Re: Low power mini-itx system for firewall



Mac Cool wrote:
Steve Chapel:

I'm looking for a low-cost system to install Linux and firewall
software on.

Why not just buy a firewall?

That's a valid question. The consulting company I'm working with recommended using a generic PC with several Ethernet ports as a firewall. In a recent Slashdot article <http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/30/0222209> many readers suggested the same thing. Buying fairly generic hardware and installing software for specific purposes seems to be a growing trend. Similarly, we are using off-the-shelf servers with clustering software for our cluster rather than buying customized hardware, and installing Asterisk on a server instead of buying a hardware PBX. I suppose the question I would ask back is:

Why would I *want* to buy just a firewall?


If you must build, a hard drive is not necessary. You can run a firewall from a cd-rom or thumb drive. http://www.devil-linux.org/

I suppose I could, but having a hard disk makes the system more flexible for just a slight increase in cost. I like the idea of running full-featured CentOS (the open version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux) on relatively cheap, low-power hardware, and being able to do anything I want with the system as long as I have enough memory, CPU, and hard disk space.

I suppose I'll just have to buy a unit for use as our Internet firewall (which at 1.5 or 3 Mbps I'm sure it can handle) and evaluate for myself if it can function as a firewall between two gigabit Ethernet networks without introducing too much latency or reducing bandwidth too much.

.



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