IBM X235 eServer Question

  • Ok, I ben looking at the specs and for the most part the server I have in question will work just fine HOWEVER…I have a question and want to get better clarification

    my questions are:

    -will PFSense work on one processor or can it work on more then one?  (my understanding is that PF is NOT multi core capable so therefore it is the same for multi CPU, will only work on one not both, but I want to be sure)

    -each processor (Xeon) runs at 2.66GHz per CPU (single cores) is this enough for avrage home use? and will it allow my to push at least 100MBp/s (LAN is my main concern)

    -will 512MB ram still be ok or should I consider upgrading to at least 1.5GB ram even though I have at most 2 - 4 computers on at any time (5 max with the extremely rare possibility of 6 if a friend is over at my house)

    -will the type of RAM make any difference? (ECC vs. non-ECC)

    reason I ask is based on it appears like it would be plenty, except that the ram may need to have more put in and I just want to get a feel for what my new to me server will be able to do in its current configuration...sorry if questions were asked already like this but what I found using search didn't give me answers that I felt were sufficient for feeling satisfied...and I could not find any thing similar to my questions either...

  • Instead of direct answer, I'll give you a counter-example.  I have a Lanner FW7520 which has a 1Ghz Celeron M w/ 1GB of RAM, 4 Intel GigE NICs, and 1 Intel 100Mb NIC.  With pfSense 2.0, I have run over 140Mbps of large packets between two separate LANs that are routed and firewalled by pfSense.  Smaller packets would come in with lower throughput.

    If your concern is 100Mbps for home use, the machine you are looking at is way overkill.  In general, extra CPU gets you better throughput for small packets or more rules at the same throughput.  Extra RAM gets you more room for state tables which can be a problem if you have lots of connections active at a single time.  ECC vs non-ECC RAM has negligible performance difference but helps prevent against bad memory and occasional errors.

  • I figured the server might be a bit over kill, but hey who could pass on a deal like that when I picked it up for $65 with free shipping…but thanks, least I know it will do what I want then some :)

  • pfSense does support multiple processors also. You need to select the SMP kernel during install. If I recall correctly pf can't use multiple cores for a single connection, but if you had two cores and you had two connections going, each would max out a core. I'm not 100% positive on that though.

    • Yes, if you install 1.2.3 you'll be able to use all cores
    • Yes
    • If you're just running it as a firewall 512 MB will be sufficient
    • No

  • ok cool :) hope to get some IDE to SCSI adapter trays and pop a few drives in and install PF on it :)

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