Another hardware help thread (unsure how to name it)



  • Hello everyone!

    I hope you all had a good start into the new year.
    In advance please excuse me if my spelling or grammar is bad or if I am using a wrong term. I am trying as good as I can but english is not my mother language.
    After looking around for awhile I am unsure if a thread like this already exists or not, if it does please excuse me and delete this one.

    For starters I think I should at first tell you what I plan to do.
    I building a rather big home network, basically two homes in one network.
    Several PCs, consoles, routers (used as access points), a server (once I get a good price on something like an HP Proliant DL180 G6) and other devices.
    I am unsatisfied with the performance and security of the router modem combinations out there.
    The obvious plan is to build pfsense PC to handle DHCP, routing and especialy security, it would be great if I could also run it simultaneously as a NAS (I already saw that this sn't much appreciate by some).

    Now to the hardware, I've got here sofar.
    I got an Intel C2Q 9300 @2.5GHz, on an XFX 780i SLi (featuring dual NIC) and 8GB DDR2-800 to go with it.
    Additionaly I have those devices a D-Link DIR-645, Telekom Speedport W723V Typ A, Netgear DGN3500B and its predecessor.
    The switch everything is hooked up to is a Netgear GSM7248 (modiefied fans), in rare occasions a 16 port longshine one might be added.

    Now to my actual question regarding the hardware.
    Not considering the possibility of multi homing and the like, would adding another dual NIC and hooking it to the switch via link aggreagation help the overall network stability and throughput considering the high number of devices?
    Another thing I would like to ask is if pfsense supports the usage of modem cards and if yes if there are ones known to be working especially well?
    And if I am at it is an old LGA775 quad core enough for the task or will it cringe under the load?



  • @Raegis:

    Hello everyone!
    I hope you all had a good start into the new year.

    Hi and welcome to the forums.

    @Raegis:

    In advance please excuse me if my spelling or grammar is bad or if I am using a wrong term. I am trying as good as I can but english is not my mother language.

    Probably better than some whose first language it is supposed to be  :)

    @Raegis:

    For starters I think I should at first tell you what I plan to do.
    I building a rather big home network, basically two homes in one network.

    On the one property?  I don't know about your country but here it is illegal to cross property boundaries with anything but wireless.  We can't have the telcos being robbed of business.  ;)

    @Raegis:

    Several PCs, consoles, routers (used as access points), a server (once I get a good price on something like an HP Proliant DL180 G6) and other devices.

    That's a big home server!  Hope you have an air-conditioned, sound-proof room to put it in.

    @Raegis:

    I am unsatisfied with the performance and security of the router modem combinations out there.

    Wouldn't argue with that.

    @Raegis:

    The obvious plan is to build pfsense PC to handle DHCP, routing and especialy security, it would be great if I could also run it simultaneously as a NAS (I already saw that this sn't much appreciate by some).

    Use your DL180 as a an ESXi box running pfSense, NAS4free and whatever else as virtual machines.

    @Raegis:

    Now to the hardware, I've got here sofar.
    I got an Intel C2Q 9300 @2.5GHz, on an XFX 780i SLi (featuring dual NIC) and 8GB DDR2-800 to go with it.

    @Raegis:

    Additionaly I have those devices a D-Link DIR-645, Telekom Speedport W723V Typ A, Netgear DGN3500B and its predecessor.
    The switch everything is hooked up to is a Netgear GSM7248 (modiefied fans), in rare occasions a 16 port longshine one might be added.

    A bit hard to know how you plan to redeploy these but they could be used as access points or bridged ADSL modems.

    @Raegis:

    Now to my actual question regarding the hardware.
    Not considering the possibility of multi homing and the like, would adding another dual NIC and hooking it to the switch via link aggreagation help the overall network stability and throughput considering the high number of devices?

    When you say "multi-homing", what do you mean? 
    Switch what you can.  Don't try to use pfSense as a switch.

    @Raegis:

    Another thing I would like to ask is if pfsense supports the usage of modem cards and if yes if there are ones known to be working especially well?

    Forget modem cards.  Even if you can find one and it works, it's better to keep phone lines connected to cheap modems which can be sacrificed to lightning strikes, not your expensive computer equipment.

    @Raegis:

    And if I am at it is an old LGA775 quad core enough for the task or will it cringe under the load?

    See above regarding ESXi (assuming the location of the DL180 is suitable for connections.



  • @biggsy:

    Hi and welcome to the forums.

    Probably better than some whose first language it is supposed to be  :)

    Thank you for the warm welcome.

    @biggsy:

    On the one property?  I don't know about your country but here it is illegal to cross property boundaries with anything but wireless.  We can't have the telcos being robbed of business.  ;)

    You do not need to worry about that. The two homes are in the same building, it is property of the same landlord.
    He even lend me the drill to open a canal between the homes to run the cables through.

    @biggsy:

    That's a big home server!  Hope you have an air-conditioned, sound-proof room to put it in.

    Still do not have the server. Prices here are stupid in the US. On eBay I found some without drives going for 200-400US$.
    Here I am at least in a range of 400-500€ and more. Shipping from the US also isn't good as the resellers want something in the range of 600-900US$ shipping fee.
    I do not have a room for it, probably could make one. The cooling system will be modified a bit and the noisy 40mm or 60mm fans will fly out the window.
    My Netgear GSM7248 runs with a Noctua NF-P12 instead of the noisy 40mm fans.

    @biggsy:

    Wouldn't argue with that.

    I think no one here would.

    @biggsy:

    Use your DL180 as a an ESXi box running pfSense, NAS4free and whatever else as virtual machines.

    I planned to run all this for on the C2Q 9300 as I still have to get the server. That one will probably have to wait a bit more after christmas and new year.

    @biggsy:

    A bit hard to know how you plan to redeploy these but they could be used as access points or bridged ADSL modems.

    Those will be access points, the switch obviously not.

    @biggsy:

    When you say "multi-homing", what do you mean? 
    Switch what you can.  Don't try to use pfSense as a switch.

    I could be wrong on this, but from what I know multi-homing is this.
    If I get more than one internet connection, but want to have one network I need a multi WAN router (rather cheap with pfsense compared to a dual WAN business solution).
    Setting that up it should be either static which device is connecting to the internet over one of the connections.
    The other solution is multi-homing, the router depending on the load or other rules connects the end device to the internet via one of the connections.

    Reading over this part seems strange, but I am unsure how to rewrite it. Please excuse me.

    @biggsy:

    Forget modem cards.  Even if you can find one and it works, it's better to keep phone lines connected to cheap modems which can be sacrificed to lightning strikes, not your expensive computer equipment.

    Phones lines here are underground. Do I need to worry despite that?

    @biggsy:

    See above regarding ESXi (assuming the location of the DL180 is suitable for connections.



  • @Raegis:

    I do not have a room for it, probably could make one. The cooling system will be modified a bit and the noisy 40mm or 60mm fans will fly out the window.
    My Netgear GSM7248 runs with a Noctua NF-P12 instead of the noisy 40mm fans.

    That might be easy with something like the Netgear but it is possible the fans in the HP cannot just be replaced because they are linked in to something else some unusual way.

    @Raegis:

    I could be wrong on this, but from what I know multi-homing is this.
    If I get more than one internet connection, but want to have one network I need a multi WAN router (rather cheap with pfsense compared to a dual WAN business solution).
    Setting that up it should be either static which device is connecting to the internet over one of the connections.
    The other solution is multi-homing, the router depending on the load or other rules connects the end device to the internet via one of the connections.

    Reading over this part seems strange, but I am unsure how to rewrite it. Please excuse me.

    OK.  Just checking that you were talking about networks not neighbors.

    @Raegis:

    Phones lines here are underground. Do I need to worry despite that?

    More relevant is the bit about finding one that works.  Finding could be very difficult and making it work even more so.



  • @biggsy:

    That might be easy with something like the Netgear but it is possible the fans in the HP cannot just be replaced because they are linked in to something else some unusual way.

    I will see to that, but in the end it is all 12V DC. The main difference seems to be the connector.
    The connectors are 6 or 8 pin and have 2 fans hooked to them, splitting the lines among them.

    @biggsy:

    OK.  Just checking that you were talking about networks not neighbors.

    @biggsy:

    More relevant is the bit about finding one that works.  Finding could be very difficult and making it work even more so.

    Finding? Finding what?



  • @Raegis:

    @biggsy:

    More relevant is the bit about finding one that works.  Finding could be very difficult and making it work even more so.

    Finding? Finding what?

    Sorry, I was talking about PCI(e) ADSL cards.  I've only ever seen one mentioned in this forum and, if I remember correctly, it didn't work.



  • @Raegis:

    Another thing I would like to ask is if pfsense supports the usage of modem cards and if yes if there are ones known to be working especially well?

    Since you're based in Europe, it should be easy to get hold of old/ cheap Thomson Speedtouch modems.  The ST516v6 or ST536v6 are compact (small) units that should work well.  You can even put them inside the computer chassis so they don't occupy more space.  Open up a PCI bracket and run the power, tel. & ethernet cable in.


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