Alternative chassis with front panel + board



  • I am looking to build or purchase a pfSense box to use with at home with a 150/150 connection. I am new to pfSense, but I will definetly be running VPN, snort, antivirus, proxy and cache.

    I have a few specific requirements, and looking for the experience found on this board to help my search.

    • rack mounted 1u or 2u
    • connections on the front panel
    • 3 ports minimum
    • power to handle a 150/150 connection with services listed above

    The only thing in Norway that's cheap is our electricity, so I am not too worried about using 20W or 25W (or whatever).

    The closest match I have found is the Supermicro A1SRi-2558 with a Supermicro SCE 505-203b chassis. The small price difference for the 2758 board is also too tempting. Unfortunately there are not that many vendors in Norway, and any eBay item gets loaded with 25% tax and toll fees, plus shipping. Excluding RAM and an SSD, the cheapest I have found will set me back $700-800, this is currently too costly for me to present for the wife…

    What alternatives are there? Preferably something a bit more mainstream that I can get at my domestic online resellers.

    www.nextron.no sell Supermicro products, but their 505-203b/2758 solution is even more costly, and I do not know what board/chassis alternatives there might be.



  • Hi Lanes,

    I am looking to build or purchase a pfSense box to use with at home with a 150/150 connection. I am new to pfSense, but I will definetly be running VPN, snort, antivirus, proxy and cache.

    If you have not yet done so, take a look at the hardware advice posted here: https://www.pfsense.org/hardware/#sizing

    Keep in mind that your true bandwidth may not equal the potential throughput of your broadband connection.  For example, my home connection is provisioned at 50/50, yet my average throughput with several simultaneous users is <10 Mbps, with infrequent bursts to 30-40 Mbps.  On the other hand, if I were routing all internal LAN traffic through the firewall, the throughput would be substantially greater (streaming television recordings, kids' video games).

    If you have a way of measuring your actual bandwidth usage and plan to use your connection the same way after installing pfSense, I would use that information to estimate your hardware requirements.  Otherwise you will have spent more money planning for high bandwidth levels seen <1% of the time.

    Unfortunately there are not that many vendors in Norway, and any eBay item gets loaded with 25% tax and toll fees, plus shipping. Excluding RAM and an SSD, the cheapest I have found will set me back $700-800, this is currently too costly for me to present for the wife…

    What alternatives are there? Preferably something a bit more mainstream that I can get at my domestic online resellers.

    Enterprise hardware will cost more than a typical desktop system no matter where you live.  I built my current firewall from a Supermicro motherboard, Supermicro case, and Micron memory for just over $500 - the other parts were left over from the previous firewall.  I found that talking about the final cost (<$200) after selling the old hardware helped convince my wife.  Perhaps there is something you can sell to offset the price? No, not your wife ;-)

    Another user (Medallish) appears to be located in Norway and may have better suggestions for hardware vendors: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=83813.0

    And of course, there are hardware vendors who put their money where their profits are: https://www.pfsense.org/hardware/#vendors

    Good luck!



  • Thanks for the advice, but I may have worded myself a bit poorly in my first post. What I really need is either:

    1. A board that will fit the Supermicro 505-203b chassis, and that it be cheaper than the one I have been looking at

    or

    1. An alternative chassis (with my requirements) that will fit cheaper boards

    –---------
    That said, here's a few lines on my network related to your post:

    In terms of bandwidth I have already been testing for some time, and I consistently see around 93-95% of max throughput available at all times. My usage is of course not even close to those values, but peaks at certain times.

    Streaming on the LAN goes through a dedicated switch.



  • You said 1u or 2u with front ports?

    I'm sure its easy to build a 1u machine with rear facing ethernet ports.

    Then you could use a 1u front-facing ethernet patch panel to plug into the rear of the cheap 1u machine you make.

    so, 2 1u spaces - but cheaper I'd imagine.

    http://www.excel-networking.com/catalogue/copper/mounting-hardware/keystone-jack-patch-panel-frames/unloaded-keystone-jack-modular-patch-panel–1u


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