17 Days with New Netgate 6100

Netgate 6100 Rear – Because the Front is Boring 🙂

It has been just over 17 days with my new Netgate 6100. Shipping was sort-of a day late – I guess because couriers seem to have difficulty with delivery times to the easterly part of North America. I purchased the “base” model with 8GB RAM and 16GB of storage. I’m not worried about the storage since all the logs go to another syslog server anyway. And I’m not running a branch office or anything this is more than sufficient for my needs.

The migration from the old commodity-based router was fairly easy. I booted up the new router with my workstation connected to my planned “LAN” interface (not really as my configuration has a few VLANs, etc.) and the planned WAN interface into, well, the WAN, I allowed the 6100 to update to pfSense+ 23.01 (the most current). After looking up the network interface names from Netgate’s awesome documentation you only have to edit the XML file to replace the old network interface names with the new interface names. Then you restore the suitably modified backup file. Some additional time is needed to bring the additional services such as OpenVPN, pfBlockerNG, etc. to download and update.

The only problem I had was that despite adding the MAC address to my ISP’s router’s Advanced DMZ configuration inbound access was not working. After checking – and double checking – my configurations such as “Did I enter the correct MAC from the 6100?” I fell back on the old, default IT help desk recommendation… I rebooted and all was working again.

What I like about the 6100:

  • Longer-term futureproofing: I now have 10GbE interfaces if I go above a 1GbE WAN connection and/or upgrade to 10GbE internally. The four “LAN” ports are actually 2.5GbE so more room there, too.
  • pfSense is fully supported by Netgate on known hardware: Less worries about upgrades going wrong.
  • Price: The price is essentially the same for a generic router with two 10GbE SFP+ ports, two copper/SFP shared ports plus four 2.5GbE ports – assuming you can actually find this configuration.

What I do not like:

  • Having to buy a 1U adaptor. The price of US$107 is something I really do not like.

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See http://lnkd.in/nhTRZe I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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