Collocation firewall Inside 2U Server



  • Hi,

    I'm looking for installing a server into a collocation site.

    My main server will be a 2U Dell R710 server which will run Esxi and multiple virtual os's.

    However for security & vpn (ipsec)  I'd like to include a firewall inside (Hardware) of it.

    So I was thinking of trying to fit in an alix / soukris device inside the back of the 2U server.

    anybody has any experience with this kind of scenario ?

    Will it fit how do I give the inside firewall power ? are there any special cables to use to connect to the main server power cable or do I need to start soldering something together ?

    Do I need to make holes through the back of the server for the network cables to go through or are there more gentle solutions to be able to plug in the cables / power ?

    Any info / feedback / images would be appreciated.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    There are some images floating around the web where someone mounted an ALIX inside a server case, though they involved some custom brackets and connecting cables. Not sure if they are generally available, or financially feasible.

    They make 1U rack enclosures for 1-2 ALIX units. I'd recommend going that route instead of trying to shoehorn it into the same case, unless you are absolutely desperate for rack space.



  • I haven't tried to cram one computer inside another, but I agree you'd have to figure out some brackets and such. You may have to let the cables 'dangle' outside the back of the case via the PCI slots unless you can find a bracket with RJ45 ports on it.

    Personally, if I were in your case, I'd just install pfsense in a VM since you're already running ESXi. pfSense doesn't need much space at all, and i'm doing something similar on a XenServer box that needs to be 'self contained'.



  • There's really not enough room inside one of those to fit a standard PC of any form.  That said, once upon a time you could buy a PC in an expansion card form factor.  If you can find a PCIe one then that's probably your only practical solution for fitting it inside another rackmount PC.



  • Is there any reason you don't want to use pfsense from within esxi?
    In my own environment, I expose only pfsense to the network, and have pfsense and my virtual machine communicate on a virtual interface that is not bridged to a hardware network device.  It works extremely well.


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