1U Home Router Build - Any Advice/Tips/Tricks?



  • I'm currently running pfSense on a Firebox x550e and have loved it; however, I'm organizing my cabling and networking in my house and consolidated everything onto a rack. The rack is only about 12" deep so it won't hold the Firebox. On top of that, I've tried enabling squid on the firebox and haven't had much success. So, the other night I was researching 1U cases for a home router and jumped on a deal I found on ebay. This led to me ordering a bunch of parts. Woops! :)

    So, I should have come here first but got click happy due to a series of deals I found and now would just like any advice before all my parts get here on if my plan seems sound or if there is anything I should change. Here's what I've got.

    Supermicro CSE-503-200B 1U rackmount case - $67.70
    Supermicro MBD-X9SCL+-F Socket 1155 MATX Motherboard Has 2x onboard Intel GB nics (82579LM and 82574L)  - $104.50
    Intel Pentium G645 Socket 1155 Processor Supports ECC and should work with this motherboard, we'll see - $65.19
    GELID Solutions Slim Silence i-Plus 1u Heatsink/Fan for 1155 - $21
    Kingston 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC Memory - $44.99
    Kingston DataTraveler DTR30/16GB USB Flash drive to install pfSense on - $18.99
    StarTech USBMBADAPT USB2.0 header cable to internally connect the USB drive - $3.83
    Total cost is $326.20

    Is there anything I'm overlooking? Will squid sufficiently run off a flash drive or should I get a small dedicated SSD? Everything I've read makes me believe the processor should have plenty of power for what I'm looking to do. Before I get crazy building this thing I just want to make sure there isn't any glaring issue with what I'm doing.

    Thanks!



  • I don't think that the USB flash is going to be good enough for squid. You could probably put an SSD or HDD with the system to handle the cache.



  • Everything installed great and the migration from the Firebox on 2.0.1 to my new machine on 2.1 was amazingly simple. The export/import of config worked perfectly.

    I have not yet attempted to configure Squid because I'm waiting for a 60GB ssd to arrive to dedicate to that. I'll post pictures up of everything when I install it. I'm very happy so far.



  • I just built up a router for a friend and these are the specs i used.

    (1) OCZ Vertex Plus R2 60GB
    (2) Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz
    (3) ASRock H61M-DGS
    (4) Kingston HyperX 8GB
    (5) Intel EXPI9301CTBLK
    (6) Rosewill R379-M Black/ Silver



  • I decided to try out Squid before getting the SSD. I don't notice any speed improvement at home for standard web surfing, but also don't see any performance degredation. I allocated 3GB of storage on the flash drive, and 4gb of memory (since I have an abundant 8GB available). When testing, it definitely is working when re-downloading large files. I think since I don't see any hit to my performance I'm not going to put an SSD in it. So once again, everything works great and is super smooth. Memory is also much cheaper and faster than an SSD (for this implementation anyway. Obviously SSD's are cheaper per GB but I don't need 120GB of cache)

    Anyone else used squid? Maybe my settings are all wrong and i'm not seeing a benefit like I should be.



  • @KingViper:

    I decided to try out Squid before getting the SSD. I don't notice any speed improvement at home for standard web surfing, but also don't see any performance degredation. I allocated 3GB of storage on the flash drive, and 4gb of memory (since I have an abundant 8GB available). When testing, it definitely is working when re-downloading large files. I think since I don't see any hit to my performance I'm not going to put an SSD in it. So once again, everything works great and is super smooth. Memory is also much cheaper and faster than an SSD (for this implementation anyway. Obviously SSD's are cheaper per GB but I don't need 120GB of cache)

    Anyone else used squid? Maybe my settings are all wrong and i'm not seeing a benefit like I should be.

    Squid proxies seem to have 2 good uses.  Very large user bases that frequent similar sites so the hit rate is high (think college dorm networks, large office buildings, etc.)  And filtering certain web content, like ads.

    If you're not hosting a large user base, the liklihood of a squid proxy speeding up browsing for a few users isn't very high, unless you frequent particular sites that host a lotof content that your browser won't cache.

    Ad blocking, from what I understand, can work pretty well if you're up for setting it up.



  • squid will kill your flash drive before too long. I believe quid can be configured to use RAM only, which is what you want until you get proper disk storage.

    I played with squid on pfsense about a year ago until I ran into some odd behaviour. The first annoyance was that it appeared to be downloading Windows updates proactively. This was probably due to the custom config I created with the help of a tutorial from the docs, but I wasn't fond of seeing all my bandwidth being eaten up by a non-human user. The second problem was large http downloads dying midstream, for example iso files from MSDN stalling or quitting after ~1.5 GB on multiple attempts. I suppose these problems were solvable, but I didn't have any more time to mess with it then.


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