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 From:  "Chris Bagnall" <m0n0wall at minotaur dot cc>
 To:  <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  RE: [m0n0wall] Cheap Hardware
 Date:  Fri, 16 Jun 2006 10:30:29 +0100
On recycling old devices,

> 1) ugly as sin

Granted. Though, in a cabinet or hidden out of the way, who cares?

> 2) noisy as hell

Until you replace or remove the fans, sure. As m0n0 doesn't use the hard
disk during usage, the machine should only be noisy for the first minute or
so, and during any config updates. With many older, slow machines (300mhz
and lower range) you can usually get away without a CPU fan at all if you've
got a decent heatsink on the thing.

> 3) guzzle power like the devil

Well worth measuring power usage on this one. The old celeron 300s and 333s
I've deployed at clients' premises never use more than about 30W. While it's
still high compared to the ~7W that my net4501 draws, it's far from 200W.
Hell, even my 9 HDD dual xeon backup server only draws 235W under full load.

> 4) are old and have too many points of failure for my liking

On the other hand, if you get old business-class hardware, many of the
components have been built to last unlike modern motherboards, etc. which
seem to routinely fail after 18 months to 2 years.

> We need to move onto 1ghz + machines, still passively, but 
> intelligently cooled (even top of range Soekris has no CPU 
> heatsink and the box has not even given the first thought to 
> cooling/airflow).

I recently ordered a nice half-depth 1U ITX chassis for a colleague's setup.
I must say that it, combined with a via C3 (or one of the later chips) makes
a really nice setup. The half-depth means it can go into a wallbox along
with switches and patch panels. I think this is probably the route I'll take
with firewall deployments in the future, provided the via chips' floating
point performance (or lack thereof) doesn't cripple throughput too much.


C.M. Bagnall, Director, Minotaur I.T. Limited
This email is made from 100% recycled electrons