What CPU to get to build a small UTM firewall appliance with extra services

jaytee129

Member
Jun 16, 2022
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Looking to buy the lowest end system (read: lowest cost) capable of hosting a Sophos UTM Home Edition firewall (maybe XG free edition in future) to serve as an Internet Router and LAN gateway, plus a Windows 10 Pro VM connected to a USB drive for backups. The Windows VM is for UPS monitoring (vis USB), Unifi Controller (for LAN Access Point management), Remote Network/PC Management (using RDP), and a USB backup drive.

This UTM+ "appliance" needs to support 150Mpbs (or more) internet speed and 5-10 concurrent devices using it, as well as be able to support LAN backups that will be shoveling data at Gb LAN speeds (though configured to run at lower scheduling priority than Sophos VM)

I was hoping to put it in a small fanless multi NIC box with a quad core mobile (low TDP) Celeron similar to this https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B09ZNXRJM6/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_4?smid=A2S4IPY3LSMJ9D&th=1

But should I look at an i3 (or higher) CPU? Will mobile CPU speeds (usually less than 2GHz) be enough or do I need to look at higher clock speeds? Is it right to prefer 4 cores with no HT over 2core+HT, as I think I read somewhere?

I didn't spend any time looking at AMD CPU options, figuring lower compatibility in general (from my VMware and TrueNAS experience) but should I, given the higher performance per $ it usually offers? I don't want to save a buck on the CPU if it ends up costing me more in other ways because of compatibility issues but if there's a comparable and notably cheaper AMD offering that would do the trick I'm certainly open to it.

Any info would be appreciated.
 

Dunuin

Famous Member
Jun 30, 2020
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Win10 really sucks, even running on a quadcore atom. You should think about sticking to LXCs or atleast linux VMs if you want to run your services on the lowest spec possible.
 

jaytee129

Member
Jun 16, 2022
91
5
8
Win10 really sucks, even running on a quadcore atom. You should think about sticking to LXCs or atleast linux VMs if you want to run your services on the lowest spec possible.
I'm not going to disagree with you, except to say that the GUI is nice for managing UPS, Unifi Controller and other Windows PC (through RDP). I know CyberPower UPS has discontinued it's Linux version (so I would be deploying deprecated software) and I don't know how good the Unifi Controller runs under linux given it's Java based. Also my backup programs are windows based. I don't want to start all over with Linux tools for the stuff I've been doing if it just means $100-$200 more for a more powerful CPU.
 

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