Looking for hardware selection help.



  • Hi all,

    New to the forum and to pfSense. I am thinking about moving away from my much loved Asus WL-500g router as it is getting pretty old now. It is currently running Tomato firmware and is working well but I am getting to the point where I need something more powerful. Or maybe I just want a new project. :-)

    I currently have a cable connection which is at 28Mbps down/1Mbps up, I may go up a tier or two on my plan shortly which would push this up a bit to either 35 or 45 down, still not super fast. I use OpenVPN both as a client(to get around Geoblocking, eh) and a server(to be able to connect to my home lan when I am out and about). Currently due to hardware restraints I am running the openvpn client on my file server. The little Asus could only muster about 5mbps over the VPN.

    On the lan side of things we have the following:

    1 Desktop Workstation(mainly for gaming and internet stuff)
    1 Netbook(the wife's)
    2 Roku's(mostly netflix)
    1 File server(also an XBMC frontend, mini-itx)
    2 mini itx atom boxes(XBMC frontends)
    2 tablets
    2 smart phones
    1 ps3(not used much any more)

    I will be adding an external access point for Wifi, eyeing the ubiquiti unifi at the moment as it seems to work well and looks nice, as well as being affordable. Everything except the mobile stuff(tablets, phones, netbook) is currently hard wired. We don't have kids so I don't need any content filtering or the like. I only push certain traffic through the OpenVPN client currently(i.e. geoblocked sites such as netflix), everything not geoblocked goes through the regular gateway.

    My file server currently runs 24/7 already so was wondering if it would make sense to run pfsense on this box as it is already sucking electricity anyway. It is a Core i5-750 with 2 gig ram. Currently it is running as my file server, mainly for feeding media to the XBMC machines, also has a few webapps that I use running on it. It is running on Arch linux, as mentioned it is also routing OpenVPN traffic through it currently. The only issues with this box are that it only has one network interface and being mini itx, has no room to easily add another as the pci express slot has a video card in it. Also I use it as an XBMC frontend as well.

    Having said all that I was also looking at the upcoming Alix board with the AMD APU. Would this be powerful enough to fit my needs? I like that it is low power and an all in one box.

    Thanks.

    Kevin



  • Yes, the APU board is powerful enough to push 45Mbit/s of OpenVPN traffic.  You could also use your file server with a single NIC if you ran pfSense as a VM and you had a vLAN-capable switch.



  • Hmmm, interesting. I never even thought of running it in a VM, can you elaborate on the setup using only a single nic?

    Would it be something like cable modem -> vlan capable switch -> physical NIC on pc -> virtual NIC(s) on VM?

    Thanks a bunch.

    Kevin



  • @ouldsmobile:

    Hmmm, interesting. I never even thought of running it in a VM, can you elaborate on the setup using only a single nic?

    Would it be something like cable modem -> vlan capable switch -> physical NIC on pc -> virtual NIC(s) on VM?

    Thanks a bunch.

    Kevin

    Yes.



  • Cool, which VM software would this kind of setup work with, or what is the recommended software to use. I only have experience using virtualbox. I have never tried any of the vmware products yet.

    Thanks again.

    Kevin



  • @ouldsmobile:

    Cool, which VM software would this kind of setup work with, or what is the recommended software to use. I only have experience using virtualbox. I have never tried any of the vmware products yet.

    Thanks again.

    Kevin

    I'm not the right person to ask as I only use vSphere and I'm guessing you don't want to reinstall your existing system and make file services virtualized as well.  You should hit up this section of the site for help:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?board=37.0


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