Hi there, welcome or welcome back! This is Episode Three of Season One, and we've been on an exciting journey so far. Throughout this season, we've built the foundation of our infrastructure. We've delved into our server setup, installed critical components like ESXI and  VCenter, and now, everything is primed for us to start the building process.

The focus is on understanding the intricacies of each step. Season One is all about laying the groundwork.  The diagram for this season is dynamic. As I encounter new technologies or configurations at work, I'll integrate them into our evolving blueprint.

Basic Homelab Diagram

The overarching idea is to start simple, avoid unnecessary complexity, and gradually build a solid understanding of fundamental concepts. We'll set up our network, configure a domain controller, and explore various components within it. setting the stage for an efficient transition to automation in Season Two. 

Mastery, as always, takes time and patience. This journey is about starting with the basics, gradually building expertise, and preparing for the challenges that lie ahead. Now, let's break down what we're building this Season.

Domain Controller Setup (Dev Two): We kick off with a domain controller, named Dev Two, running on Windows Server 2016. The intention is to later upgrade it, providing a valuable learning experience. This includes setting up replication between domain controllers, exploring Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS), managing DHCP, DNS, and delving into group policy.

Application Server: Next in line is the application server, a common component in small office setups. Here, we'll explore installing applications like Tomcat or IIS, and discuss the nuances of setting up clusters for enhanced performance.

SQL Server: To house the data generated by the application server, we'll set up a SQL Server (Ha). This involves establishing a connection between the SQL Server and the application server, providing insights into data management and database configurations.

Virtual Machines (VMs): A couple of VMs will be introduced, serving different purposes based on the environment's orientation – user-focused or development-focused. The plan is to manually set them up in season one, paving the way for automation discussions in season two.

Update Server: An update server will be implemented to manage updates efficiently, allowing us to push specific updates when needed. We'll also touch upon Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs), exploring ways to harden the environment and adhere to security standards.

Exchange Server: Intriguingly, we'll tackle setting up an Exchange Server, providing insights into the intricacies of email servers. This promises to be a challenging yet rewarding learning experience

So, this is the plan for Season One. It might seem straightforward now, but stay tuned, as we'll be updating and evolving our environment map as we progress. Your suggestions for additional components or applications are highly valued. If you have ideas or questions, drop them in the comments below. Let's learn and grow together on this exciting journey. The overarching philosophy of this series is to start simple, understand the basics deeply, and gradually build on that foundation.

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About the author

Paul Koroma

Hey there, I'm Paul—a relentless seeker of knowledge and an IT enthusiast on a quest for personal growth. Soccer and IT have always ignited a fire within me, igniting my drive to create Koroma Tech. It's not just my own journey; it's an opportunity to uplift others as I forge my path in this ever-evolving field. Challenges excite me—they're the fuel for my growth. Every day presents a new hurdle, but it's a challenge I've learned to embrace wholeheartedly.