HP Microserver N36L as pfSense server



  • Hello

    I've been offered a HP Microserver N36L for a good price, and I was thinking of using it as a pfSense server.

    However, I'm wondering if it's fast enough.

    Specs:
    CPU: AMD Athlon II Neo N36L / 1.3 GHz
    HDD: 200GB WD Black
    RAM: 4GB DDR3 ECC
    NIC: HP NC107i 1GbE
    More info can be found here: http://microserver.wikidot.com/wiki:n36l-specifications

    It will be used as router+firewall+VPN server in a home network with a maximum of 8 users simoutanesly on. I want to mount 2 extra GbE NIC's so I can do loadbalancing and failover between my primary 60mbit cable and my backup 10mbit ADSL2+ lines.

    Could I be running into performance and/or compatibility troubles with this setup?


  • Netgate Administrator

    70Mbps throughput, no problem. You may struggle to saturate that with vpn traffic though.
    Are you planning to run snort or squid?

    Steve



  • I am also curious about doing a pfSense build with my N40L.
    Could you let me know if it is successful or not and what network cards you used?
    Thanks



  • N36|40|54L are good machines for pfSense - or even low demand ESXi, given enough memory  ;)  Low power and practically noiseless.

    I would recommend that you try to find a used HP NC360T dual gigabit card.  Depending where you are they can be quite inexpensive.  Just be sure you get one with a low-profile bracket!


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    I run my pfsense on N40L, I have added a dual nic and single nic so I have 4.  I have 8GB of memory in mine - thinking of moving to 16.

    Pfsense runs great on it as a vm under esxi - I would never go back to running my router directly on hardware.. With a vm, I can take as snapshot before I do anything with it and then can always roll back..  This is great when running development code, ie before 2.1 was released, etc..

    Here are the cards I used

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106036

    dual
    http://www.amazon.com/HP-412648-B21-PCI-Express-GigaBit-Adapter/dp/B000J3OPOU

    Sold by amtech - I contacted them with my order number and they made sure I got the low profile bracket, etc.  Great service from them.

    So I run my NAS with 3 disks and my linux play vm and other vm on and off and have no problems with performance.. But there are always at min 3 vms on, etc.  Thing rocks!!