Lee H. Marzke on 15 Apr 2013 15:58:59 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Embedded 3-Port Firwall?

>Mind sharing what kind of hardware you're running that on?

Remember, I purchased this for my business of consulting and as a learning
experience and lab, so it might not make sense for just personal use.

- Refurb Dell 2940 ,  32GB ram and 6 internal 2TB SATA disks.

- pair of Cisco 2970G-24 port 1GB Ethernet switches ( with 4 SFP+ ports )
  ( these link a small server rack to the house with 2 Ether-channel links )

With Vmware's  if you have many similar VM's, the common RAM blocks get
de-duped per host ,  so with lots Ubuntu ( or whatever) guests you use less RAM on
the host than you expect.   This feature ( transparent page sharing - TPS is unique to
Vmware hypervisors at the moment )   Of course my RAM is full,  so RAM compression , and
Ballooning have activated to help out.  I think I had up to 38GB allocated RAM on running VM's with
only 32GB physical RAM in the host and no swapping. ( also remember overhead RAM is used on
each VM as well )   You can over commit RAM much higher than this if you allow VMware to start
swapping - but I have setup resource pools to prevent this.   Especially the ZFS SAN needs
a full 8GB of real RAM minimum - and that can't be allowed to swap.

I pass all VLANS between the Cisco switches,  so any DMZ or zone inside VMware's
many vSwitches is also available on the house switch.  The Verizon ONT bridge gets
a port on Cisco and it's own VLAN going into VMware to the firewall's WAN port.

Again all this 1GB equipment in very cheep on Ebay,  including LC fibre (  3 meter
LC multi-mode duplex fibre patch cord for $10 )

Since VMware is already VLAN aware,  you might only need one managed switch in
a smaller environment.   I'm using two switches for my own training as I hadn't used
Cisco before.

I'll try and do a presentation next month.


From: "Rich Freeman" <r-plug@thefreemanclan.net>
To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <plug@lists.phillylinux.org>
Sent: Friday, 12 April, 2013 10:51:15 PM
Subject: Re: [PLUG] Embedded 3-Port Firwall?

On Apr 12, 2013 6:21 PM, "Lee H. Marzke" <lee@marzke.net> wrote:
> I now run pfSense firewall as a VM in my ESXi server,  so my power
> for that box went down to zero!    I'm also routing IPv6 traffic
> to my website through pfSense. (4aero.com)
> The same ESXi server also runs a ZFS SAN for the VM's and a bunch of Linux VM's,
> including a plone server, Mailman mailservers,  Zimbra test server, VMware VIEW demo, etc.
> I hope to do a presentation on this setup sometime.

Mind sharing what kind of hardware you're running that on?  Such a setup has a certain appeal, but I'm a bit concerned about the cost (VMs go through a lot of RAM).


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"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion..."  - Kryptos

Lee Marzke,  lee@marzke.net     http://marzke.net/lee/
IT Consultant, VMware, VCenter, SAN storage, infrastructure, SW CM
+1 800-393-5217  office        +1 484-348-2230                       fax
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