and I’d really like to thank Mactelecom Networks on YouTube for this great video that basically gives a great overview on how to set up VLANs in OPNsense. It also gives me some good info on where to get started with my Ubiquiti access point.

However, the issue I ran into was one with my Aruba S2500 switch. I thought I had tried everything. I set up VLANs in the WebUI, I set them up in the command line interface. But every time I tried to enable them I just ended up locking myself out and I couldn’t figure out why so I had to give up.

Update (June 14th, 2022, Day 4)

As of June 14th, 2022, day 4 of #100DaysOfHomeLab, I did actually get VLANs working, at least I think I did. The solution was setting the uplink port (the one that connects to my router) on my Aruba switch to a trunk port allowing my VLANs to pass through. To any network admins this probably seems trivial, but at the time for me this was a complete mystery.

And now they work. Currently, I only have the Wi-Fi users separated into VLANs but I’m slowly working on trying to get the wired connections set up along with a “blackhole” vlan on my switches that basically disables the unused ports.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.