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home network pfsense

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#1 Fahim S.

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 00:17

Hi

Having spent a lot of the weekend playing with pfSense I am really keen to replace my router with it.

I am currently on BT Infinity which for those that are not in the UK is a FTTC service which comes with two devices: a VDSL modem and a wireless router. The router has an Ethernet WAN port where it connects to modem. As far as I know connectivity is via PPPoE.

OK, some complexity:
My home network consists of 4 rooms of networked devices. These are:

Living room/lounge
Telephone socket > Modem > Router
Router > Television
Router > Media streamer
Router > PlayStation 3
Router > PVR
Router > Home plug

Bedroom
Home plug > Media streamer

Study/office
Home plug > PC

Network Closet
Home plug > Switch
Switch > Microserver (running ESXi)
Switch > NAS
Switch > printer

Hope that was clear! Other stuff worth mentioning:
1) I want to run pfSense as a VM on the Microserver
2) The Microserver only has one NIC, it also has no free PCIe slots
3) running CAT 5/6 between rooms simply isn't possible, home plug is the only option for reliable connectivity between rooms.
4) can't move the modem
5) can't move the Microserver.

Any suggestions as to how best set this up?


#2 sc302

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 00:29

Not possible with one nic. Thanks for playing though.

Reason being: pfsense is a firewall. A firewall needs two nics. One for secure traffic, or the local LAN, and one for unsecure traffic, the Internet or dsl/cable modem.

Without two nics to seperate secure from unsecure it isn't going to work out too well. And you will constantly have issues with getting it to work.

#3 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 00:54

OK. So what're my options for getting another NIC?

And what would the topology look like if I did?

#4 sc302

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:30

It will have to wait until tomorrow. If you pm budman he has the exact setup you are looking to do. He has some diagrams too, I would just be reposting his diags anyway.

#5 +BudMan

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 14:11

"2) The Microserver only has one NIC, it also has no free PCIe slots"

What do you mean it has no free slots? What did you put in it? Let me guess a Raid card? For what reason - you don't need a raid card to be honest unless you had some reason to run raid 5 or higher and didn't want to do it in software. You can do 0 or 1 with the built in card. I have 3 disks in my NAS on the thing and I just use drive pooling. I might move to a parity drive at some point, etc. My more important files that I don't want to have to recover I let the pooling software store those on more than 1 disk in the pool. Click on folder you want to be on more than 1 drive, etc.

You could go with USB nic I guess. Do you have as smart/managed switch - you could do it with 1 nic and vlan tagging. But I would prob pull the card you have and go with 2nd nic. But as me an sc302 discussed the other day - for the internet side at 100mbit or less you could go with USB.

#6 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 20:17

The slots are occupied by a RAID card which does RAID 5 across 8 1TB disks and a mSATA adaptor for OS booting.

The mSATA adaptor could go and be replaced with a NIC. If I went this route, how do I get the connection from the modem to the network closet and keep it separate from the other home plug network? Is it possible? My googling has not yielded anything useful.

I could get some managed switches (budget isn't really a concern, elegance is) but what would the topology look like and would I need one in every room? Could I put the PPPoE connection on a separate VLAN?

The internet connection is currently 40Mb but will but be upgraded to 80Mb in the nearish future.

Any advice is gratefully received.

#7 +BudMan

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 22:11

"RAID 5 across 8 1TB disks"

Where you are you putting 8 disks in a N40L/N36L? Those are the 2 microservers I know -- It has bays for 4, and you could put to in the optical bay area - so your running 2 external? Do you have some other model number?

If your goal is "elegance" I wouldn't think 8 disks on a at max 6 drive system?? very elegant? Why don't you just bump the size up on the disks and have less disks and more space even if you got rid of raid card and just went software or jbod with pooling, etc.

In your drawing you show another NAS??

And why can you not move the microserver to where your router/modem is now?? The box is pretty tiny!!

I did a quick google but did not find any info about vlans over homeplugs - but from spec they are suppose to support 802.1q -- but might only be used for qos. But if they support 802.1q - you should be able to tag the different networks if you have smart switches connected to your homeplugs and keep the internet and local lans isolated via tagging.

But if you could move your microserver to where you router is now its much easier and you could use dumb switches still.

#8 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 23:30

You can easily and elegantly fit 8 disks into a Microserver.

I have one of these (http://icydockuk.com/goods.php?id=142) in the optical bay slot holding 4x Seagate Constellation ES.2 ST91000640NS 1GB 2.5" SATA enterprise class drives and 4x WD 1TB RE4's in the regular slots.

The second NAS is there to back up important files from the server and is a single bay Qnap unit with a 4TB disk in it. In the longer term this may get replaced with a multibay unit.

Anyway, the unit is far too noisy to be put in my living room so no, that really is not an option. The size doesn't bother me - it's the noise.

If I go the smart switch route do I need smart switches in my bedroom and study despite there only being one device in each room? If not how do they know what VLAN they are on?


#9 +BudMan

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 00:49

"1GB 2.5" SATA enterprise class drives and 4x WD 1TB RE4's in the regular slots."

Oh 2.5 inch disks - those are normally slower - but enterprise class are NOT cost effective!!! That 1TB drive lists for $229 your out of your freaking MIND to go with those ;)

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148710

But sure that works ;) Other than no sata slots for 8.. So yeah you would need card. Wouldn't it have been more cost effective to just put in some 2 or 3TB drives and be done with it with using less bays?

Noisy? Mine doesn't make a peep?? Is is currently sitting like 4 feet from me - other than the blue HP light and power light I would not know its on even.. You must have something wrong if its making any noise? You would have to change out all your switches with smart if your wanting to use tagging to isolate while running across your homeplugs.. I would really suggest you research that before doing it.. But from the homeplug 1.0 spec it says they support 802.1q (vlan tagging)

Its like what a $100 for the dock, when you could of just put in 2TB drives not needed more sata slots. And had same amount of space 4TB, or when with 3TB and had 2 more TB, etc..

So could of gone with these
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148953

at $259 each x 2 = 518
or your 229 x4 = 916 for the same space? That makes NO sense, sorry!

#10 OP Fahim S.

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:46

Lol - it would be cheaper yes, if I paid full price for my configuration but let's just say I paid a fraction of that number ;-)
The noise comes from the drives, not the server itself, which I agree is very quiet (but not silent) - I have very sensitive hearing.

Anyway - I think I get it:

Option 1:
A single homeplug network with a smart switch attached to each homeplug, Microserver has one NIC.

Living Room:
Telephone Socket > Modem > Smart Switch (VLAN 1)
Smart Switch > PVR (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > TV (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Media Streamer (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > PS3 (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Homeplug (VLAN 1 & 2)

Network Closet:
Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 1 & 2)
Smart Switch > Microserver (VLAN 1 & 2)
Smart Switch > NAS (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Printer (VLAN 2)

Bedroom:
Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Media Streamer (VLAN 2)

Study:

Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > PC (VLAN 2)

Option 2:
A single homeplug network with a smart switch attached to each homeplug, Microserver has two NICs.


Living Room:
Telephone Socket > Modem > Smart Switch (VLAN 1)
Smart Switch > PVR (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > TV (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Media Streamer (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > PS3 (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Homeplug (VLAN 1 & 2)

Network Closet:
Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 1 & 2)
Smart Switch > Microserver NIC 1 (VLAN 1) - WAN

Smart Switch > Microserver NIC 2 (VLAN 2) - LAN
Smart Switch > NAS (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Printer (VLAN 2)

Bedroom:
Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > Media Streamer (VLAN 2)

Study:
Homeplug > Smart Switch (VLAN 2)
Smart Switch > PC (VLAN 2)



Option 3:
Two parallel homeplug networks, Microserver has two NICs.

Living Room:
Telephone Socket > Modem > Homeplug 1
Switch > PVR
Switch > TV
Switch > Media Streamer
Switch > PS3
Switch > Homeplug 2

Network Closet:
Homeplug 1 > Microserver NIC 1 - WAN
Homeplug 2 > Switch
Switch > Microserver NIC 2 - LAN

Switch > NAS
Switch > Printer

Bedroom:
Homeplug > Media Streamer

Study:
Homeplug > PC

Right now, option 3 is looking like the most likely...