Forums Archive -> VectorStar News

a firewall dies... 2006-07-29 00:07:10
by marasmus
Over the last few weeks (or perhaps the last few months), our firewall has been slowly dying. I've been noticing strange pauses in the network (reboots!) that didn't make much sense. They've been getting more frequent. Over the last week they started coming around about once an hour. Today was the last straw. The system kept dumping and reloading at the damn bootloader.

So I went to all the effort of specially building a firewall on a CompactFlash card, just so I don't have to worry about hard drive failure... And what decides to die? The memory controller! No, not the memory.. that'd be too easy! The damn memory controller! OOooh, I'm fuming.

To keep with the fun, the first replacement box I try doesn't power on! Something's fried on it, too. So I donate the wonderful and ever-schizophrenic Chester to the firewall duties. And in its typical fashion, it arbitrarily and randomly changes the order in which it sees the network cards. So I end up shuffling network cables back and forth until I confuse the ARP table enough to stop traffic entirely!

Anyways, we're back up.

Re: a firewall dies... 2006-07-29 23:14:37
by nookadum
Must be hard being a network admin... O_o
Re: a firewall dies... 2006-08-03 00:12:22
by marasmus
In search of replacing the firewall, I went on ebay and by a matter of 9 minutes came across a series of P4 2.4ghz 1U servers for sale for cheap. I picked up 2 of them, and they arrived today. After working with them for a total of 20 minutes, I should've bought 10 of these things - they really kick ass! Intel P4 on a gen-u-ine Intel server board, 512mb RAM (i'm upgrading both to 1gb), two Intel NICs and onboard Promise fakeraid. Throw in a nice case with very good cooling, a 40gb HD and a (useless) floppy drive, and $175 each is definitely a bargain!

My inital plan was to turn these into "deuce" and "bulldog" by just moving the hard drives over, but now I'm having second thoughts. It might be time to try something new. It might be time to switch to OpenBSD. It might be time to go with virtualization, like Xen or VMWare. Just letting the ideas mull around in my head for a bit - we'll see what comes of it.
Re: a firewall dies... 2006-08-03 00:34:38
by nuzod
Hell yeah.