One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while was move the firewall/router and minor web sites served from an old Pentium 3 in the basement to a more modern solution. I’ve blogged some of the journey, starting with the motivation and moving through the todo list. Yesterday was the day for the big switch.
After a couple of hours twiddling this and that, getting rid of spare cables, and vacuuming the backs of computers that seldom get this treatment, we now have a hardware firewall/router and some minor web sites powered by a Sun Ultra 20 OpenSolaris, rather than relying on an old Pentium 3 doing all of that. It’s amazing how much faster the minor sites load on a system with a decent amount of memory!
In other words, we’ve now gone fromand to (Photos by Tim Bray)
I still have to set up ddclient or something similar to inform DynDNS when our IP address changes, and there are some oddities, such as the Solaris box not broadcasting its hostname to the router which I want to track down. For some reason the Solaris box didn’t start the Ethernet connection properly on reboot, but I don’t yet know whether that was a random occurrence or something that I have to pay attention to. Still, things are working, at least until our next power outage. Whether it works past that depends on whether the router moves around the IP addresses it assigns, which would mean the IP-based forwarding not forwarding to the right place. I may end up installing dd wrt or something similar on the firewall (although it appears the particular one I have doesn’t support dd wrt itself), but for the time being I’m running the original software and it seems to do the job.