Suggestions for Hardware

  • Hello,

    I need some suggestion for hardware.

    I want to run pfsense to offer free internet
    to customers with captive portal + free radius + mysql (will be on seperate PC)
    with simple registration.

    Customers using internet (browsing, skype, viber, facebook etc) will be around
    1000-1200 clients  Internet line is 150-200mbps. No vlans, vpn etc is needed.

    I have tested in lab enviroment with 2 old pc's and everything is OK but
    now I need to decide the hardware for pfsense.

    I was thinking for netgate SG-4860 1U or SG-4860.

    Any suggestions


  • Take what I say with a large dash of salt, because I am not knowledgeable in demands and requirements of a network with this many users.

    First, I will say that I like the idea of purchasing an official netgate product because it will offer higher support when needed. Second, of the two units you listed being the only difference is chassis basically, I would suggest the 1u because it includes fans which will add noise but lower temps for a more dependable and over all longer life of the system. Caching, how ever not needed may help a lot with user's experience with a network like this and will help deter the use of what might become a congested wan connection.

    I would think you may need a beefier system though, the unit you have picked out is very nice, but is also 4 years old, with a passmark score just under 2200(a first gen mobile core i3 has more). And more memory might be wanted. Memory will limit the amount of active connections and 1 webpage can require many connections. so if you truly did have 1,000 users on at the same time with just a few tabs open and a few services each, they could max your memory.

    I'm afraid this is all the advice I feel capable of giving and hope it helps a little, I will definitely keep an eye on this thread. I think it'd be cool to know the exact specs needed for a network of this size.

    *after rereading your post, you say customers. So I've got to believe the network uptime is VERY important. who wants to deal with angry customers because they can't connect to the internet? You may consider buying two of whatever system you choose. pfSense does support redundant/failover servers.

  • @Arxondas:

    No vlans,

    Think twice about that. You don't want 1200 users in one broadcast domain and separating networks is easiest with VLANs (except for physically separated switches and NICs, of course).

  • Thanks for suggestions guys.

    I will contact netgate also for models and support.

    Thank you.

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