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Old 22nd July 2008
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Default The great appliance hunt.

Greetings.

AFAICT there is a (large) hole in the market re the availability of appliances for hobby networking. Specifically networking that requires storage such as file serving, proxying, even mail. I have been looking for a couple of years and still can't find someone to send my money to.
Some sectors seem to be covered quite well. For instance, the wireless router choices are reasonable, Soekris and PC Engines.
It seems that anyone wanting HDD storage with simple, low power boards has few options.
Please let me know your suggestions. I want to use OpenBSD for NAS (SATA) and Firewalling (two ethernet).

Best wishes.
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Old 22nd July 2008
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Take a look at this post, and see if that doesn't help a bit. There aren't oodles and oodles of hardware vendors, but it isn't exactly a desert, either.
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Old 22nd July 2008
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Thanks ai-danno.

I had a fair read. Many items I knew of although some I didn't.
I could have gone out and bought a mini-ITX (for example) a long time ago.
It doesn't sit well with me to have an item sitting away doing a specific function with bells and whistles that are not associated.
I would rather buy a porsche without a radio than with one. Not that I could.

Anyway, it bothers me to buy an appliance with stuff that I see no use for.
I guess that what makes an appliance. A specific purpose piece of hardware.
If I bought something with an extra hole in the back I might wake up one night and smash it with a hammer. :]

Considering what I want it to do, I need HDD, preferably SATA.
Ethernet, gigabit not necessary, but must have 2 for firewalling. 3 is ok.
1 USB is nice. 1 serial also nice.

The closest items to what I want are NAS devices.
Actually there are many of them I would buy tomorrow except for one common feature. NAS devices generally have only one ethernet.
Other than that they are well suited. Generally lots of SATA, lots of USB, no other bells or whistles. Some even have serial.
For instance:
http://www.netgear.com/Products/Stor...adyNASDuo.aspx
There are very few NAS boxes in my price range (around $500) with two ethernet.
In fact the only ones I know of are ironically supported by OpenBSD. Thecus n2100 and n4100. Why don't I buy one? The construction is cheap.
Plastic cases, overheating problems.
This is kind of a last call for assistance.
If I can't find something better I will probably buy a Thecus n2100.
http://www.thecus.com/products_over....471591e39c5bf0

Perhaps someone knows of a suitable box that will give me an alternative.
I would be more than happy to buy a board and case it myself.

Best wishes.
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Old 23rd July 2008
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I guess go with the Thecus... for slightly more, you can build a fresh PC in mini-ATX form factor and stuff it with HD's that aren't hot-swappable. But then again, I guess that falls out of your conditions of it being a strict appliance.

I had discussed a similar topic in PM's with another member here- regarding OpenBSD in an applicance role. And he was right in what he told me- it will normally be the case that there are limited OpenBSD applicance-type hardware because the OBSD project itself doesn't collaborate with the hardware industry in development of said devices ahead of time, like FreeBSD or Linux does. It just isn't in the purview of the project.

It would be interesting to see if the Netgear MyBook line was able to boot OBSD... a cursory googling doesn't reveal that it's been done previously.
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
...it will normally be the case that there are limited OpenBSD applicance-type hardware because the OBSD project itself doesn't collaborate with the hardware industry in development of said devices ahead of time, like FreeBSD or Linux does. It just isn't in the purview of the project.
In general, this is a true statement, however when the focus is on file storage, OpenBSD offers unique support for the landisk:

http://openbsd.org/landisk.html

Urban legend has it that Theo wanted OpenBSD to run on a storage appliance. I have never bothered to look into this deeper.
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Ah very cool indeed!
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Thecus N2100 runs OpenBSD too. Unfortunately I own a dlink DNS-323 with no OpenBSD on it
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Old 23rd July 2008
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I've got a Thecus N4100 and its running OpenBSD. Originally I had put together a proposal that called for a VIA epia-ex15000g and a pair of 750GB SATA drives. After looking at the costs of drive carriages I decided to go with the Thecus which would up costing about the same. I recommend keeping it in a cool place with plenty of air flow and having a second power supply on-hand.
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Thecus N1200 is a PowerPC based, pretty cool stuff indeed.

http://openbsd.org/socppc.html
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