Lenovo RS140 for PfSense appliance

  • I was searching for a 1u machine/microserver and find out the Lenovo RS140 1u server (it is a racj verison of the TS140)


    Look pretty good for the price (start at $549 US)

    It should be available in a few day/weeks via resellers.

    What do you think about this machine has an PfSense appliance ?

  • I love my TS140's and the RS looks even better with 3 NICS.  Still, it's not obvious what NICS it comes with so I would be worried about that they might not work with current versions.

  • having worked with many lenovo server, i think that one of the ethernet is for remote management and sometime can't be used by the os


    I love my TS140's and the RS looks even better with 3 NICS.  Still, it's not obvious what NICS it comes with so I would be worried about that they might not work with current versions.

    they put Intel based network card. it should'nt be a problem.

    however, i don't know if the chipset Intel Patsburg is supported

    the driver page give us a lot of info about what should be included in the different model

    I should have one soon. I'll ask my supplier as soon as they have some for testing and let you know.

  • Finally got one !

    seem that there is 3 ethernet port (1x ethernet and management, 2x ethernet) and they are all seen by pfsense !

    already found two things that make me mad for the moment :

    • it is require to buy OEM hard drive since they are "attach" by a proprietary caddy
    • it is require to buy OEM hard drive since they use a proprietary power/SATA/SAS cable to power the hard drive

    these OEM parts are overpriced unfortunately but i guess that soon, we will have some part (caddy, cables) on the aftermarket (ebay, amazon, etc) ;)

    well, for now, i'll find a way to put the hard drive in a "secure" way without the cage and wait to get another HDD Cable to try to do a RAID with GEOM.

    Will send photos laters when my test setup will be ready :)

  • There are many people who need you to know.

  • Here is my review of the hardware  :D

    some pics of the machine (sorry, the pics are huge !!!  but are in quite good quality)

    Front with a hard drive for size comparison
    Close up to the back connectors
    Length comparision with a "standard" switch length

    come with :

    • rails to put it in a rack shelf (screws included)
    • screws to fix it many different racks
    • power cord

    NOTE : it require a minimum of 18 inches to put it in a rack without the rails with everything connected. If you use those tiny "wall rack", pay attention to that !!
    NOTE 2 : Intel AMT KVM remote control is only available with the XEON Vpro processor on others model (mine is a i3 so cannot test it yet)

    i don't have a photos with my hard drive "temporary" setup inserted
    despite the fact that it require a OEM rack to install a hard drive, it is not a reeeaaaly big issue since ther are some way to put it in. also, the machine is on a steady rack so even if the HDD is not completely fixed, it is ok to have it loose until aftermarket do his job (china copy of the HDD caddy  ;) )

    however, it require a special cable to connect the power to the motherboard (a square 4 pin connector) so no RAID test for the moment. I'm till trying to find something that can replace that but maybe it is good to wait for some china copy.

    well,  having all that said, i came with the 38% installation issue which many others users had on other setup.
    Had to disable all CPU option except the VT which must be put at "enabled" then put them all on after install and all is good.

    i have use it a bit and it seem pretty strong (have VOIP, VLANs, QoS, NAT and rules setup). The only thing that i miss is the Intel AMT KVM remote control function which is not present since it require a Xeon Vpro processor to work. Would be great to be able to remote control the RS140 OFF the OS with a i3.

    For now, here is the PROS/CONS, other facts and temporary price tag :

    PROS :
    handy 1u setup
    come with rails and everything required to fix it on a rack
    aggressive price vs other 1u server !
    only require 18 inch length in a rack
    4 Gb ram included in the most basic model
    come with 3 ethernet ports all seen
    maybe more to come …

    CONS :
    require OEM HDD caddy (no china copy or spare available on aftermarket yet)
    require OEM SATA/POWER cable for HDD (no china copy or spare available on aftermarket yet)
    Intel AMT KVM only work with Xeon Processor (which raise up the price tag)
    maybe more to come ...

    Other facts :
    only 2 HDD in the 3.5 HDD version
    only 4 HDD in the 2.5 version
    1x PCI-E x8 available
    4x USB 3 at the back (not usable yet in the most recent release of PfSense)

    Price Tag :
    RS140 i3 4Gb DDR3 Ram 3.5 HDD version : $549 (+ shipping)
    Western Digital 250Gb Enterprise Storage : +-$90 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0AJ1NG7866)

    Total : +- $639 (+ shipping)

    NOTE : as per experience, i put a Western Digital 250Gb Enterprise Storage for their reliability and price ! Even with squid, 250Gb should be fairly enougth for many setup. Also, i don't put an SSD since i plan to use some extensive HDD read/writes packages which can kill a SSD someday.
    NOTE2 : since shipping vary most of the time, i don't put it in the price tag

    To come : some performance test and and news !

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