Tailscale on VMware Photon OS

You might remember that I'm a pretty big fan of Tailscale, which makes it easy to connect your various devices together in a secure tailnet, or private network. Tailscale is super simple to set up on most platforms, but you'll need to install it manually if there isn't a prebuilt package for your system. Here's a condensed list of the steps that I took to manually install Tailscale on VMware's Photon OS, though the same (or similar) steps should also work on just about any other systemd-based system.

Secure Networking Made Simple with Tailscale

Not all that long ago, I shared about a somewhat-complicated WireGuard VPN setup that I had started using to replace my previous OpenVPN solution. I raved about WireGuard's speed, security, and flexible (if complex) Cryptokey Routing, but adding and managing peers with WireGuard is a fairly manual (and tedious) process. And while I thought I was pretty clever for using a WireGuard peer in GCP to maintain a secure tunnel into my home network without having to punch holes through my firewall, routing all my traffic through The Cloud wasn't really optimal1.

Cloud-hosted WireGuard VPN for remote homelab access

For a while now, I've been using an OpenVPN Access Server virtual appliance for remotely accessing my homelab. That's worked fine but it comes with a lot of overhead. It also requires maintaining an SSL certificate and forwarding three ports through my home router, in addition to managing a fairly complex software package and configurations. The free version of the OpenVPN server also only supports a maximum of two simultaneous connections.

Notes on vRA HA with NSX-ALB

This is going to be a pretty quick recap of the steps I recently took to convert a single-node instance of vRealize Automation 8.4.2 into a 3-node High-Availability vRA cluster behind a standalone NSX Advanced Load Balancer (without NSX being deployed in the environment). No screenshots or specific details since I ran through this in the lab at work and didn't capture anything along the way, and my poor NUC homelab struggles enough to run a single instance of memory-hogging vRA.

AdGuard Home in Docker on Photon OS

I was recently introduced to AdGuard Home by way of its very slick Home Assistant Add-On. Compared to the relatively-complicated Pi-hole setup that I had implemented several months back, AdGuard Home was much simpler to deploy (particularly since I basically just had to click the "Install" button from the Home Assistant add-ons manage). It also has a more modern UI with options arranged more logically (to me, at least), and it just feels easier to use overall.

Integrating {php}IPAM with vRealize Automation 8

In a previous post, I described some of the steps I took to stand up a homelab including vRealize Automation (vRA) on an Intel NUC 9. One of my initial goals for that lab was to use it for developing and testing a way for vRA to leverage phpIPAM for static IP assignments. The homelab worked brilliantly for that purpose, and those extra internal networks were a big help when it came to testing.