An 'off the shelf' small server for pfSense?

  • G'day all peoples fans of the finest firewall in the world  ;D

    In here:

    I have some problems with probably a piece of hardware. It goes I need to do some tests which will take my box offline for a rather long time. As I am managed by WIFE, who will divorce me if a long internet outage ( ;D), I will need to setup a second pfSense box. Which appeared a smart thing to do to me in the first place, already a long time ago. I postponed as I am too busy with work, but it appears now I have to.

    The motherboard in my sig is no longer available, and actually I was hoping to avoid the - for me, as a noob - cumbersome process of having to find out which hardware to use in this second box.

    So I was wondering: aren't there some 'ready to run, off the shelf' small servers I could buy that are guaranteed to work as well as the custom build I have now?

    I mean, on browsing this forum I have read many times that people use 'Dell XYZ', 'HP XYZ', IBM 'XYZ'. From what I recall these posts often were about 'some old Dell/IBM/HP' lying around, the thing is: I don't have these kinds of servers lying around. But I wouldn't mind buying something new, if only I knew what. What is lacking for me is the specific serie numbers/model numbers, and these three manufacturers have the habit of introducing many, many, model lines and variants within each line. Loaded with all kinds of technical specs I can't even begin to understand ( :-).

    So, would perhaps somebody be willing to recommend me such ready to run small server? Something along the line of 'take HP/Dell/IBM model X, don't take variant P, but any of the others'. Something like that?

    Of course, I would like to have at least the same performance as the box I have now (specs in my sig), preferably better, since I always buy my hardware to last at least 10-15 years.

    As always, I am in your debt for any help,

    Thank you very much  :P


  • Hi!

    Your from The Netherlands, right?

    Consider something like this:äte_PC_Systeme&hash=item1c3d13b1c0

    …and add a 1 or 2 slot Intel NIC card

    You will be very pleased by the performance and if you don't need the second appliance any more, you have a very decent workstation for whatever you want to do.

  • For home use a ALIX.2D13 mainboard should do the job. It is a Micro ITX board with an embedded AMD Goede processor and 256 MB RAM. I also use it in a small office for 10 employees.
    The software is installed on a compact flash card an it is to be configurated over web interface. There is no display or keyboard interface on the mainboard.

    You would also get it ready to go if you enter "alix pfsense" in the search engine of your choise.
    You can export the configuration of your old box an import it into the new one. At import you have to specify the new interfaces if the interfaces names are different.

  • Quote:

    "Pfsense: 2.1 X64 / Snort / Squid"

    …with ALIX? Totally sure?

  • Sorry, I haven't read the signature.

    ALIX boards are not x64 capable. I also did not test it with Snort and Sqid.

  • Just use the hardware from this thread and you should be good for many years to come.

    I myself have moved from vmWare to my earlier trustworthy DIY box. Extremely stable and powerful yet not power hungry.

    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz
    8GB RAM
    100GB HDD
    2 x Dual Gigabit Intel PCIe card + 1 Intel Gigabit onboard

    Running Dans, Squid, Snort, pfblocker.. and still has many cycles to spare.

  • Thank you all for your replies. In the mean time I stumbled upon an offer I couldn't refuse; a Dell R200 (see sig) for very little money, and 1 HP V1910-48G for even less money. I have been fighting with this machine for a couple of days (not necessarily the machine's fault, as I fight with every machine I come across  ;D) and I have to say by now it is working very well.

    Now I would love to get my two pfSense machines in full automatic CARP, but it appears that won't be easy. Well, at least I now have a backup pfSense and a backup switch.

    Ah, before I forget, for future noobs like me: I bought this machine as it was on sale (refurbished) in the pfSense store on this very forum. If the great men (and women?) who create pfSense sell a Dell R200 there should be no doubt that it will work, so hence my purchase (not from pfSense, as it appeared shipping these machines from the USA to Amsterdam was triple the cost of the appliances itself thanks to the mentally retarded 'Fedex'-and alikes of this world. It would amount to 500-600 USD just to put these in the belly of the big Boeing).

    Thank you again for your suggestions  ;D

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