Hardware advice: small UK office

  • Hi all

    I've just had a go with pfsense and multi-wan on virtual box. It seemed pretty great, and so with that and many recommendations from reddit (1) I was considering it for our small office.

    I was hoping that you could help with choosing hardware.

    Basic Information
    UK based
    ~ 10 users
    2 x ADSL lines ~ 8 down 1 up (rural)

    Extra Information
    possibility of a 3rd ADSL in the future if no fibre to the cabinet reaches us
    draytek for vpn, wireless and routing + 2 consumer wireless APs. The draytek has been unstable and doesn't support DHCP relay to the internal windows DHCP server for VPN clients unfortunately.
    windows server for DNS and DHCP

    New Setup Vague Thoughts
    pfsense router with 4 ethernet ports
    3 pack of unifi wireless APs

    I was looking at the FW-7551(2) but wasn't sure whether it would work in the UK. I would consider the support option offered by pfsense, so would want to get a platform they be happy to support.

    Side Note - if it helps anyone
    For testing I made VM with 4 NICs: one for the LAN (internal network only and the other 3 as WANs (bridged adapter) so they could be handed IPs by my home router. With another client VM (ubuntu desktop, 1 x NIC, internal network) I was handed an IP by pfsense. I made a load balancing gateway group and then, in the virtual box host program, used the "cable connected" tick box to simulate a failure on one of the WAN NICs, which probably isn't quite right but it seemed to work for the ubuntu test client. All quite fun for a networking novice such as myself  :).


    (1) http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/23y8or/anyone_using_pfsense_firewallrouter_on_medium/
    (2) https://www.pfsense.org/hardware/pfsense-store.html#fw-7551

  • I use for my office network with ~ same case but with 21-25 pc

    here the config :

    Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1037U @ 1.80GHz
    2 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 2 core(s)
    2 Go ram
    SSD 60 Go
    2 LAN onboard (1000baseT <full-duplex>)

    Very simple : squid, havp and darkstat..

    Work perfect…</full-duplex>

  • Netgate Administrator

    The 7551 has an external power brick so in the worst case you'd have to get a replacement locally. Most power bricks have wide voltage range inputs anyway in which case you'd just need the right plug lead. ESF/Negate would be able to tell you for sure though


  • overkill, but:

    8 core atom supermicro board with quad lan: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/X10/A1SAM-2750F.cfm

    16gb corsair ecc ra (8gbx2)

    pick a ssd, sata-dom, or small hd

    300w seasonic psu

    pick a case a case

    overkill, but futureproof. you can run some vms on same for the future if you choose.

    3x intel nic for dsl on board

    1x intel nic to your network

    extra pcie slots for future use

    can be remotely managed with ipmi, which is a nice feature.

  • thanks for the examples Khampol / messerchmidt.

    The possibility of other applications looks good - squid might help with the limited speed at our site especially.

    thanks also stephenw10 - I will check in with netgate. I might go for their support contract instead as a way of supproting them - not sure yet!

    cheers all

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