Home Network Reconfiguration Planning

I am planning out a reorganization of my home network this summer.

Current network layout as shown in the diagram below:

Each white box is one physical location.
All things in a given white box are located physically together.
Each white line represents an Ethernet cable. Most runs are Cat6. The IPTV Box cable is Cat5e. The 2 downstairs runs are Cat6a.

Project Goals

The home server pile is currently sitting in a bedroom. It would be nice if it could be moved elsewhere, as the noise and especially heat is causing many problems (Thanks bad AC installers). The main goal for this reorganization is to move the server pile (Except the printer and my PC) to the downstairs cabinet.

Moving the equipment downstairs would also allow me to finally install a UPS for those devices. I am currently running those things on a 220v circuit. I can’t safely run those things on a normal 110v circuit where it is without risk tripping the main breaker because of the weird way the electrical system of my place was done. However, being in a 110v region means that 220v UPSes aren’t exactly easy to find. The 220v UPSes I could find were basically all some combination of the following things

  • Doesn’t support Linux
  • Costs an entire fortune and is overkill for my needs
  • A complete ripoff in terms of pricing compared to equivalent 110v models
  • Is intended for server grade usage and sounds like it will take off

Detailed Walkthrough / Limitations

  • ISP Info / my main problem(s)
    My ISP provides up to 8 public IP addresses to each user. Users connect to them through PPPoE. Howver, there is only one physical link to the downstairs cabinet from upstairs. So I will have to figure out a way to let things over there be able to use PPPoE to connect to my ISP. The other potential problem is that I may not be able to run power to the downstairs ceiling access hatch. In that case, everything there will have to be PoE powered.

  • Modem
    The Modem is an ISP provided box in bridge mode. (Alcatel-Lucent I-040GW)
    It connects to my ISP via a fibre optic cable and has to stay where it is.

  • IPTV Box
    This is also ISP provided and has to be connected directly to the Modem (or I heard also works using some VLAN wizardry)

  • Home Internet Router
    Ubiquiti Edgerouter X. Even though it still works, I would very much like an upgrade since it has been in service for more than 5 years now.

  • Switch 1
    Linksys LGS105 Unmanaged Switch

  • Switch 2
    Zyxel MG108 Unmanaged Switch

  • Switch 3
    Totolink S808G Unmanaged Switch

  • Friend’s Server’s Router
    Mikrotik RB750Gr3. Recently Upgraded from another Mikrotik Model

  • Upstairs AP
    Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Lite mounted to the ceiling

  • Downstairs AP
    Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC Pro mounted to the ceiling

Plans (Ideal Situation)

The Ideal situation would be that I manage to get an electrician who can get me a power outlet at the downstairs ceiling access hatch. I think it should be doable given that we recently replaced all the halogen and flourecent tube lights with LEDs and the lighting circuits will now have plenty of spare capacity to power a few networking devices

The plans for this situation would be to get 3 managed switches (Currently looking at Zyxel XGS1210-12 or XGS1250-12). One would replace the current Linksys switch next to the router / modem, one would be in the ceiling access panel and the 3rd would go in the downstairs cabinet.

Then I will setup VLANs to provide the things downstairs that would need to connect directly with the modem with the connections they need.

Plans (Not Ideal Situation)

The not ideal situation would be that I am unable to get power to the downstairs ceiling access panel. In this case, everything over there will have to be PoE powered. This is one part I will need help with, as faster than Gigabit PoE gear has been a nightmare for me to find in general.

The only solution that I can think of is to get a Mikrotik RB5009UPR with a Ethernet to SFP+ adapter and use it as a PoE powered PoE switch. However given its price and capabilities it honestly feels quite wasteful to do such a thing, so I would like some help looking for alternative solutions.

For a UPS look for something with network / SNMP support. If you’re just running a router / network / low usage server stuff, auto-off support isn’t a big deal. If you’re running a big server you’ll probably need a server-grade UPS anyway.

As you’ve noted VLANs are you friend here. PPPoE will happily run in a VLAN from a bridged modem, so the router and modem can be as far apart as you want.

I’m a bit confused about what you’re moving downstairs, and what needs power if your Not Ideal Situation occurs. Could you elaborate?

There would have to be a PoE powered PoE switch next to the AP if the not ideal situation happens.

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One trick with PoE powered switches is that they can only power something one class below. So a PoE powered switch can only offer class 3 and below, a PoE+ powered switch can only offer PoE, etc.

You can buy PoE → Barrel jack adapters, but they may be expensive. There are then many mikrotik switches which run on a large range of DC voltages.