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 From:  Robert Rich <rrich at gstisecurity dot com>
 To:  Chris Bagnall <m0n0wall at minotaur dot cc>
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] PIX vs m0n0wall testing -- requesting input (was: Re: [m0n0wall] Re: Re: Re: to Wrap or to Soekris that is my question? What about VIA?)
 Date:  Sat, 18 Dec 2004 11:07:09 -0500
Chris Bagnall wrote:

>I must confess to being rather cynical about these Soekris and WRAP
>platforms. If you shop around you can find very compact PCs these days that
>still run on mostly standard hardware (just about all the
>Biostar/Iwill/Shuttle SFF boxes, for example).
I just went through this decision making process myself and discovered 
it's all about the application.  We're using m0n0wall to build out a 
telecommuter network that will support both VPN and traffic shaping/QoS 
for VoIP.  We had a very difficult time finding any broadband router 
that would support both...besides the linksys on sveasoft, which has its 
own issues.

Anyway, in our application, the m0n0wall box _is_ the broadband router.  
This machine will do nothing more than sit in a basement or on the back 
of someones desk and push packets.  Given that, the box we hand out has 
to be small, quiet, inobtrusive, and easy to take care of.  We're also 
going to be buying one for every remote sales person...so it has to be 
cheap to buy and cheap to support.

I was first looking at Soekris, because it seems to be the one that most 
people are happy with.  Then i started looking at the WRAP boards.  A 
few more problems, a few less dollars.  Then i started looking all over 
the place, and absolutely fell in love with the VIA EPIA platform.  So 
many options to fit so many projects...great performance, great size, 
fanless, headless, you name it.  I found the EPIA CL6000 to have the 
primary features we needed, multiple interfaces, 600mhz processor, up to 
a gig of ram and fanless for $168.  Wow...i thought i found what i was 
looking for.

Then i started building the whole thing.  $70 for a case, another $40 
for ram, $20 for flash, $15 for flash/ide adapter, and i end up with box 
that is a little cumbersome and WAY overkill for what i need...not to 
mention now a full $180 more per unit.  I'll have a 'soho firewall' with 
four usb slots, integrated mpeg-2 decoder, AC'97 codec with 1/8" phono 
jacks, four serial ports, a parallel port and two IDE controllers...  I 
could probably literally cut away 75% of the motherboard and it would 
still function.

So, in the interst if K.I.S.S., and cash, i went to wisp-router.com and 
ordered up four WRAP boards, complete with case and powersupply for less 
than half of what the EPIAs would have cost.  I'm going to order an EPIA 
sooner or later, but that's going to be for my SOHO 
PBX/VideoPhone/Firewall/Wireless AP solution...( all open source, of 
course. )