lowest-power dual-LAN firewall setup?

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vincentfox
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lowest-power dual-LAN firewall setup?

Post by vincentfox » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:49 am

I am looking to spec out a NEW low-power x86 firewall box.

CPU speed is not important to me on a firewall, so the Via EPIA 533 is fine. I think a Pico-PSU unit for power.

Going as low as I reasonably can on power would be best. I do have some demands that compromise this, like I would prefer to use a notebook hard-drive since I want some storage on the firewall box for Squid so a purely Compact-Flash setup wouldn't work.

Looking through the Via EPIA lines there are dizzying arrays of models and it's hard to figure out who is lowest power. The only dual-LAN model I find is the 8000EKG unit, seems a bit high on the CPU scale and has all kinds of video features I do not need.

AZBrandon
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Post by AZBrandon » Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:16 pm

Well they all usually have a PCI slot, so since space doesn't seem to be a concern, why not use the most basic EPIA board plus a PCI NIC? That would give you two NIC's total. My EPA 533Mhz system, single NIC, Toshiba 4200rpm 40gb hard drive draws about 10 watts at idle using a generic 60w power brick. Max load isn't much more, like 14 watts or so doing hard drive operations and full CPU load.

I will tell you though, at the very least don't skimp on RAM. I only put 256mb in mine and it's nearly useless in the GUI. I'm sure the slow processor doesn't help either. Command line ops are usually fine and throughput tends to be right around 9mb/sec which is WAY more than plenty for internet stuff, but the lack of gigabit may limit your fileserver ability. Well, unless you do a PCI gigabit card, assuming you could find such a thing.
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truckman
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Post by truckman » Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:13 pm

I took the cheap route and bought a 1 GHz VIA C3 CPU and put it in a socket 370 motherboard and installed it in an old ATX case that I happened to have. My firewall has three old NICs that I happened to have handy. I'm using a notebook hard drive. The power supply is a 300W Seasonic Super Tornado, which is way overkill.

Power consumption is about 35W. I could probably reduce it some by replacing the NICs with some newer ones that draw less power. I also bought a Pico PSU a while back, but haven't had a chance to install it.

vincentfox
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Post by vincentfox » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:01 am

I was hoping to get total system consumption as low as possible, preferably under 15 Watts with just board and a notebook drive.

I did try an old Via C3 in a TUSI-M motherboard and it didn't seem to recognize the CPU.

truckman
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Location: Northern California

Post by truckman » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:47 am

The motherboard that I'm using is a DFI CA64-TC. The video card is the one in my junkbox that resulted in the lowest power consumption. Looks like it might be an old S3 PCI card.

My suspicion is that swapping in the Pico PSU would do the most to reduce power consumption.

vincentfox
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Post by vincentfox » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:09 am

I'm thinking strongly about the EPIA 533 unit I found at NewEgg for $100. I can probably dig up a low-profile ethernet card that will fit in the enclosure I have in mind.

However they also have the much newer EK8000EG unit based on the Luke CPU. It's faster CPU than I need, too bad there's not a 533 version. However I wonder if time hasn't marched on and the new unit is lower-power? I can't find any good power usage data on the 8000.

I will stick at least 512 megs on it. All I want is firewall and squid, don't need a GUI or sound or any of the "multimedia" functions, they are just dead weight.

NyteOwl
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Post by NyteOwl » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:02 pm

You might also look at some of the small embedded type solutions from Soekris Engineering.
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Poodle
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Post by Poodle » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:25 am

Mine might be overkill for you but it doesn't hurt to check out my thread anyway:

viewtopic.php?t=35693
"People who enjoy waving flags
don't deserve to have one". / Banksy

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