Hardware Problems



  • I am completely new to pfSense and also to FreeBSD. I need a quite powerfull firewall in a datacenter with lots of VPN connections for mobile workers accessing a number of virtual machines and remote desktops.

    I tried to install pfSense 2.0.3 on a SuperMicro 5017R-MTRF Server (http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5017/SYS-5017R-MTRF.cfm). It has a Xeon E5-2609 and 16 GB RAM.

    The problem is, that it does not recognise the harddisks. It is a 'standard' Intel chipset controller, I configured it for simple SATA mode (no RAID).

    I tried pfSense 2.1 snapshot of yesterday which supports a newer FreeBSD version. There I got a bit further. It recognises the disk, can partition it but hangs on 35% of the following command: /usr/local/bin/cpdup -vvv -l -0 /usr /mnt/usr

    Any idea?
    Is there any chance to get pfSence running on a modern 1U Server? I currently don't have any 'museum' like hardware available  ;)

    Many thanks for tips and hints what hardware would be working with pfSense.

    Cheers
    Rumpi



  • The C602 is anything but "standard".  That thing requires driver updates in pretty much every OS to work correctly.

    Are you trying to do a RAID 1 pair or just install to a single drive?

    I am just aching to try out one of these:

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1u/5017/sys-5017p-tln4f.cfm

    … I'm pretty sure everything would be fine (sans RAID) but I can't guarantee it would work.



  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your reply. This board looks interesting, the case not so much… I definitely need redundant power supplies.

    @Jason:

    The C602 is anything but "standard".  That thing requires driver updates in pretty much every OS to work correctly.

    Hmm, works great on Windows, even Server 2012 Standard…..

    What do you think about adding a cheap RAID SATA controller and disable the built in chipset controllers on the SuperServer 5017R-MTRF? I have two Intel 520 SSD (60 GB) in the system. I would love to have RAID1 for the datacenter systems. Is there any controller you or someone else could recommend for pfSense? I looked at the hw compatibility list of FreeBSD 8.1, but there are dozends that I could not even find anymore.....

    Many thanks for your help!

    Rumpi



  • @rumpelstilzchen:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your reply. This board looks interesting, the case not so much… I definitely need redundant power supplies.

    @Jason:

    The C602 is anything but "standard".  That thing requires driver updates in pretty much every OS to work correctly.

    Hmm, works great on Windows, even Server 2012 Standard…..

    What do you think about adding a cheap RAID SATA controller and disable the built in chipset controllers on the SuperServer 5017R-MTRF? I have two Intel 520 SSD (60 GB) in the system. I would love to have RAID1 for the datacenter systems. Is there any controller you or someone else could recommend for pfSense? I looked at the hw compatibility list of FreeBSD 8.1, but there are dozends that I could not even find anymore.....

    Many thanks for your help!

    Rumpi

    If we're talking about a datacenter where reliability is key then you don't need redundant power supplies or RAID.  What you need is two pfSense boxes and CARP.  You can drop the cost of the project dramatically and improve reliability (not to mention it makes it possible to do updates without downtime). Downside is you'll need 2U of space unless you get a box that has two servers in a single rack unit.

    "Cheap RAID SATA" doesn't exist.  The vast majority are "fakeraid" cards which won't be supported except to export single drives.  The LSI 2004/2008 works fine under 2.1 if you're looking for 6Gb SAS.  If you're OK with 3Gb then pretty much any LSI card will work, including under 2.0.3.

    2.1 should work great on something like the server below, plus a LSI 2004/2008 tossed in for your RAID 1.  Won't break the bank either.

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5017/SYS-5017C-URF.cfm
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118114

    If you've already got the E5 box then just the card above should get you going on 2.1.  I'd still recommend the two separate boxes though.



  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks a lot for your help, that clarifies most questions. I agree with the clustering, redundant PS is in any case important in a datacenter, especially if you use not only clustering but also load balancing. Usually datacenters offer 99.99 availability for only ONE power feed at the time, not for both!

    Since I have the Supermicro box already I need to buy an additional card. We already use the big LSI cards in our big servers for direct attached storage. The card you mention is not cheap but affordable for what it offers.

    Last question: Does it mean, that the SATA/SAS 9211-4i works with pfSense 2.0.3 (3Gb/s is just fine) or ONLY with 2.1 BETA?? I could not find it on the HWC for FreeBSD 8.1 and I don't like to buy a card, that does not work. If it only works with pfSense 2.1 the question is how stable is it and when will it become final? I don't like to buy an old card (it is anyway hard to get such old cards anymore) if pfSense 2.1 will be NON-Beta within two months or so.

    Again thanks a lot for your support.

    Rumpi


  • Netgate Administrator

    There are many people using 2.1 in a production environment and it is likely to go RC soon.
    Bare in mind that before an RC is released new snapshots may introduce new bugs. If you are going to use 2.1 test a snapshot and stick with that.

    Steve



  • @rumpelstilzchen:

    I tried pfSense 2.1 snapshot of yesterday which supports a newer FreeBSD version. There I got a bit further. It recognises the disk, can partition it but hangs on 35% of the following command: /usr/local/bin/cpdup -vvv -l -0 /usr /mnt/usr

    Any idea?

    This thread has the same issue.  You have to go into BIOS and disable multicore and any other power saving features to get past the 35%.  Once its installed, just enable those features back in the BIOS.

    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,61799.msg333848.html#msg333848



  • Hi guys

    Thanks a lot for your tips. Disabling multicore and virtualisation makes me a lot happier, the installation passed without error. I will try the RAID settings later on.



  • Just an update:

    It definitely does not work with C602 and Raid, also not with Version 2.1 of pfSense. And it seems to hate SSDs with this controller either. I could not manage to boot with a Intel 60 GB SSD 520 Series.

    So looks like the software is quite limited on new hardware.



  • @rumpelstilzchen:

    Just an update:

    It definitely does not work with C602 and Raid, also not with Version 2.1 of pfSense. And it seems to hate SSDs with this controller either. I could not manage to boot with a Intel 60 GB SSD 520 Series.

    So looks like the software is quite limited on new hardware.

    There is no difference between a SSD and a regular hard drive as far as the OS is concerned so it's got to be the way the controller is handling them.  As I said, that controller is a pain to work with.


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