Introduction: Kuiper, PFSense Firewall

This system is a 1U quarter-depth Super Micro, Intel Atom-based system. Its name is slightly irregular considering my server naming scheme is planets orbiting Sol, but I figure “Kuiper” isn’t too hard to associate with a firewall, as the Kuiper belt encapsulates our solar system.

Low power consumption and threading was important when deciding on which hardware to get for this sytem. I expect it to push 1gbps (inter-VLAN) without too much trouble. It has five ethernet ports, where one is dedicated for IPMI. WAN has a dedicated ethernet port, and I’ll be setting up LAGG between at least two ports for the LAN side, for more efficient routing between VLANs, once the 16-port switch arrives.

System Parts
Chassis SuperChassis CSE-505-203B
Mainboard Super Micro A1SAI-2550F
CPU Intel Atom C2550 (14W, embedded)
RAM 1x 8GB DDR3-1600 ECC SODIMM
SSD 1x Innodisk 32GB InnoLite LP Vertical (for 1U) SATADOM MLC

I did a very simple network benchmark (iperf -c hostname -p 20000 -t 60 -P 1 -L 20000 -w 1m -t 30 -i 5), which showed about 600 Mbit/s  bandwidth. Kuiper’s CPU load was hovering around 10% during the test. I’ll have to do more scientific tests later, as I haven’t made any effort to find the actual bottleneck for this test.

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