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Thread: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    I hope this is the right place to ask - I've not got a build in mind so I don't want a Review My Build thread.

    I'm currently using an Athlon XP 2400, 2Gb DDR2, 40Gb HDD and a generic motherboard to run a Smoothwall firewall for my office. It's recently started to fall over more frequently and after a lot of testing, it appears to either be the HDD or the motherboard.

    Rather than troubleshoot or cobble together old parts to make it work for another few months I've decided it needs to be replaced with something new, however Smoothwall uses an old kernel which doesn't play too nicely with specific bits of hardware/chipsets and loves old stuff.

    Extensive searching shows that RTL NICs are bad, SATA is hit and miss depending on the motherboard's chipset (in particular those which don't recognise GPT; 945 etc), IDE needs to be disabled and SATA has to be run in legacy mode.

    With all that out of the way, I still need to build a new machine, so, who'd like to help?

    I need;

    CPU - ??

    Mobo - either with 2 on board Intel NICs or the option to add a second on PCI-E if there's only one.

    RAM - 2Gb is pretty much the limit of Smoothwall

    HDD - PATA drive, but SATA will do if these are no longer available/viable. Anything more than 13Gb is overkill, that said, 60Gb will probably suffice.

    PSU - low power, efficient.

    Initial thoughts are were to go with something small (Jetway JNF99-525 + 2Gb DDR3 SODIMM + ...) however there's no need to use SFF at all, space isn't an issue and the smaller you go the more expensive it gets.

    Budget - it's an integral part of my office but I'd like to spend under £300 (exc)

    Thanks in advance.
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

  2. #2
    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    What about an HP Microserver £150? Only has one Giga LAN port (not RTL) but has PCIe slots.

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Duh, sometimes it's so obvious you miss it completely. Good shout, I'll investigate.

    Edit: £150?

    This one I presume, from another retailer?


    Found it!
    Last edited by mycarsavw; 22-11-2011 at 10:45 AM.
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    You can find it for;

    £200 ex vat/del at Servers Plus - here
    -or-
    £241 inc vat/del at eBuyer - here,

    You still have until the 30th Nov for the £100 cash back taking the total to about £140. Mind that's the invoice that must be dated before 30th Nov, not the deadline for the cashback claim so you'll have plenty of time.

    edit: bloody hell that was a quick edit!

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...



    No hanging around for me! I presume the PCI-e is low profile, judging by the overall size of the server?
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Yup, low profile.

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  9. #7
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Just waiting for HP Tech Support to let me know if the board supports SATA Legacy mode and then we're good
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    If you are after a complete machine...

    I have an ITX setup which would do..

    Celeron-M 1.3
    1gig
    80 gig ide disk
    Onboard gigbit
    PCI gigabit.

    It's just sitting here unloved.

  11. #9
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Tech support are chocolate fireguards - but I'm pretty sure there's no chance of getting SATA into legacy mode, so the Microserver, while a good deal (and I almost bought two) is a no go at the moment.

    I've started a thread on the Smoothwall forums to see if there's a way to get it going though, so all is not lost yet.

    abaxas, very kind, but the Celery isn't all that strong when handling a lot of traffic - thanks though.
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Quote Originally Posted by mycarsavw View Post
    Tech support are chocolate fireguards - but I'm pretty sure there's no chance of getting SATA into legacy mode, so the Microserver, while a good deal (and I almost bought two) is a no go at the moment.

    I've started a thread on the Smoothwall forums to see if there's a way to get it going though, so all is not lost yet.

    abaxas, very kind, but the Celery isn't all that strong when handling a lot of traffic - thanks though.
    NP,

    Just it was sitting here, unloved... Really should get it up for sale, especially as I have two of them

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    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    The ODD SATA and eSATA port on the microserver actually run on (emulated) legacy IDE mode, infact they're stuck on that mode as opposed to AHCI which many users want for a 5th HDD but there is a BIOS update to correct that.

    Hence, an SATA HDD hooked up to the ODD or eSATA port appears as an IDE device to the OS.

    edit: You'll need a 5.25" - 3.5" bay mount, SATA cable and 4pin - SATA power adaptor to connect the existing HDD to the ODD port.
    Last edited by DDY; 22-11-2011 at 01:22 PM.

  14. #12
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Woah...so just to make sure, HP support are wrong and I can run the drives in legacy mode?
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    I don't know if all the SATA ports can run in legacy IDE mode but the ODD and eSATA port certainly do. Whether Smoothwall will play ball with the SB700 emulation is another question.

    Here is an example where the microserver's BIOS was updated to allow the ODD and eSATA port to switch from legacy IDE to AHCI mode.

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    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Logic says if the BIOS has been updated since, any subsequent BIOS updates can be rolled back to restore the legacy support.

    As for the SB/SATA, I'm not 100% sure either.

    Urgh, can open, worms everywhere - I'm slowly starting to think I may have to look at something else, which is a shame, I was about to buy two 'just because...'
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
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    DDY
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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    Well, I know VMware ESXi works well on the microserver and Smoothwall offer a WMware image... I haven't done it myself but I can't see why a virtualised smoothwall install won't work.

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    Re: A new Smoothwall machine is required...

    I would go with it.....worse case scenario....a £10 SATA card from eBay.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
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