I'm looking for hardware to build a rackmount firewall/VPN/router for our data center, where we're expecting a lot of growth in the next year. There don't seem to be many places with good information on what is available for a rackmount ITX system, which is what I'm currently examining. What are some good places for comparing and buying such things? I know I can't be the only one doing this. I'd do all the work myself, but every site seems to have different products, different names for the CPU's, and not a single product search outside of newegg.
I know a lot of people enjoy putting together hardware specs for others, so here are my requirements:
1) Budget: $500 with a target price of under $300. We're not a very rich company, but for a good deal, it might be flexible. Upgradeable (maybe add-on cards) is a plus.
2) Networking: At bare minimum, I'll need two ethernet jacks, preferably both gigabit. We have a gigabit switch and only have a 10 Mbit internet connection (UL and DL speed). I suppose a couple of 10/100 Mbit ports would do, but for the price difference, I would like something as future-proof as possible. More jacks would be rather nice, but the few specialty boards I've seen are expensive. I have come across a few single jack boards that accept daughter cards for 3 more ethernet jacks.
3) Fast data encryption: VIA CPU's seem to be winning this category by leaps and bounds right now, but other dedicated hardware is okay (possibly necessary), as long as it's affordable and fits in the case. I will need to use both AES and 3DES encryption, along with some MD5 and SHA hashes (IIRC). I can get more details later, but I didn't drive into the office today.
4) Rackmount case: This is mostly dependent on the motherboard and storage, but I would also like something short and 1u.
5) Drives/Storage: I would like to avoid an installed CD-ROM drive and moving parts (besides fans). Cheap flash storage would do fine. We may try to also put FTP/SFTP servers on here, along with some scripts to download customers' data. Several GB would be nice, but all the FTP storage could be nfs mounts or something similar. I'm not sure how big the high-powered Firewall/VPN/Router distributions are, or which one we will use.
6) Motherboard/CPU/RAM: Aside from RAM (Newegg has 2GB DDR2-800 for $10 after rebate). There's not much left I haven't mentioned. A Compact Flash slot would be nice, along with a fast POST. The CPU should be able to handle 10 Mbit of VPN tunnels (mostly 3DES, some AES) along with SFTP connections, without breaking a sweat. We are expecting several new customers in the next year. I would like a 1.8GHz VIA Nano w/ 4x1 Gbit networking, Compact Flash slot, and some sort of expansion slot, but those don't seem to be on the market yet (and probably too much $$).
Last edited by jbo5112; 12-16-2008 at 07:18 PM.
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