[CentOS] Router for SOHO network - hardware considerations

Robert Heller heller at deepsoft.com
Mon Nov 22 09:25:33 EST 2010

At Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:51:46 +0100 CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> Last week I finished installing a small network in a private school : 
> one server (an old IBM X225), seventeen desktops (Fujitsu Siemens PIV 
> 2.4 GHZ, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB HD), all running CentOS 5.5.
> One extra machine is acting as a router, in that it is installed between 
> the DSL modem and the network, with two Ethernet cards, and it's taking 
> care of DHCP, DNS, NTP and also acts like a proxy (with Squid). It seems 
> quite big and noisy and electricity-consuming to me, so I wonder if 
> there is any small device that could possibly do the job as good, but 
> which would me more adapted : small, solid and cheap (if possible). I 
> imagine some tiny box just with a CPU and a small harddisk, a little RAM 
> and two network interfaces (one out, one in), where I could install a 
> very stripped-down CentOS, and then just forget about it.
> So far, I've googled a bit, and I've found two things: 1) Pyramid 
> Soekris boards, where I can put something like Pyramid Linux on it. And 
> 2) The Linksys WRT54GL, for which there are Linux firmwares like OpenWRT 
> and DD-WRT.
> Is there anything you could especially recommend for this job? (I'm not 
> afraid of getting my hands dirty, BTW :oD)

One *simple* option would be to get a "small" IDE (I assume the existing
router machine is IDE based) SSD (or a 32G Compact Flash card +
IDE adaptor -- see eBay) and replace the IDE hard drive with this and
pull out the case fan (or just unplug its power connector).  Remove its
keyboard / mouse / monitor.  Much of the noise and power use is the disk
drive and fan (for the disk drive).

> Cheers,
> Niki
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Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933 / heller at deepsoft.com
Deepwoods Software        -- http://www.deepsoft.com/
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