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Atom or APU Xen build Q&A

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, its time to start a new router/firewall build! Looking for some pointers to get me in the right direction, so first let me explain what I want to do, and where my limitaions are.

Goal - a low power, passively cooled 1u router. Which hosts a flavor of xen, with either xenserver as the Dom0 or arch with Xen 4.4 then DomU1 - pfsense, and DomU2 - untangle

Virtualization - yes
Ram - 4G+
HD - 60G SSD (owned)
Nics - 2-3

Hell that pretty much sums it up ;-) but anywhoo, the thing I need the most help on is finding a mini board with onboard cpu like atom or apu that supports vt-x (vt-d would be nice too, but that might be a tall order) and is relatively affordable (under $200 usd)
    
CPUCPUMotherboardMotherboard
Intel Xeon Intel Xeon unknown unknown 
GraphicsRAMRAMRAM
Rage XL/XC Samsung  Samsung  Samsung  
RAM
Samsung  
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CPUCPUMotherboardMotherboard
Intel Xeon Intel Xeon unknown unknown 
GraphicsRAMRAMRAM
Rage XL/XC Samsung  Samsung  Samsung  
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Samsung  
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post #2 of 3
first - you don't need an ssd for firewalls. logs will kill the ssd faster than you can say apu.

i would suggest this as the base. you don't need the APU's gpu.

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=C2550D4I

it has two nics by default and you can install a pcie card to make up for the rest.

this board supports vt-d AFAIK and you can run VMWare ESXi on it instead of Arch or Xen. it's really low power too and in case you need something more powerful :

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=C2750D4I
post #3 of 3
I would not go with that Asrock C2750D4I motherboard +CPU. It's just way to expensive. It'll be ideal for a storage server, but as a low power hypervisor I would go with another platform.

The AM1 platform cost just $100 for roughly board and CPU. Newegg has CPU, Board and case bundle.

ServetheHome review of AM1 3850 SOC

This review will also compare the 5350 as well as the Avoton C2750. It should give a very good idea of the performance compared to both, AM1 5350 and C2750.
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