OT: disappointed with the firewall distros I’ve looked at

We’ve been looking at building a gateway/firewall machine, with load balancing, failover, and many other nice features. For security purposes, we’ve wanted to run it in a very particular way.

All the distributions we’ve tried: clearOS, Vyatta, Endian, IPFire, Zentyal … all of them … sorta … kinda … did what we wanted. Sorta. Kinda.

But not quite.

ClearOS never worked. I mean it installed, configured, but it could never pass packets correctly. We tried, but it failed.

We were assured Vyatta could do what we wanted. And when we looked into it more, sure enough, the multi-wan load balancing/fail over is a planned feature.

Endian FW also has what we want. As a planned feature. IPFire as well.

Zentyal was recommended and we tried it. And it also failed to pass packets. It could figure out how to light up both interfaces so pings worked. But it couldn’t seem to figure out how to pass port 22 from an interface to a specific machine.

So here we are, with ~15 hours invested, and nary a working firewall distro to replace our aging unit. The appliance route is looking better and better.

I am guessing that these make for great small business servers. They don’t do so well as firewall/router/gateways though, for anything more complex than a single wire in and a single wire out, with no internal services.

So I guess I am going the appliance route again. This time, I need to see benchmark data. We have some nice bandwidth coming in, would be nice to be able to use it all.

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