Tag Archives: lab

Small Things: NUC Sack

I transitioned some of my home lab onto tiny Intel NUC machines this year and just love the form factor and the fact that they are so portable. In fact I flew with them, that tiny NAS in the picture and a router to an event to demo some projects.  If only they went to 32 gb or higher, they would be perfect.

My buddy @jrrickard and his co-worker 3d printed me a rack for these little guys that we’re loving calling the “NUC Sack”.   Love love love it!!! Thanks guys!

If you want to print one yourself they posted the files on github here.   I’m told if you want to use this with the taller NUCs that will take a spinning disk inside, add 15mm to each of the sections.


Tagged ,

Tiny router for a tiny lab.

I’m deep in a new build of lab systems right now (that’s going to have an awesome use soon), and I’ve implemented something I can’t help but share right away.    A good remote connection method to home is something I’ve struggled with forever.   It’s like taking vitamins.  You know you should do it right but you really don’t want to deal with it….

I used logmein (before they cut off the free service) which was handy, but a pain.   I’ve set up SSH tunnels to a VM, but that always seemed fragile.  After a recommendation via Facebook, enter my new tiny router!


MikroTIk RouterBOARD 750


This thing is awesome.   It’s about half the price of a DD-WRT like router (though no wireless in this model).  And supports way more functionality than I even know what (or how) to do much with.  Besides keeping the outside out, and the inside in, the most recent configuration I made that i’m excited about is the VPN.   It’s so darn easy!  They have a windows application, and a simple web UI for configuration.  Looks like you can do everything via the command line too.

There’s a ton of guides available showing how to set up the VPN on this little guy, even one inexplicably with metallica playing over the screen recording.  But I couldn’t seem to get mine working, in fact I couldn’t even get an entry in the log to show an attempt!

My firmware must have different firewall rules by default than others since that’s all I needed.  Simply add a firewall rule allowing tcp/1723 and gre – boom.  I can connect remotely!  Which is awesome because I’m traveling this week and need to connect back to the tiny mothership to finish up a project.

So what’s the advantage?

That I like about using a dedicated router for the lab is it keeps the home network entirely separate, and the lab portable.  I have a different private subnet in this lab than my home, but I can connect between the two as needed for various services.

Fun geeky stuff.  I highly suggest picking one up, especially if you are a mere mortal networking person.



Tagged ,