Time for new network gear
For the last 8 years or so I’ve been running a Mikrotik RB750 router. This fag-packet sized box of tricks is a very capable router but routerOS does have a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, it’s been rock solid in my network rack, only being rebooted after an update.
Lately I’ve been playing with HomeAssistant and various network monitoring tools and have run into a few issues. I wanted to get some network stats out of the mikrotik box, just for the geek factor really, but it’s been harder than I would have liked.
I managed to get routerOS talking to HomeAssistant via SNMP which gave me pretty real time graphs of bandwidth usage but that was as far as it can go. I investigated a few network monitoring tools but most were overkill for what I wanted. Mikrotik do their own tool called ‘the Dude’ but this runs on Windows only and I have no Windows boxes in the house (only macOS and Linux, and yes I could run WINE and Parallels etc but can’t be bothered). My lowly RB750 also does not have the onboard grunt to run the Dude client so that put paid to that.
So what’s driving all this? As well as wanting greater visibility of what’s going on over my network I also now want to segregate my network and put my IoT devices on a separate VLAN. I could just upgrade the mikrotik box and buy some of their switches to replace the netgear ones I have but I’ve decided to go for Ubiquiti kit, mainly after reading this, this and this.
Ubiquiti seem on a roll right now with their unifi range so I’m starting out with their USG router as a replacement for the mikrotik, supplied by those knowledgeable chaps at LinITX. This will be followed by a couple of the 5 port Flex switches (when they’re back in stock) and eventually some APs to replace my BT Whole Home mesh wireless.