Hardware suggestion for Pfsense+Asterisk+3G support+Fanless - Tnx for input



  • Good Afternoon Everyone,

    I am looking for fan-less hardware to support both Asterisk and Pfsense at the same on the same box. I am sure there are a great deal of qualified people to weigh in on this. Please give me your feedback. The catch with this is that I would also like to put in a Sangoma PCI or PCIe in the box as well for backup Analogue lines along with the SIP trunks.

    Requirements:

    **            MUST:**
    -Small box size.
    -Support at least one PCI or PCIe for a card size of A200D from Sangoma (standard PCI/PCIe size card)
    -4 10/100 or better yet 10/100/1000 NICs for dual WAN, load balancing, PPoE, etc…
    -VGA output
    -AC adapter rather than internal power supply which may fail.
    -Support for i386 structure - no surprises of driver support, asterisk, or pfsense not support. This should be just like any regular i386 computer or i686.

    **                Not MUST but BONUS:**
    -Fanless chassis/board for quieter operations. There is no need for a high performance video card on it.
    -Wireless g/b/n would be amazing.

    And no, I am looking for a computer. But even if I were, I can't probably find something that would support a PCIe card and be small format.

    Wondering if such hardware exists out there.

    Thanks



  • I am already dumping the idea of Asterisk on the same box as I just remembered that pfsense runs on FreeBSD and not CentOS.

    So, here is my revised requirement:

    Small fanless box that will support future pfsense release of 2.0.x. Wireless b/g/n/. 3G Wireless USB stick support (wide variety). Two FLASH cards (for mirror RAID for stability).

    Thanks



  • pfSense has a package for FreeSwitch (see http://www.freeswitch.org) which, I believe, provides similar functionality to Asterisk (see http://www.freeswitch.org/node/117 for comparison).



  • @torontob:

    I am already dumping the idea of Asterisk on the same box as I just remembered that pfsense runs on FreeBSD and not CentOS.

    So, here is my revised requirement:

    Small fanless box that will support future pfsense release of 2.0.x. Wireless b/g/n/. 3G Wireless USB stick support (wide variety). Two FLASH cards (for mirror RAID for stability).

    Thanks

    I'm not sure how dual flash card support would matter.  What else has that?  Since they have no moving parts, they will wear out at the exact same time.

    Have you used pfSense much before?  I don't know anyone thrilled with it's wireless support.

    That being said, maybe you should tell us more about the load and bandwidth requirements.  What is this for?



  • The load is not very much on it. There will be maximum 5-10 VPN connections. Mostly likely at any given time 1-3 in reality.

    Dual WAN, feeding 10-40 SIP phones and Asterisk server.

    About 5-20 SIP concurrent channels at any given time.

    That's all.

    I guess it all comes down to Alix boards? but again there are many of those as well. Which one to chose?

    Thanks,



  • 1.2.3 does not support 802.11n so you're out of luck there.  Even if it did, I'd strongly suggest an external AP.  Server rooms don't tend to be the best place for an AP…

    I'm not sure of your bandwidth requirements, but these systems from Lanner are what I use.  I like them because they're half-rack so you can fit two of them in 1U for CARP.  They are not fanless though.  Internal CF slot & 2.5" bay.  I use 8GB SLC CompactFlash cards in mine with full installs.

    http://www.lannerinc.com/Network_Application_Platforms/x86_Network_Appliance/1U_Network_Appliances/FW-7872

    Lanner does make some fanless models but they're nowhere near as fast.  Depending on what you need though, they might do it.

    http://www.lannerinc.com/Network_Application_Platforms/x86_Network_Appliance/Desktop-Fanless_Appliances



  • -Small box size.
        -net5501: check

    -Support at least one PCI or PCIe for a card size of A200D from Sangoma (standard PCI/PCIe size card)
        -net5501: check (if that card runs on 3.3V)

    -4 10/100 or better yet 10/100/1000 NICs for dual WAN, load balancing, PPoE, etc…
        -net5501: check (4x10/100 via)

    -VGA output
        -net5501: sorry, serial only

    -AC adapter rather than internal power supply which may fail.
        -net5501: check

    -Support for i386 structure - no surprises of driver support, asterisk, or pfsense not support. This should be just like any regular i386 computer or i686.
        -net5501: check

    -Fanless chassis/board for quieter operations. There is no need for a high performance video card on it.
        -net5501: check

    -Wireless g/b/n would be amazing.
        -net5501: mini-pci slot. Not sure about n support though, but that's a software thing anyway.

    Other than the vga, the net5501 has you covered. I ran freeswitch on pfsense for a while (until I started using freeswitch on another host). It works great once you get to know your way around the UI.

    If your Sangoma card won't run on 3.3V you might want to look at the Sangoma USBFXO. I have one on the way just now, and it is supported in freeswitch via the zaptel drivers (which I believe you can also get going in pfsense/freeswitch, although I've never tried).

    If vga is a must then your looking at mini-itx, or possibly some of the pico/nano-itx stuff from via, although finding something there with 4 NICs is going to be rough, unless you go with a quad-port pci/pci-e NIC and forgo the Sangoma card.

    As for attractive mini-itx boards, there's a lengthy discussion in this forum about the new Supermicro X7SPA boards. Mine's in the mail (but it won't be running pfsense in the near future. I'm quite happy with my Soekris net5501 for now).



  • Here's my two cents:

    Get one of these:

    http://store.netgate.com/RM1U-IPSU-Netgate-ALIX-dual-pfsense-P284.aspx

    Run your pfSense firewall on one of the boards and FreeSwitch on pfSense (or AskoziaPBX) on the other board.

    Works beautifully for a small office or home setup.



  • Ah! I was waiting for someone to mention Alix. Netgate5501 seems like a fine system but I think it has only one usb. I think I will settle for Sangoma USBfxo from now on so I am wondering if that is going to be supported on all the motherboards you guys mentioned. I would be running Asterisk + FreePBX rather than embeded system just because it's easier to maintain the streamlined version for now.

    But I really like the Dual Alix one, as it can even be used as 5 port switch and 1 port WAN.

    Thought, I am also leaning towards the Supermicro boards as they allow IPMI, KVM-over-IP etc…and that is curcuial for restart from long distance or access to BIOS which can literally allow me to install from long distance.

    I wonder if I can put an Alix, and a Supermicro in a custom chassis. Any chassis you know of? :-) I know it's a very long shot.

    thanks



  • For what it's worth, over all the years I've used Alix boards I've never had to restart an Alix board with pfSense (stable) on it … and I've used quite a few of them. It's been amazingly stable, which is more than I can say of some SuperMicro boxes, or other similar boards for that matter.

    As for cases, you might be able to find something like what you're asking about somewhere, but I'm sure it's not a commonly found type of case.




Log in to reply