I3 system with at least 4-5 gigabit ports. 1U preferred



  • So I have an i5 system in a 2U rack mountable enclosure with an Intel Gigabit Dual port card. I have pfSense installed on ESXi and love it. The ESXi server also hosts my domain, exchange and small chuck of NAS data.

    The local network is divided into separate network segments namely for LAN.. VoIP.. Video.. HVAC and Servers. I am not much worried about VoIP and HVAC segments as the bandwidth for them is minimal. In fact for HVAC its all wireless.

    Recently, I have seen LAN and Video segments being choked due to very high network activities…especially on the weekends when my brother's kids come over for sleepover and use all the 5 bedrooms in the house for gaming and watching online videos. I have 75Mbps internet and it is working beautifully. It's just that the local network activities are getting overwhelming for one single gigabit port to handle. The other gigabit port is used for dedicated WAN.

    I am planning to move the pfSense on its own dedicated hardware. Since I will be running a lot of packages only an i3 system or higher makes sense and I do not want to go the Atom route as Snort, Squid, Dans, OpenVPN etc is gonna kill it. 8GB RAM is sufficient and I have both of these components.

    Now the challenge is to find the right 1U rackmountable enclosure which can house an i3 mini-ITX/micro mobo and also 4-5 gigabit ports. I am thinking I may have to go for a 2U system.. which is fine as I have a lot of rack space. I am looking for maximum power savings and don't wanna put up a power guzzler server.

    Anyone knows about a decent 1U i3 system that can adjust multiple gigabit ports?



  • Almost all 1U case have 1 expansion slot. You can get a SuperMicro 1U server (case+mb) compatible with your RAM and CPU, add a Dual port nic for a total of 4 ports.



  • @asterix:

    The local network is divided into separate network segments namely for LAN.. VoIP.. Video.. HVAC and Servers. I am not much worried about VoIP and HVAC segments as the bandwidth for them is minimal. In fact for HVAC its all wireless.

    What kind of HVAC system do you have that is network-enabled?

    Also, budget?



  • Yes, I thought about Supermicro.. but I re-checked my current requirements.. even if I put the VoIP and HVAC on a VLAN, I would still need 5 ports.. as  one for WAN is required as well..

    If I segment the ports it would look like this…

    0 - WAN
    1 - LAN
    2 - VLAN (VoIP & HVAC)
    3 - Video
    4 - Servers

    I have 3 Nest HVAC controllers.. all work on Wifi so all I need is a VLAN for them to get IP addresses to connect to the internet. I try to keep similar devices in their own segments for ease of management and security. Have close to 30 network devices.. which include laptops, PCs, smart phones, smart TVs, BluRay players, game consoles, etc



  • @asterix:

    even if I put the VoIP and HVAC on a VLAN, I would still need 5 ports.. as  one for WAN is required as well..

    I run my WAN over a VLAN to a VLAN capable switch when then runs non-VLAN to my ADSL modem. The Internet speed you reported wouldn't take very much capacity out of a Gigabit link.



  • Yeah I suppose I may have to run WAN, VoIP and HVAC on VLANs.



  • @asterix:

    So I have an i5 system in a 2U rack mountable enclosure with an Intel Gigabit Dual port card. I have pfSense installed on ESXi and love it. The ESXi server also hosts my domain, exchange and small chuck of NAS data.

    The local network is divided into separate network segments namely for LAN.. VoIP.. Video.. HVAC and Servers. I am not much worried about VoIP and HVAC segments as the bandwidth for them is minimal. In fact for HVAC its all wireless.

    Recently, I have seen LAN and Video segments being choked due to very high network activities…especially on the weekends when my brother's kids come over for sleepover and use all the 5 bedrooms in the house for gaming and watching online videos. I have 75Mbps internet and it is working beautifully. It's just that the local network activities are getting overwhelming for one single gigabit port to handle. The other gigabit port is used for dedicated WAN.

    I am planning to move the pfSense on its own dedicated hardware. Since I will be running a lot of packages only an i3 system or higher makes sense and I do not want to go the Atom route as Snort, Squid, Dans, OpenVPN etc is gonna kill it. 8GB RAM is sufficient and I have both of these components.

    Now the challenge is to find the right 1U rackmountable enclosure which can house an i3 mini-ITX/micro mobo and also 4-5 gigabit ports. I am thinking I may have to go for a 2U system.. which is fine as I have a lot of rack space. I am looking for maximum power savings and don't wanna put up a power guzzler server.

    Anyone knows about a decent 1U i3 system that can adjust multiple gigabit ports?

    I'd think this would work?



  • also, 35W Corei3 will work in this system:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115094



  • @shockwavecs:

    That box uses Intel NIC's



  • Leaning more towards this.. has quad gigabit lan ports. A bit on the expensive side for a barebones

    http://www.asus.com/Commericial_Servers_Workstations/RS300E7PS4/

    Wonder why it can house a Xeon and i3 but no i5 or i7. I could add my spare dual port Intel gigabit PCIe and use vmWare on this with dedicated ports for all 6 segments. I have an i3 and i5 as well plus extra set of RAM and hard drive. Not sure if its the mobo architecture that's preventing it from using an i5.





  • @tirsojrp:

    @shockwavecs:

    That box uses Intel NIC's

    Whoops, you are right. The intel NICs are the same on the motherboard that I recommended and on the Pico pfsense box on amazon. Either way they are compatible with pfSense 2.0.X



  • So this is the price quote I got for it the FW-1109. I think its way overpriced.

    FW-1109
    I5-2310 CPU
    4GB DDR3 Memory
    1TB 3.5” Hard Drive
    Cost: $879.00 + shipping.

    for barebone system without CPU/CPU cooler, RAM and HDD it's $555 + shipping.

    Thoughts?



  • That's a normal price for such hardware.

    I am aware that the features like IPMI, Bypass and form factor justify the price, but still prefer to build my own stuff to keep prices down and be able to choose from hundred of parts in case of failure.

    Checking ebay could help you A LOT to build a similar system for ~600 or even less if you spend some time searching and bidding.



  • Can't find an LGA 1155 system with 6 ports anywhere online. This is just released config which is still not 100% in production. The agent is trying to sell me a sample for now as the production for it has not started. Things like front bezel, LCD.. rear expansion slot has not been totally finalized.

    I like to build my own system rather than paying a premium for pre-built ones. But getting a rack mountable front end 6 Intel gigabit cards with a LGA 1155 motherboard is not possible. There are Atom motherboards now available with front gigabit ports.. but that's not meeting my current needs.

    If I could find a similar 1U enclosure with front (back is fine as well) ports and a LGA 1155 motherboard that can house 5 Intel Gigabit ports and has options for future expansion.. I would build it myself.

    My current 2U system has a dual Intel gigabit PCIe card. Buying an Intel Quad gigabit card will run me down to $250 for a decent used one or about $485 for a new one. I can build a whole new system with that kind of money.



  • You're having a tough time balancing form and price.  I bit the bullet and dealt with a less than ideal form factor to get the power and price I was looking for.

    Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121623

    CPU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115078

    2 x PCIe NICs
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106033

    I could have gone with dual-Gbit PICe NICs but didn't need them.  You could put a 4 x Gbit PCIe NIC on that motherboard and never saturate the subsystem.

    I threw 4GB of RAM into the box and a 7200RPM HD.  All said and done with the case and it came in around $400.  You could probably find a 2U enclosure for the board, but I went cheap on the enclosure and threw it on a shelf.

    I wasn't constrained by space and focused more on price and performance.  If space and performance are your main goals, you're going to get hit on price.

    I have two 60/8 WAN connections, five servers, and IPSec tunnel, and occasionally OpenVPN coming in.  The box barely gets warm.



  • @asterix:

    My current 2U system has a dual Intel gigabit PCIe card. Buying an Intel Quad gigabit card will run me down to $250 for a decent used one or about $485 for a new one. I can build a whole new system with that kind of money.

    I see them all the time on ebay for ~130.

    tim.mcmanus recommendation is valid, but that nic price is higher than the last dual one I got from ebay.

    If you insist on going with a 1u case be aware that the case will need a riser, low profile cooler, i/o shield, etc; you will also be limited to a single expansion card forcing the use of a quad nic. Be ready to spend at least $200 more for a system with similar specs.

    BTW. This case can be mounted reversed,link, picture



  • ok then I suppose get the Asus RS300 with Quad NIC onboard and two expansion slots for a theoretical max of 12 gigabit NICs. You also get remote management from this server opposed to the RS100. I just built two of the 1U boxes mentioned above with Corei3/4GBECC/6xIntel Gbit for just under $550. It's not reverse mountable, though. the RS300 is definitely a better buy if you would not be comfortable with ebay quad NIC like I purchased at 100/each.



  • So which motherboard and 1U enclosure did you go for?



  • @asterix:

    So which motherboard and 1U enclosure did you go for?

    If you mean me;

    RS100 Barebones ~275
    Corei3 2100 65watt ~120
    Kingston 2x2GB  KVR13E9/2I ~50
    eBay Quad 1000 ~100

    Just built two of them for our new datacenter. No hot swap bays but they are in AHCI mode so you can actually swap a dead disk if you can inch out the server, remove the cover, and do your work. Just setup the proper amount of slack on your network cables and all is good.


    Nice to see Intel PRO 1000 for all 6 NICs in Assign interfaces. Different MAC ranges so easy to identify, though.



  • oh and 3 year warranty on everything is included…except the NIC ha. But I built two of them so it'll be fine. Maybbbbe an extra Quad from ebay wouldn't hurt. They look new anyways.



  • That's PCIe or PCIX NIC ? Also do you have a pic of the CPU mounted? Will the factory CPU fan fit in that 1U enclosure?



  • it's PCI-e. The riser is certainly a weird color.

    The ASUS RS100 barebones comes with a 1U CPU cooler.



  • You know of any reason why the motherboard will take only i3 and xeon processors and no i5 or i7 ?  Techincally they should be compatible.



  • @asterix:

    You know of any reason why the motherboard will take only i3 and xeon processors and no i5 or i7 ?  Techincally they should be compatible.

    It's because the i3 CPUs support ECC RAM and the i5/i7 CPUs don't.



  • So what if I install non-ECC RAM on this specific system? Will it still work or even boot?



  • @asterix:

    So what if I install non-ECC RAM on this specific system? Will it still work or even boot?

    No idea, I don't own one.



  • Check page 5 of this doc: http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/46/78/467819_467819.pdf

    Even Intel don't have an straight answer about non-ecc or i5/i7 CPU.

    edit:
    Asus CPU support list



  • @tirsojrp:

    Check page 5 of this doc: http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/46/78/467819_467819.pdf

    Even Intel don't have an straight answer about non-ecc or i5/i7 CPU.

    edit:
    Asus CPU support list

    Looks pretty clear to me. They say that the i5/i7 doesn't support ECC.



  • this is not what you are asking…but for this system I put the Corei3 with Non ECC RAM and it would not boot. waited an extra day for the ECC RAM to arrive that I ordered and it booted up immediately. same cas, speed, and density too. I guess you must use ECC with the motherboard. Either way, 4x2GB ECC would run you about $90-100.

    If you think that at some point you would reuse the system, then get 4GB sticks to make sure it's not a total waste for getting above 8GB. If you want more than 4 cores, get the Xeon e3 CPU. If you go to geekbenches stats, the Intel Xeon E3-1240 V2 gets a GeekBench score of 11313, while the Intel Core i3-2100 gets GeekBench score of 5890. If you look deeper on the GeekBench site you can get encryption metrics for benchmark tests giving you an idea of CPU needs for things like VPN.

    The E3-1230V2 is only $100 more, twice the power, twice the cores, twice the usability in the future. Up to you. I know mine will only ever be firewalls so I decided to get the Corei3-2100. The lower the number makes an easier proposal.



  • and just look here:
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/processor-benchmarks

    Check out all of the Corei7 processors that rank above the E3-1240 V2. They cost more $$ and use TWICE the wattage.



  • I think I will go for the Xeon. Since I will have 6 dedicated gigabit ports, I will install vmWARE ESXi and assign the dedicated ports to the different segments and move the domain controllers and exchange servers from the current i5 based vmWARE to the new environment as the Xeon will serve as a better processor and I could take advantage of the CPU cycles which might go to waste if I just had pfSense on it.

    I suppose I can make my current i5 system a dedicated NAS server.

    Thoughts?



  • well this box has 1 PSU. maybe the asus rs300…but then again this exercise may go to waste on the saving $$ side when you get that case, etc. Also CPU affinity should be set for this pfsense install if it will be a VM. VM boxes are becoming easier to saturate as people are becoming more and more familiar with virtualization and loading up hosts....but not familiar enough with proper load balancing and resource monitoring. Sometimes you just need a separate box for your firewall to keep other services happy instead of taking down everything at once.



  • @Jason:

    @tirsojrp:

    Check page 5 of this doc: http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/46/78/467819_467819.pdf

    Even Intel don't have an straight answer about non-ecc or i5/i7 CPU.

    edit:
    Asus CPU support list

    Looks pretty clear to me. They say that the i5/i7 doesn't support ECC.

    My mistake, I should have said: …an straight answer about non-ecc or i5/i7 CPU support on C204. As stated in page 5 ”Not Supported” configurations may still boot


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