Newbie-advices needed



  • I want to share my internet connection on 2PC's(for the moment, maybe 3-4 in the future). That's a router job.  :)
    What I want:
    1)maintain the speed of my internet connection(so the router won't degrade the bandwidth)
    100mbit UL/DL metropolitan
    2mbit UL/DL external (I'll go for  10/15mbit in the near future)
    2)keep the number of possible TCP/UDP connections as high as possible

    Is it possible?
    What kind of hardware would I need?



  • @http://www.pfsense.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=49:

    201-500 Mbps - server class hardware with PCI-X or PCI-e network adapters, or newer desktop hardware with PCI-e network adapters. No less than 2.0 GHz CPU.

    Use intel Gbit nic's



  • ok, Gbit NIC's.
    But what kind of hardware?
    What would be the cheapest and most power efficient?
    Do you think that a Mikrotik routerboard or an Alix could accomplish the task?



  • Did you read the link Perry provided?  Did you even read what he posted?



  • I did read the link, but it's not that simple. What would "No less than 2.0 GHz CPU" mean to you?
    There are dozens: Athlons, Celerons, P4's, C2D, Semprons, etc etc.
    Do you think that a CPU enough to make a router box? Because I don't think so.

    I came here to ask someone that has experience with these things, and I posted specific requierements, not general guidelines. Are you able to see the difference?
    In fact, did you even read what I posted?

    Did you read this?

    1)maintain the speed of my internet connection(so the router won't degrade the bandwidth)
    100mbit UL/DL metropolitan
    2mbit UL/DL external (I'll go for  10/15mbit in the near future)
    2)keep the number of possible TCP/UDP connections as high as possible

    ..and this?

    What would be the cheapest and most power efficient?
    Do you think that a Mikrotik routerboard or an Alix could accomplish the task?



  • Of course it's not quite that simple, but the answer Perry linked to is enough to get you started.  Remember, these guidelines are based on real experience, not some sales weasel ;)

    So,

    You're looking at 225 Mb/s total bandwidth.  That puts you comfortably in the section Perry quoted.  Now, if you're looking at a multi core processor you'll probably get a way with less than 2 GHz, but the word probably applies.

    Then, you posted 2 conflicting requirements - cheap and high spec.  You also said nothing about the specific traffic profile - pushing 225 Mb/s between 2 fixed hosts, on the same ports using UDP, with 1480 byte packets requires a very different spec to pushing 225 Mb/s between hundreds of hosts on rapidly changing ports with TCP and 5 byte payloads.  If you're doing the first you'll need lower spec hardware.  Also, the complexity of the rest of your setup matters a lot - what packages do you want to use, how many rules, etc etc etc etc.  Indeed, this Routerboard performance PDF makes worthwhile reading.  At 64 byte packets their highest spec product tops out at 125 Mb/s when used as a firewall in a perfect test environment.  The same product achieves 1.9 Gb/s with 1500 byte packets (and their OS)

    None of the Alix stuff uses PCI-X or PCIe that I can see, and they top out at 800 MHz.  That puts it far below the guidelines and so you can be pretty sure you won't have a good experience.  My 1.2 GHz box with a non Intel GBit card looks like it'll max out on interrupts at about the 50 Mb/s mark.

    Now, you might have some luck with the new Zotac mini-ITX boards.  They use a dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom and have a mini PCIe adapter.  You may find they cope and they should be fairly low power.

    Also, there are a mountain of threads here on hardware sizing.  Unless you're doing something really unusual, the chances are it's been discussed to death, resurrected, discussed to death and the process repeated a few dozen times.



  • I need some traffic management, to limit the  bandwidth  allocated for one PC. I need some QoS rules, in order to be able to surf/play online while heavy downloading.
    I'm worried about handling heavy P2P,torrents/dc++/emule all at the same time with browsing/occasional gaming. Emule likes to open a large number of simultaneous connections, and I'm using like 2-3 emule clients intalled on a VM(using VMware).
    I don't need LAN between PC's, just internet routing.

    I was thinking that those boards would be more efficient per clock speed, since they're specialy designed to do only one thing, unlike a CPU that has to be able to do many more things.



  • The gotcha is that as soon as you start doing something more than just routing, you're away from their speciality.  You'll probably be better off with a multi-core Intel/AMD box.  Remember too that particularly the Routerboard will have an OS that's been tweaked or custom designed for it to get the most out of it.  You're installing what's really a general purpose OS.

    Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to say "you want this hardware" as once you get beyond the usual sub 20 Mb/s asymmetric links and a purely firewall setup your traffic profile becomes more significant.

    What you posted suggests that you really want Intel Server GBit NICS (not just any old brand, or the plain desktop ones) and you probably want a PCI-e based motherboard.  Memory matters a lot with lots of connections (see the link Perry posted), don't skimp.  A multi-core processor will probably help too.  I'd suggest you look at a mini-ITX type package.  The Atom is good if you're going to max it out a lot, but if it's mostly idle (ie when you're asleep or at work) then a standard multi-core chip will be more efficient.  Something like the Intel DG45FC or Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX may be appropriate - the latter has Realtek Gbit onboard, but a 16x PCI-e slot for a multi-port Intel Server card and so may be a better choice.


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