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Super Router Thread

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LVLouisCyphre
12 hours ago, nrf said:

amazing how g7 microservers still keep popping up here.

Because people are upgrading.  The G7s are decent machines.  I'm however a clock speed hog, I won't pick up anything but the fastest CPU which is the N54L since I plan on running jails, plugins and VMs on mine.  I picked up my pair dirt cheap at < $100 each.  They also included all factory drive caddies and screws. 

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one random bit of wisdom here, in the area of linux based routers/firewalls I have read that the single-port NICs are better handled by the drivers than the multi-port NICs. And of course Intel is best for this purpose.

That may be the case for Linux (which doesn't surprise me) but it's the opposite for BSD.  I've used multiport NICS for years starting with the Intel Pro/100+ dual server adapter.  The FreeBSD fxp(4) driver is very mature and has been rewritten at least once.  Unfortunately, it probably will eventually be depreciated and removed from FreeBSD along with (E)ISA support.

 

We don't have as many slots in modern server system boards.  If you put the IPMI card in the G7, you've lost a PCIe x1 slot.  The newer gens have built-in iLO/IPMI but you also get USB 3.0.   It makes sense that the two logical cards that you'd have a G7 would either be a multiport LSI SATA HBA or a multiport NIC especially if you need jumbo frames.

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And of course Intel is best for this purpose.

At the risk of carbon dating myself, yes, Intel is the de facto standard NIC, however before the i8255x chipset, it was the DEC 21x4x "Tulip" ethernet controller chip.  Intel like DEC is also very open source friendly.  DEC unfortunately ended up dying of a half dozen or so cuts in bits and pieces being acquired about 22 years ago; most of it by Compaq, now HP(E).

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Noth

I like the PC Engines APU2/3/4 https://pcengines.ch/apu2.htm (3 or 4 intel 211/210 ports, AMD Bobcat GX-412TC @1GHz, 2 or 4 gigs of ram, m-SATA, SD card or USB storage, and 2 mini PCI-E slots). It includes the traditional DB9 serial port for management. Also available with simcard slots for LTE modem redundancy. You can add WiFi with a mini PCI-E card as well, although performance depends on the OS you stick on it. Best performance comes from IPFire, but PFSense is catching up (so full gigabit throughput). It's not so good with OpenBSD (500Mbits on iperf) but that's always been a problem since PF (the firewall) and the network stack aren't multithreaded (an ongoing project of many years). Not bad in a 6"x6" format! Pricing is very decent too, about 120USD for an APU4D4 board if buying straight from the manufacturer.

 

You can also run VMWare on it if you really must!

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