Monday, October 26, 2015

Understand the network design for Unit34.co

One of the intentions of this blog is to take a typical home network and evolve it into a sophisticated Windows domain, called Unit34.co. For most people, their typical home network will look like this;

  • A single subnet (such as 192.168.1.0/24)
  • A router that provides DHCP, DNS, NAT and firewall services
  • Internet access

In this post, we're going to look at some of the aspects of the typical home network and do the planning for the changes required for Unit34.co. Networking knowledge is essential.

Planning your subnets


Most home networks are not very large and will most of the time have one router and one subnet. This isn't going to change for Unit34.co. We're going to start with one subnet but we will plan for more than one. The table below is the subnet we'll be using for Unit34.co for both IPv4 and IPv6. We recommend that you do not use the default subnet configured on your router for your Windows domain.

IPv4IPv6
Domain NameUnit34.coUnit34.co
Network Address192.168.34.0FD00:0:0:34::
Broadcast Address192.168.34.255-
Subnet Mask / Prefix Length/24/64
First Usable Address192.168.34.1FD00::34:0:0:0:0
Last Usable Address192.168.34.254FD00::34:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
Total Usable25318,446,744,073,709,551,616

In future, we are planning to expand our Windows domain to multiple Active Directory sites. For these sites, we are going to use the third octet of the Class C private address 192.168.x.0/24 to indicate the subnet.

Assigning IP address to your hosts


We'll be using DHCP to assign IP addresses on our network but as with most networks, there will be hosts that will require an static IP address. The three most important one for Unit34.co are listed below. Remember to add any that are unique to your network.

Host NameIP AddressDescription
R0192.168.34.1Our network router called R0 (Router 0).
Carbon192.168.34.251A physical server running File and Storage Services and Hyper-V. The one used in this blog is a WD Sentinel DS6100.
Hydrogen192.168.34.254A virtual machine running on our Hyper-V host Carbon. Hydrogen will be our Active Directory domain controller, DHCP and DNS server.

DHCP and DNS services will be provided by your router until we set up our first domain controller. We'll continue to use the router to provide Network Address Translation (NAT) and firewall services. At this point we do not need to open any ports or define any rules for these services.

Get information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP)


Make sure you know your external IP address assigned to you by your ISP which ideally should be static. You'll also need to know the IP addresses of your ISP's DNS servers so that our domain controller can forward DNS lookups. Alternatively you can use the Google Public DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

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