I may be building a firewall to be a level 2 bridge for a friend's business. His place of employment has an OC3 (144mbps) feeding it, and their lan is WIDE open. their networks are governed by the parent corporation which is NOT security aware at all.
They do a lot of video streaming, and real-time diagnostic services with the parent company, so latency is very important.
Is there a recommended hardware platform that can do this type of work? I know I can build a system with gigabit cards, but will it handle the load and keep latency down?
An Atom board with Intel GBE should be able to push 200+mbps under normal (non-vpn) conditions.
Check out the Supermicro Atom boards, which come with a pair of Intel GBE on-board. They're popular with pfsense users, and I'm using an X7SPA-H here and quite like it. I'm not sure if it would go all the way up to 288mbps, which you could potentially do on your connection. My needs are much more modest.