We've been talking about this at work and I thought I'd ask the forum...
How 'Over-Engineered' is your home network?
Mine isn't as bad (or as good IMO) as some of my co-workers:
2 Networks (1 for wife, 1 for me) split with 2 routers (DD-WRT on Linksys). VM box on my network (for good times). Modded Xbox for a media center on wife's network. Hoping to add more soon.
I don't want to say its overengineered because at the end of the day, I have nothing more than a cable connection. My *current* lab at home for testing on the fly consists of: Cisco: 2650XM running CME, Cisco 2511, Cisco GB Switchprobe, nGenius 9912, Juniper: 2x Netscreen 204's, 2x SSG20's, SSG5, 5XT, SA700
Machine with too many VM's to list. I had a CCIE/CCNP lab once upon a time but got bored really quickly with CCIE security studies. Because I deal with so much different technology, it was difficult for me to focus SOLELY on Cisco especially when I began pushing for Stonegate and Juniper products for distinct clients. I use Foundry and Juniper switches heavily at work not to mention the usual pukage of Juniper SSG's, SA's, etc.
To the left of my desk right now, I have sort of a mirror:
2x Netscreen 204's
3x 3620's w Voice 1v's FXS and FXO cards
3x Stonegate SG1100's
1x Foundry FastIron
In another room (because of the noise):
9x Cisco routers variety of crap (3620's, 3640's, 4500's, 26xx's)
2x Foundry's (BigIron, FastIron)
And other stuff I got tired of playing with a long time ago. I did the home lab theme years back but it was difficult because I never had quiet @ home. 2) My light bill was off the meter 3) Become noisy 4) Became an eyesore 5) Lack of steady focus
My initial goal on networking began years ago when I studied for the CCIE (circa 2000) completely bypassing any CCNA/CCNP studies (you don't need any for the CCIE). When I began studying, I did so at my own leisure and pace at the protocol/RFC studying level. In parallel to this I was already doing security engineering a-la systems administration (Emerald, Big Brother, Dragon IDS (hola Ron Gula), Network Flight Recorder (hola Marcus), Satan, Cops, etc.)
I keep things around lurking when I get bored but mainly to create labs to test on. I at times create little "businesses" inside of my network to understand architecture, design, packet flow, packet analysis etc., network analysis has always fascinated me and I've had the good fortune of learning from time to time by reading the works of Laura Chappell and bugging her from time to time. She's been one of my main "go to the experts" when it comes to understand network analysis. I just throw my own spins into the equation to wing it in a method that's understandable to me. (Most people get into a "WTF!" state when I break things down as I tend to bastardize things).