Would there be any interest in 1U Appliance



  • Would there be any interest in a 1U Network Appliance pre-loaded with pfSense

    Specs would be
    VIA C7 CPU
    1GB RAM
    80GB Hard Drive
    4 10/100Mbps ports
    Price, I would like to keep it down to about $600

    I run a small business and am trying to see if there is a market for such a device before I drop $30k on a batch of them.  If this goes well I would add a more powerful box to the lineup.

    Thanks



  • There is a local company here in San Diego that builds 1u atom boxes for $300 and market through craigslist.  All you need then is an additional NIC.  I think with the FOSS crowd here, your price point might be a bit high.  That said, I would purchase a unit if we had a need (we don't right now) and the price was lower.



  • Good feedback.

    Price has everything to do with volume.  If the number ordered is high enough the price could drop.

    This system is designed as a network appliance, and not a PC with multiple NICs.  Not saying a PC with multiple NICs is a bad thing, but this is a bit more elegant.

    I agree that for my home lab I can put together some odd parts and be happy with it, but if I were selling a system to a customer to use on their production network I would want something more professional.  If you compare this with Smoothwall or Endian UTM appliance I think $600 would be about half their asking price.



  • IMO, something with nice Intel GB nics would have a better niche. I can already get a Soekris with a HDD and four 10/100s and still have a PCI and a mini-pci slot free for under $400. I'd like to see something for when you need a more powerful box, but don't need server-grade hardware.



  • I agree with what you are saying.  I am working on getting a price for a system with Intel hardware/GB NICs.  I will let you know.

    Thanks



  • Looks like this would be close to $800
    Intel LGA775 CPU
    1GB RAM
    4 10/100/1000 ports
    Thoughts?



  • @LinxIT:

    Looks like this would be close to $800
    Intel LGA775 CPU
    1GB RAM
    4 10/100/1000 ports
    Thoughts?

    Looks too expensive to me…..I've been getting the Intel Server Systems SR1530 with 8GB ram and 2.4 QC processor for $400, then putting a HD and a dual Intel nic in them for 4 gb nics total and have around $600 in them when done.

    Andy





  • Honestly 600-800 bucks is a large chunk of change to be shelling out for some of these small businesses. Maybe a larger corporation would be willing to shell out the larger chunk of change, but by that time they already have someone in house pushing cisco, foundry, or something else for routing and firewalls (I'm not saying that some large corp would want to use pfsense as their firewall, but using an ASA or PIX what I'm typically seeing).

    IMHO if you want to sell an appliance it will have to be marketed well lower than 600-800 bucks. I know I can get an entry level 1u server with the dual head, gigabit Intel cards for that kind of money and will still achieve the same results.



  • To be fair, a reputable pre-assembled 1U server is going to be $900-1500.
    You could get a barebones 1U, processor, memory, drive, dual-port nic, etc, and assemble one yourself for 600-800, but you'd probably end up with broadcom or worse nics. If you are billing your time, assembling firewalls isn't going to save any money. An appliance would have the advantage of using less power and being quieter. And an ASA with similar capabilities is going to run at least $2500, maybe double that depending on what features they need.



  • Certainly. I'm in the market for a couple of them right now. I build hardware for my own shop. For my clients though, I'm not a hardware vendor. No desire to be one. I want someone else to warranty that stuff. For that matter, I don't rack mount in my own shop either. Hey, I'm cheap. But my clients expect stuff that slides neatly into racks. And they expect it to cost something. A few hundred bucks one way or another isn't an issue. A thousand or two though - that's still real money. So any appliance, for something as vital as firewalling, that comes in under a thou and is using dependable hardware components - yeah, there's a spot for that.



  • The one thing that concerns me with the model with the LCM is if it will work with LCDproc. I've looked into several devices like this and tested a lot of them personally. In just about all cases, pfSense needed additional work outside of gui config to get LCDproc working.

    I've been working on the same idea as you for several months and the biggest hurtle I've had is getting the LCM to work correctly.


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