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Old 03-20-2010, 04:32 PM   #1
mothergoose729
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Building my first home server - atom based router/file server build need advice


I have been looking to get into networking for a while because I really know very little about it. I have plans to build a atom/linux router to give myself a sort of crash course. Home project sort of thing.

Anyway, here is the parts that i am thinking about getting:

JetWay JATOM-GM1-330-LF Intel Atom 330 (flex ATX with 2 PCI and 1 PCIE):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813153144

Intel PWLA8391GT 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833106121

ASUS PCE-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833320048

D-Link DGS-2205 10/100/1000Mbps 5-Port Green Technology Desktop Switch
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833127083

Rosewill R379-M Black/ Silver 0.8mm SGCC Steel Slim MicroATX Computer Case with ATX12V Flex 300W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147098

I need to use it to network a total of 4 machines (excluding the server, which I want to be the "hub"). One running win7, another kubuntu 9.10, another mac OSX 10.6.2 and another windows XP SP3. In an ideal world I want to be able to use the router to network all the computers together, as well as connect them to the internet both wired and wirelessly, and also configure it to automatically create back-ups for my hard disks on the multiple machines. In addition, I want to dedicated quite some space to creating a cash of all web pages I visit within a given time frame (I am thinking six months).

I have a linksys WRTGL router (the one you can flash the firmware with) and I plan on making it into a switch/ wireless bridge. The router is being used as my main router now, I want to section it off and preferably control bandwidth allocation as it will be the port other people in my house will be using.

The D link wireless switch will be used to manage my own home network I would like to keep sectioned off. I did some research, but I am a complete networking newb. I choose this swtich because it has QoS support, which is important for prioritizing and managing traffic, and jumbo frames, which is suppose to help with speed. The idea is to build a super router here that can handle anything with zero connectivity problems.

The wireless adapter I choose needs to be compatiable with linux and be capable of broadcasting. I am most nervous about this part, information on its compatability with linux on the net seems iffy.

I chose intel networking cards because they are reliable and have onboard cache. I think this is important for allowing higher frame sizes and increasing overall networking stability. Again, I am a newb.

The idea is I want to run a line from my modem into this machine into one of the intel networking cards. I want to run out from the onboard LAN to my router (which I want to flash to tomato or WRT and set as a bridge/switch) and then use the second intel card to run out to the D link swtich, where most of my computers will be connected. Any help on parts, software, guides, or just general suggestions would be great.
 
Old 03-22-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
OdinnBurkni
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Router...

This is a great scenario and you will learn a lot from it.
My own setup is like this...
Code:
                                  - Wired pc's
				/
Internet - Linux box - switch -	
                                \
				  - Access point (for the wirelss pc's)
I used CentOS on the Linux box and use IPtables to handle the firewall. Now I've been using ClearOS and that's really easy to use. It's easy to setup as a gateway/firewall and also as a file/printserver. But I also have at work a CentOS as a firewall/router and it works flawlessly. I only use CLI on it. I've made a script that I use instead of the built in IPtables but the script is based on IPtables. Fairly easy to use and you can control almost everything with it. I prefer to use regular access point instead of making the Linux broadcast, maybe because it's easier...
Hope this helps... ...and I might throw in more answers if there'll be more questions...
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:28 AM   #3
mothergoose729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OdinnBurkni View Post
This is a great scenario and you will learn a lot from it.
My own setup is like this...
Code:
                                  - Wired pc's
				/
Internet - Linux box - switch -	
                                \
				  - Access point (for the wirelss pc's)
I used CentOS on the Linux box and use IPtables to handle the firewall. Now I've been using ClearOS and that's really easy to use. It's easy to setup as a gateway/firewall and also as a file/printserver. But I also have at work a CentOS as a firewall/router and it works flawlessly. I only use CLI on it. I've made a script that I use instead of the built in IPtables but the script is based on IPtables. Fairly easy to use and you can control almost everything with it. I prefer to use regular access point instead of making the Linux broadcast, maybe because it's easier...
Hope this helps... ...and I might throw in more answers if there'll be more questions...
I have posted this in multiple places... yours was the only helpful response. Thanks .

The project is expensive but I think I am going to just not think twice and leap on it. What kind of hardware are you running for yours? I am debating between getting an atom PC for the low power and noise, or paying a tad more and getting a intel dual core/micro ATX setup instead. I would prefer the latter I think.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:49 AM   #4
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mothergoose729 View Post
I have posted this in multiple places... yours was the only helpful response.
That may be because the question was long, complex and actually many questions.

I looked at the OP a couple of times. The first time I was too tired to digest it all. The second time I digested it but felt I could only respond on a couple of minor points which wouldn't be worth taking it off the zero-reply list. I did not have enough relevant knowledge and experience to make a worthy reply. Perhaps many other potential repliers felt the same way.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 03:14 AM   #5
zhjim
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Not to hold you off but as you allready have a router/switch (inksys WRTGL) why do you want to by another one? Do you transfer large sums of data so that you need 1Gbit network? how many ports does the WRTGL have? It has a wireless card doesn't it?

If you want to explore the world of home network I'd say goe with the intel dual core/micro ATX setup and get a HD or two. This way you can setup a network share, maybe a nice dns and dhcp daemon (this could also be done inside the router) or a nice music station. All in all it makes for some great fun and learning experience.
 
Old 03-23-2010, 03:19 AM   #6
OdinnBurkni
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Location: Iceland
Distribution: Fedora 14, CentOS, FreeNAS
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Hardware

Hi.
For several years I had an old 500MHz PIII with 256MB of RAM running my router/firewall/gateway at home and also the same setup at work. At home I used Fedora 6 but now I'm using ClearOS at home running on AMD 1.7 GHz (I think) and 256 MB of RAM. At work I'm using CentOS and the only reason for that is that I'm used to the RedHat based setup and I like it. I've tried Ubuntu but I'm not as familiar with the setup there so I don't really like it. I think it's a bit more complicated to configure the network in Ubuntu but I guess that's just me. For a while I used an old 1.2 GHz with 512MB RAM but now I'm using a virtual machine. The host is VMWare ESXi running on a 1.86 GHz quad core blade with 16GB RAM but this particular machine is given only one vCPU (virtual CPU) 512 MB RAM and 8.5GB HDD and it's using only around 200 MHz of the CPU most of the time.
If your major goal is to setup a router/firewall/gateway then you don't need so much power. My suggestion would be that you would use an old PC if you have one spare and play with that. You can always upgrade. I've been playing around at work, moving the setup between machines and between virtual machines and it takes me around half an hour to set it up, maybe an hour if I have to setup the OS also. But if you have a spare PC then do some experiments, try ClearOS you can learn a lot from that, then try CentOS or your favorite distro. I will gladly help you with the setup if I can and if you want.
What you need to setup a router/firewall/gateway is a PC with 2 nics, that's about it. If you need a fileserver or something more than you need of course some disk space and maybe a little more power.
 
  


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