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 From:  Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Hardware Question
 Date:  Tue, 07 Nov 2006 12:22:51 -0600
On Tue, 2006-11-07 at 18:54 +0100, Alexander Schaber wrote:
> Hello m0n0-list,
> 
> until now I've driven m0n0 on a regular P3 500 MHz on regular PC hardware.
> I'm using m0n0 for basic routing, DHCP, DNS and have 6 3COM NICs installed. 
> (These will be transferred in any case).
> 
> Now I've got the choice for a new hardware fundation:
> 
> 1 - 
> Dell Poweredge 2300
> CPU: P2 400 MHz
> RAM: 256 MB
> HDD: SCSI 9 GB Harddrive (might even have another one to run a mirror raid)

The CPU is a bit light.  This will be a problem with heavy load such has
high traffic, encryption (VPN) or traffic shaping.  Since you have 6
NICs I am assuming you are hitting it hard.

The SCSI, on the other hand is overkill.  Most of the time you can sleep
your hard drive.  It is only used to boot, or save config.  All other
times it can be powered down.

> 2 -
> Regular PC
> CPU P4 1.7 GHz (some ASUS MB)
> RAM: 256 MB
> HDD: 128 CF2IDE

Specs look fine, but you are leaving out the important parts.
Specifically, power supply, and memory quality.  If you have a premium
power supply, and good quality memory, I would go with this one.  It
will have more performance and use less power.

> I really don't know which one would be better for m0n0 since it has to be a 
> fast and still reliable router and I guess a Dell Server is somehow made for 
> running 24/7. But there is the SCSI Drive from which m0n0 has to boot. Is 
> that a problem?

Normally yes.  In a server the disk I/O is usually optimized, and the
hard drives are designed for 24/7 operation.  But m0n0wall runs in ram,
so it is not helpfull 

> Of course the P4 alot faster but is the standard PC hardware as reliable as 
> the server architecture in the Dell?

Depends on the hardware.  A Fry's special ECS motherboard and cheap ram
with the bargain case that includes power supply will not be that
good...

> Please give you're opinion and also give me a hint about what is really 
> important for a good throughput. Of course - NICs - are important, but what 
> else?

Throughput?  NICs, CPU, and memory.

Stability?  Power Supply, Memory, and NICs.