Requesting advice on starting point for first ever network.
OK, I was on doze forever. I am the "anti-networking" guy; literally.
I've built systems for almost 20 years now. I had a little side business doing it back in the early '90s, before Dell and Gateway came along and put me out of business. It let me play with toys that I couldn't afford to pay for myself. I'd take my clients down to a trade show, hand pick every component from the MoBo to the software, take it all home and assemble and config everything for them. My two specialities were highend AV and highend gaming rigs. My thing now is building systems for myself that meet or exceed publicly published DoD security specs.
But, I've never had the time or money to play with more than one machine at a time. So for the sake of sec / perfomance when I build anything I completely gut all of the networking capabilites on the box. And I get deep, deep in to it. Not only do I uninstall networking protocols I hack the registry all to bits, get in to the systems processes, custom config nearly every setting on the system, install custom templates for new types of system settings, and on and one. (All of this is on doze.)
By the time I'm done the box is 3x faster and 10x more secure. But it's locked down so tight that it won't talk to anything that's not on port80; period.
Unfortunately that particular skill set will not help me get a yaob!
So I went and got a bunch of "beginners" books on tons of stuff so that I can eventually (one of these days) end up with an MS / Info Sec.
My plan is to build a network on open source / *nix software. I've got a shiny new box that will run the host and maybe as many as 7 VMs at the same time (at least 4 no sweat). I also have two old boxes to play with. I'm planning on using CentOS as the base for the network (to get somewhat familiar with REHL for yaobs.) And the various components of the network will be mixed architechture: W7, XP, *nix, BSD, ect. Once I build and configure the first one I'm figuring it'll get easier after that.
There's just one little glitch in the hitch: The "beginner" books really aint so "beginner" after all. After 20 years of ripping this stuff out I need to take a step back from "for dummies" to like "for retards", because none of this stuff is making any sense to me.
So I'm hoping that maybe you guys know where I can find some ref materials on the web where it is literally broken down to the level of "click here, change this setting to this, insert tab A in to slot B".
I know that's kind of cheating, but I learned how to rip all of that stuff out by trial and error over a period of several years back when the included documentation looked like it had been hand cranked on an old memeograph machine and said "Beware the electricty demon" when talking about static discharge.
I'm not a young pup anymore and I really don't have that kind of time to spend acquiring a new basic skill set this time around.
Any help greatly appreciated!