Best upgrade to Alix boards for pfSenes?



  • Hi everyone,

    I am looking for a Gig-port support on an embedded board that is at least same quality as Alix boards. I don't need more than 3 to 4 ports but if options are available that is great. What sort of systems should I look into?

    I am in love with Alix boards so far and find them to be best of the breed but it's a petty that they don't support Gig ports.

    Thanks,



  • If you can wait, then read this: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,59555.0.html
    At the moment, there seems to be a missing hardware point between the 3 or 4 10/100 Mbps port devices with (what is now becoming) not quite enough memory (256MB Alix, 512MB Soekris) at around $US2225-$US250 and rack-mount-style boxes with 6 Gb ports and plenty of memory (e.g. Netgate FW-7541) at around $US550 to $US600.
    Whatever reputable company releases a 3 or 4 port Gbit system with 1GB or 2GB memory and some reasonable internal storage option (CF card or small SSD) will be getting my next purchases.
    I notice that Netgate have started selling Ubiquiti Edge Router Lite: http://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/edgemax/EdgeRouter_Lite_DS.pdf
    It has the things we are looking for, but is a MIPS processor - almost there. (Edit: I mean the hardware spec is almost right, just has the wrong processor family. Certainly no point waiting for FreeBSD MIPS support and then a subsequent build/port of pfSense for MIPS!)



  • @torontob:

    I am looking for a Gig-port support on an embedded board that is at least same quality as Alix boards. I don't need more than 3 to 4 ports but if options are available that is great. What sort of systems should I look into?

    What throughput are you looking for? The Atom CPU used in some embedded boards doesn't seem to be able to sustain throughput of much more than about 600Mbps.



  • Good point wallybob. I wonder if the new Alix can have a better throughput or at least match it's gigport bottleneck.
    I don't think I would need anywhere close to 100Mbps but because our datacentre provider provides us a Gig port and there might be occasional past 100Mbps speeds required then why not have it. It's also a good plan of not buying obsolete hardware….just safe guarding.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    FW-7541 is the next real step up for an embedded type system. It's solid and fast.

    The replacement in the ALIX line using a newer embedded AMD CPU sounds promising, but also doesn't have a production/ship date.

    Beyond that you get into systems with moving parts that aren't really "embedded".

    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an ARM or MIPS platform, even if support does materialize, performance probably will not likely be what people expect for all services on the firewall. Only time will tell there though.



  • In production is the FW-7541 as reliable as Alix? I have Alix that have been running 24/7 for the past 4-5 years without any issues.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @torontob:

    In production is the FW-7541 as reliable as Alix? I have Alix that have been running 24/7 for the past 4-5 years without any issues.

    Well they haven't existed quite that long so I can't really say. :-)

    They do quite well from what I've heard. Lots of customers have them and they're happy…