Timothy Woodard, M.A.
Timothy Woodard, M.A.
Blog Post

The beginnings of the homelab

April 20, 2022 Homelab

At the beginning of my cybersecurity learning journey, I quickly realized I would eventually run into the oft-feared catch-22 of “no experience.” I know that having tangible, hands-on experience is irreplaceable, but the question was how to work on getting experience while still being outside of the IT field. For once, the YouTube algorithm did its job and a YouTuber by the name of NetworkChuck popped up in my recommended feed. It was a pretty timely discovery and Chuck turned me on to the wonders of homelab.

I had already been using virtual machines in my MS-Cybersecurity Engineering program through the University of San Diego. The ability to spin up VMs, play around with them, modify them, break them, and then revert back was an exciting exploration. Though I have a powerful laptop, I quickly felt constrained by my hardware limitations. These limitations, and Chuck’s influence, led me down the path to cloud labs with AWS and Azure, and later, an on-prem lab.

I was already exploring improving my home network’s security through deploying a UTM appliance and adding a refurbished enterprise-grade server was the next logical step. That’s where the Dell PowerEdge R720 comes into play. I’m excited to explore what I can do with such a powerful piece of equipment and see how I can entertain, and annoy, myself.