cpressland
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:32 am

pfSense / Networking Cluster

Mon May 21, 2012 10:12 am

Hi All,

I've been doing some research and planning into a possible Network Management Cluster using Raspberry Pi's; fragmented services would allow for vast amounts of processing power with little overhead bandwidth.
Example:
Actual pfSense RPi handling Firewall and WAN > LAN comms
ArchLinux / NanoBSD RPi handling DHCP
ArchLinux / NanoBSD RPi handling DNS

WAN > LAN could be achieved via a Smart Switch with a VLAN, or, in low bandwidth situations, a simple USB > NIC adapter.

The biggest issue here is the maximum speed of the 10/100 NIC on the Raspberry Pi, I've yet to be able to get speeds higher than 1MB/s out of the device using iperf, but I hope improved performance will come long term from better firmware.

I was just wondering what the communities thoughts were on this idea? Currently it's nothing more than a project/idea, but should enough people be interested in seeing a beta version of pfSense on the RPi I will invest more time into this solution.

gme
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 4:29 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Wed May 23, 2012 2:09 pm

I am a big fan of PFsense.

Being able to run PFsense on a Pi would be great for home use. 2 Nics may be an issue though

domesday
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:53 pm
Location: UK

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Wed May 23, 2012 7:18 pm

LAn performance is severely limited by being connected to the USB bus.

error404
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Wed May 23, 2012 7:58 pm

Huge fan of pfSense. I don't think it's worth the effort of porting to the Pi hardware though, the hardware is about as far as you can get from suitable for networking. It'd be nice to see something that is, but you really need an SoC that's optimized for it with at least one GMII MAC for a GigE phy. USB isn't going to be too stable or very fast for high throughput networking and it's going to consume a lot of CPU and add a lot of latency.

FreeBSD doesn't really support ARM, so you'd have to start there and then worry about pfSense. If you want to use the Pi as a networking device you're probably better off starting from one of the Linux firewall distributions.

cpressland
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:32 am

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Fri May 25, 2012 10:57 am

gme wrote:I am a big fan of PFsense.

Being able to run PFsense on a Pi would be great for home use. 2 Nics may be an issue though
Not an issue, a Smart Switch can be an intermediary between two VLANs to handle the WAN>LAN connections
domesday wrote:LAn performance is severely limited by being connected to the USB bus.
True - I didn't say this was going to be a good solution for Corporate, and with the Smart Switch handling the LAN > LAN connections - 90% of bandwidth won't even touch the Pi.
error404 wrote:FreeBSD doesn't really support ARM, so you'd have to start there and then worry about pfSense. If you want to use the Pi as a networking device you're probably better off starting from one of the Linux firewall distributions.
I've already began work on porting over BSD, doubt I'll be finished for a LONG time though. Also, the whole point of BSD is raw stability, which is exactly what you need out of a Firewall. I've got some Cisco Firewalls with 3+ years of uptime. Linux is stable, but is still prone to many issues.

error404
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Fri May 25, 2012 7:39 pm

cpressland wrote:Also, the whole point of BSD is raw stability, which is exactly what you need out of a Firewall.
Yet you want to run it on hardware that's been designed with price as the only goal and a USB NIC that's hardly known for its stability. I'd agree with you, but you've already thrown that away by choosing the Pi. Good luck though, more work on pfSense is good for me, I use it a lot :).

atux_null
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:58 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:57 pm

is there a ready image to install for raspberry or a howto?
regarding the ethernet issue, i was thinking usb to ethernet adapter or vlans.
the need for throughput is not high, since it is soho usage.

poplap
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:48 am

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:35 pm

Im a huge fan of Pfsense but I wouldn't bother with trying to get it on the RPi, other then maybe a prof of concept. Pfsense would be way to bloated for the RPi, and Pfsense is already a lean mean fighting machine but not for the Pi. The Web interface alone would be way to much for it, the limited memory would be a big problem with performance and the state table would be very small.

I would say start off from scratch and build a router/firewall system by hand that way it can be optimized for the RPi. I wont be as nice nor as easy but it will do the job.

Znerox
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:59 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:36 pm

What do you mean "limited memory would be a big problem"? 512MB should be more than enough, shouldn't it? minimum requirements are a 100 Mhz Pentium CPU and 128 MB RAM. And USB 2.0 bandwidth is 480 MB/s, which should be more than enough.

chrisnbg
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:24 am

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:26 am

Hi guys,

did someone get a goal on that pfSense on a RPi?

Would really be great :)

Chris

Issa
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:02 am

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:00 pm

it will be a verry good idea

i hope that's comme true !

binary_dreamer
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:57 pm

Re: pfSense / Networking Cluster

Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:56 am

hi. is there any success of pfsense in raspberry?

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