Homelab networking advice (adding a new router and VLANs)

Parth Maniar

New Member
May 13, 2021
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Hello,
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

I am want to integrate a Cisco Integrated Service Router "RV-345" into my network & use VLAN to segregate traffic.

Current setup:
Netgear Wi-Fi router is the only component carrying out network access and routing. Here is a simple representation of the network:

homelab_v_1-current_state.png

WAN port is connected via CAT-6 cable to ISPs box.
  1. NAS with 2 network port working in bond mode (combined speed instead of fault tolerance) connected to port 1 & 2 of the Netgear.
  2. Workstation with 2 Intel NICs connected to ports 3 & 4 of the Netgear router. This workstation has ESXi installed and 12 VMs running on it.


Proposed setup:
Cisco ISR 345 will carry out wired access and routing while setting Netgear to access point mode. Further requirements for VLANs:

homelab_v_1-desired_state.png


  1. VMs running on ESXi require separation using VLANs. I will have multiple VLANs which while segregated from each other need access for few central services like the DHCP, DNS (reachable via Wi-Fi access point port) and one VLAN on the ESXi which will be for logging.
  2. Currently, a Raspberry Pi running DHCP and DNS servers provides these network services. This is connected via Wi-Fi for now. This is important to note as I would need Wi-Fi to extend all VLANs to reach these central services.
  3. Raspberry Pis will eventually be connected via ethernet, but right now, they are connected via Wi-Fi.

Questions:
  1. As per my understanding, ESXi is where I have to create the VLANs and extend them via Cisco ISR. Is this correct?
  2. How do I ensure that the Wi-Fi port forwards all VLANs? In other words, how do I ensure that backbone network services (DHCP, DNS) are available irrespective of the VLANs
  3. From the NAS, I have a volume mounted on the workstation using iSCSI. Are there any implications using VLANs on this?

I apologise if the post is missing information and more is required. Kindly let me know if something needs to be added.
 

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coxhaus

Member
Jul 7, 2020
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My first thought is if you want to do anything fancy on your local network buy a Cisco L3 switch. I use a Cisco RV340 router with a Cisco SG350-10P switch setup as a L3 switch. The RV345 router is a 1 gig full duplex router with that being said there is no reason to LAG ports on a RV340/RV345 router that I can see. If you want high speed local traffic, use a L3 switch. The RV345 router does support VLANs.

I am not sure why you are showing antennas on your RV345 router. I think only the Cisco RV340W supports wireless. If you run VLANs more than likely you will want VLAN support on your wireless. I run a couple of Cisco WAP581 wireless APs that support VLANs. Cisco has newer models out nowadays.

I have a SG350X-24 switch but the fans are too noisy for me. I am retired now and before I retired, I ran server rack using a Cisco SG300-28 L3 switch and a SG300-10MPP switch. Cisco has supported L3 switching for a long time in the small business line of equipment.

One last note is a router cannot match the speed of a L3 switch. The L3 switch will always be able to move more traffic than a router.
 
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Parth Maniar

New Member
May 13, 2021
2
0
1
My first thought is if you want to do anything fancy on your local network buy a Cisco L3 switch. I use a Cisco RV340 router with a Cisco SG350-10P switch setup as a L3 switch. The RV345 router is a 1 gig full duplex router with that being said there is no reason to LAG ports on a RV340/RV345 router that I can see. If you want high speed local traffic, use a L3 switch. The RV345 router does support VLANs.

I am not sure why you are showing antennas on your RV345 router. I think only the Cisco RV340W supports wireless. If you run VLANs more than likely you will want VLAN support on your wireless. I run a couple of Cisco WAP581 wireless APs that support VLANs. Cisco has newer models out nowadays.

I have a SG350X-24 switch but the fans are too noisy for me. I am retired now and before I retired, I ran server rack using a Cisco SG300-28 L3 switch and a SG300-10MPP switch. Cisco has supported L3 switching for a long time in the small business line of equipment.

One last note is a router cannot match the speed of a L3 switch. The L3 switch will always be able to move more traffic than a router.
Thank you very much for your reply. I've updated the diagram (desired state) and requirements for assistance.

I was thinking between a SG switch and the router, as a self-funded student, I feel I've made a mistake with the router. I cannot return it too :(
 

coxhaus

Member
Jul 7, 2020
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32
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Just setup your RV345 router without lag ports. Use single ports.

If you are going to run lots of high bandwidth local servers then a Cisco RV340 router and a Cisco L3 switch is a better choice. The Cisco RV345 router is a good choice for a simple setup with mainly internet usage. I think of the RV345 router for a coffee shop where you want to segment the public from the business or a small satellite site from a larger one.
 
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coxhaus

Member
Jul 7, 2020
86
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Now that you changed around your diagrams the question comes up that it looks like the Netgear does not support VLANs so all your wireless will need to be in 1 VLAN. If you want your wireless to support VLANs then you need a wireless AP that supports VLANs as I stated above in my first post.

So, what I think I see now is you need to buy a Cisco wireless AP like the WAP581 and just replace your Netgear completely if your Netgear does not support VLANs.

And just to be clear your LAG ports on your Netgear router are faster than your Netgear router hardware. You can do the same thing on the RV345 router but I would not. I would use a single port because your router is not fast enough which is the same case with the Netgear. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
 
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