What would be a step up from an Alix 2D3

  • Im looking for something a bit more beefier for my clients. I have been playing around with a 2D3 with pfSense1.2.3 on it and love it. But would like to run snort and some other packages and would like a little beefier of a system

    My requirements aren't too high

    3 NIC's (or more)
    Small form factor (something i could mount on the wall)
    Fan less (preferred)
    No internal power supply, preferred (like the power adapter like the alix has)
    Would like a HDD (2.5" maybe) so I can run the full install of pfsense
    Thinking an Atom "like" CPU

    Is there anything that will meet my needs without actually just using a PC or Server? I would rather have a appliance than a computer. Dont want something as big as a 1U unit

    Thanks :)

  • The closest I know of that will meet the reqs you have is not going to be exactly wall mountable.

    ifyou need wall mountable (assumeing the 3rd NIC is for wireless AP or something like that??) is the Fit-PC2i series, it has two ethernet ports and a wi-fi antenna which would make for a good Pfsense box as it is quiet, builtin power like the alixboard and a bit more power (atom 1.6GHz processer) and has a few USB ports for KB (keyboard), mice, etc, also could have a HDD (2.5'') put in it, and if you wanted complete quite running you could go solid state (SSD) with the drive…might be about $300 or so but for the small power house with 2 GB ram (which i run in my sense box) is enough...

    the fit-pc2i is basicially the same set up I got now but a 10th of the size...(I like to work on my rigs so i got for the slightly larger tower ones so i can upgrade down the road lol) but if you ned the third NIC other then wireless you are getting awfully close to the smallest PC tower (mino/micro ATX/ITX case...which i know doesnt fit your needs...hope this helps a bit

    also another option could be try fleabay and see if you might be able to source parts, I know there are some fanless cases for as loas as $50-ish so if you are looking for budget build that may be an option...

    EDIT: I just remembered a watchgard Firebox II might also be an idea, they usually will have at least two sometimes 3 ethernet ports, they are more rack munt but you should be able to get away with wall mount also

    hopefully this helps a bit :)

  • sweet, thanks jamie, i really like that fit2pc, real nice!

  • indeed they are nice little power houses for PFsense…I wanna grab one so bad and throw pf on it...and test it out for other things...hehe I think that might be more what you wanted?

  • Yea, may just get one to test out, could even have some other uses, I really like the size of it. Thanks again

  • Hey no prob, if you get more then one and wind up not needing one or it ends up more like a spare with possibility of colleting dust send it my way, im always looking for new tech toys to play with…just went and grabbed a DOM (disk on module) at 1024MB size to slap in my rig up stairs to test feasibility of having one as the main drive on the PF box...in part to make my goal of having a near "zero noise" box a reality...I would really recommend the fit-PC2i with two ports and wi-fi and possibly HDD since that seems to be the more powerful package and it should do what yor wanting better...I actually messed with one once and the original is ok bt limited for what I use it for i think...the 1.6 should be enough though...

    what do you plan on doing with your upgrade? using as a pf box or you adding extra functionality to it?

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

  • indeed, I actually was looking at that and a buddy of mine has one, works pretty good for basic use and what he has, although from what he told me it (for what ever reason, which I suspect may be more of an issue with his being a bit faulty) hates SSD drives/CF cards (can't remember what exactly he has) but it for what ever likes to "eat" SSD for lunch…but my little box is the complete opposite...it works great with SSD (SSD is pretty much any type of device that uses flash memory in some way to act as a HDD) IE: SSD HDD, CF cards, and USB (yes that in some sense is pushing the definition but hey...lol...as for cost if thats a concern you may consider building one so you can choose what you want in it...

  • I knew about this and feel stupid now for not posting it earlier.

    The answer for the OP is one of the official pfSense hardware vendors.  Quiet, low powered and much faster than an ALIX.

  • @jimp:

    This one is wall mountable too :D


    Someone on IRC had bought one of those and said it worked well.

    I have 3 of these and they work great for PFSense, I am replacing my Alix 2D3 with one of these at our office with a 50/10 connection due to multiple IPSec tunnels killing the Alix.  The only problem I've had with them is the side fans are occasionally noisy when starting up, they get out of sync or whatever and vibrate like crazy.

  • Hi, this atom looks like a nice unit!  I am trying to replace a large tower with something that uses less juice, makes less heat and less noise.  With one 2.5 inch HD slot and no CDROM, I assume you did an install via a USB CDROM or something?

  • I love the look of that Portwell box.  Too bad it doesn't have VGA for a full install.

  • they have couple of good boxes with vga. I have this one http://www.portwell.com/products/detail.asp?CUSTCHAR1=NAD-2081 in my production. even though it has marvell nics it works just fine.

  • @valnar:

    I love the look of that Portwell box.  Too bad it doesn't have VGA for a full install.

    btw CAD-0250 has optional vga

  • @covex:


    I love the look of that Portwell box.  Too bad it doesn't have VGA for a full install.

    btw CAD-0250 has optional vga

    I don't see that one.

  • @valnar:



    I love the look of that Portwell box.  Too bad it doesn't have VGA for a full install.

    btw CAD-0250 has optional vga

    I don't see that one.

    look in the datasheet http://www.portwell.com/pdf/CA/CAD-0205.pdf
    or press release http://www.portwell.com/productnews/CAD-0205_PR.htm

  • Ah.  Typo from you.  I was looking for a whole new unit.


  • … but you also can do full setup without vga port. i have full setup at home on alix

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