Pfsense dell server recommendation?



  • So as I am setting up and administering a network for a small business and have decided to run pfsense because I have experience with it.

    The network will only have 25-30 clients at a time max.
    They will have 5 users who will vpn in to access the server.
    Wan is 50/8 Mbps.
    The network will be gigabit so I will install 2 or 3 intel pro1000's depending on mb support.

    So my question concerns hardware they are a dell shop so…

    Can anyone sugest a dell server for a pfsense box?
    also does anyone knows if pfsense supports the SAS6iR?
    if pfsense supports the on board nic I will install only 2 Pro1000's if it dosen't then I will install 3.
    does not need to be rack mount

    Thanks in advance!

    -Jeff



  • While I don't have any experience running pfsense on bare metal on Dell hardware, we run pfsense on a Dell R210 under Xen HVM and it works very well indeed. We have used PCI Passthrough to present the Ethernet NICs directly to pfsense. 1.2.3 had problems but 2.0 BETA works very well indeed.

    Why do I bring this up? If you have a server that you really want to use for pfsense, but have some driver issues, virtualisation may be your way out :)



  • I don't believe the sas6ir will function under 1.2.3, but might under 2.0 - Check out the link below as most of the older perc cards from Dell are supported in FreeBSD 7.2http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.2R/hardware.html#DISK and new perc6 in 8.1 http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/hardware.html

    There should be no problem with the onboard NIC from the R210 as it is either Broadcom or Intel, both of which work flawlessly in 1.2.3.  There is an open ticket related to the Intel em(4) driver in 2.0 beta, however it seems it might be isolated as it has only been observed by one user…http://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/1093

    We have used old Dell 1750s for a while as pfSense boxes and they seem to do just fine.  Old 1u Dell servers can be had pretty cheap on ebay (PowerEdge 1750 or 1850).



  • thanks guys!



  • @mhab12:

    I don't believe the sas6ir will function under 1.2.3, but might under 2.0 - Check out the link below as most of the older perc cards from Dell are supported in FreeBSD 7.2http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.2R/hardware.html#DISK and new perc6 in 8.1 http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/hardware.html

    There should be no problem with the onboard NIC from the R210 as it is either Broadcom or Intel, both of which work flawlessly in 1.2.3.  There is an open ticket related to the Intel em(4) driver in 2.0 beta, however it seems it might be isolated as it has only been observed by one user…http://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/1093

    We have used old Dell 1750s for a while as pfSense boxes and they seem to do just fine.  Old 1u Dell servers can be had pretty cheap on ebay (PowerEdge 1750 or 1850).

    The SAS6/IR does function on 1.2.3, we have one in our r310 running pfSense 1.2.3 just fine. It's just a rebranded LSI 1068e

    mpt0@pci0:3:0:0:        class=0x010000 card=0x1f0f1028 chip=0x00581000 rev=0x08 hdr=0x00
        vendor     = 'LSI Logic (Was: Symbios Logic, NCR)'
        device     = 'SAS 3000 series, 8-port with 1068E -StorPort'
        class      = mass storage
        subclass   = SCSI
    

    Some Dell servers use different adapters than others. I can tell you this, though, I did have problems with the Intel PRO/1000pe cards in 1.2.3. Also, it's really difficult to give any recommendations since you haven't specified the budget you have to work with. The R210 I just spec'ed came out to around $2,300 USD. The T310 tower came to around $1,300. If you have to go cheaper than that, then you may have to go with a used one.

    I wouldn't advise getting an ancient server unless you're going to run two of them in a CARP configuration. Even so, if they are the same age, you could find yourself with 2 dead servers. It's cool saving a lot of money at first, but enjoy the praise while it lasts. It won't be the same story when users can't get to their email or (in some cases) do any work until you get one up and running again. We have 1750's, 1850's, 1950's,  2750's, 6600's, etc. The older ones are still going, but we've had a few problems of course as they have aged. The older they get the more nervous we get.

    Here are the specs I did for the T310 so you know what bumped the price:

    PowerEdge T310:
    PowerEdge T310 Chassis with upto 4 Hot-Plug Hard Drives and LCD Diagnostics	 	T310HP	 	1	 	[224-6556]	 	1
    	Shipping:
    Shipping for PowerEdge T310	 	SHT310	 	1	 	[330-5947]	 	2
    	Processor:
    Intel® Celeron® G1101 2.26GHz, 2M Cache, 1066MHz Max Mem	 	222MNTC	 	1	 	[317-3747][330-5114]	 	6
    	Memory:
    1GB Memory (1x1GB), 1333MHz, Single Ranked UDIMM	 	1G1U3S	 	1	 	[317-2022][317-2033]	 	3
    	Operating System:
    No Operating System	 	NOOS	 	1	 	[420-6320]	 	11
    	Internal Controller:
    SAS 6/iR SAS internal RAID adapter for Hot Plug Configuration, PCI-Express	 	SAS6IRH	 	1	 	[330-5400][341-6079]	 	9
    	Hard Drive Configuration:
    RAID 1 - Add-in SAS6iR/H200/PERC6i/H700 (SAS/SATA Cntrlr), 2 Hot Plug HDD	 	A2HPR1	 	1	 	[330-5092]	 	27
    	Hard Drives (Multi-Select):
    250GB 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5" Hot Plug Hard Drive	 	250S3	 	2	 	[341-8727]	 	1209
    	Power Supply:
    Power Supply, Redundant, 400W	 	RPS	 	1	 	[330-5111]	 	36
    	Embedded Management:
    Baseboard Management Controller	 	BMC	 	1	 	[313-7919]	 	14
    	Network Adapter:
    2x Intel PRO 1000PT 1GbE Single Port NIC, PCIe-1	 	21000PS	 	1	 	[430-0955][430-0955]	 	13
    	Internal Optical Drive:
    DVD-ROM, Internal	 	16XDVD	 	1	 	[313-9100][330-5342]	 	16
    	System Documentation:
    Electronic System Documentation and OpenManage DVD Kit	 	EDOCS	 	1	 	[330-5091]	 	21
    	Primary Hard Drive:
    HD Multi-Select	 	HDMULTI	 	1	 	[341-4158]	 	8
    	Power Cords:
    Power Cord, NEMA 5-15P to C13 (2), wall plug, 10 feet, Quantity 2	 	2WP10FY	 	1	 	[330-0579]	 	38
    	Hardware Support Services:
    3Yr Basic Hardware Warranty Repair: 5x10 HW-Only, 5x10 NBD Onsite	 	U3OS	 	1	 	[904-1472][904-8377][904-8680][905-1428][905-8769][994-4019]	 	29
    

    Hope this helps.



  • Hello,

    I get an error during installation of pfSense 1.2.3 with R310 (6/iR SAS SAS RAID adapter for internal Hot Plug Configuration PCI-Express, RAID 1 - Add-in SAS6iR/H200/PERC6i/H700 (SAS / SATA CNTRLR), 2 Hot Plug HDD).

    (during the boot)
    acd0: Read Failure Big Medium Error ASC = x0x11

    (and after choosing to install):
    the installer could not find any disks suitable for installation (IDE or SCSI) attached to this computer. If you wish to install pfSense on an unorthodox storage device, you will have to exit to a LiveCD command prompt and install it manually, using the /README as a guide.

    please help me !



  • Test with a USB Drive CD-ROM but now, i have this message :

    Trying to mount root from cd9660:/dev/iso9660/pfSense md0.uzip

    :'(



  • Hello,

    I'm facing exactly the same problem with my DELL PE310 with an H200 RAID Controller: pfSense is unable to detect my disks (I've already tried by booting with an external USB cdrom).

    Any help appraciate (must install it in the next days to my customer) !!!!



  • As far as I know pfsense does not support h200.
    But you can use it without configuring raid and make a software raid.
    It's working on r210.



  • Hi all,

    I'm also trying to install on a Dell R210 but have issues when getting to the installation of the files to disk.
    It stops at around 37%  and just hangs. Could it be the CD-ROM? I see that it has some issues with mounting it.

    Anyone experienced this?



  • @jarlel:

    Hi all,

    I'm also trying to install on a Dell R210 but have issues when getting to the installation of the files to disk.
    It stops at around 37%  and just hangs. Could it be the CD-ROM? I see that it has some issues with mounting it.

    Anyone experienced this?

    If you are using USB keyboard, did you try another model of keyboard?  The installation for my Dell T110 only work when using the keyboard come with it.  It DOES NOT work and hang in 3X% when using Dell Desktop keyboard or one model of MS brand keyboard.  I had no idea why.



  • @beafool:

    If you are using USB keyboard, did you try another model of keyboard?  The installation for my Dell T110 only work when using the keyboard come with it.  It DOES NOT work and hang in 3X% when using Dell Desktop keyboard or one model of MS brand keyboard.  I had no idea why.

    I used only the keyboard that came with it. Will test some more and also try other keyboards to see if that changes anything.


Locked