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TOPIC: Router/firewall/traffic monitoring for small web host

Router/firewall/traffic monitoring for small web host 14 years 4 months ago #5170


Very nice site here, thanks for the great info. I'm hoping you can help out a newb with some frustrating problems I'm having.

I have a 10mbit dedicated fibre connection (converted to an ethernet connection). From this I run a couple of webservers that look after my small webhosting company as well as 4 or 5 independent colo's. FWIW, I'm more of a technical manager, have a great developer I work with, but have gone through the services of three contract network administrators and still have a very frustrating setup - one that doesn't do what I need it to do.

What I need is some idea in direction/product recommendations to do three things:
- routing
- firewall
- traffic monitoring.

I currently have a linux server set up as a router/firewall, and some sort of bizarre command line script that does my traffic monitoring rather ineffectively. My current concerns are - inability to administer my firewall and traffic monitoring, and concern over redundancy with the router. The traffic monitoring is horrid to the point where I can't effectively rebill my colo's for their bandwidth and I'm eating hundreds of dollars a month. This is the second revision of this setup and I think I've just hit some not too great network admins.

I'm now at the point of trying for a third revision, but I'm getting info overload here in an area I'm not familiar with. Would the folks here be kind enough to give me a shove in the right direction as to what I should be looking for to solve:
- routing
- configurable firewall
- traffic monitoring
My concerns are:
- reasonably low cost, I'm just getting started and am a small operation. (and I've spent quite a bit on network admin fees to get where I am today :( ).
- firewall and traffic monitoring configurable by reasonably competent user - i.e. web interface is ideal. IPtables are over my head right now. So is the mrtg setup stuff (again, I've been reading,but getting lost)
- all three areas able to handle up to the 10mbit connection. I generally don't use anywhere near this limit, but twice a year I have a community website that goes nuts (students getting their marks) and I want to handle the traffic smoothly then
- some redundancy ability in the router - either the ability to create a decent image/fast setup rom a software router, or a hardware router cheap enough for me to buy two and shelf one.
- ideally, it'd be nice if I could get all three in one pretty little internet appliance. :).
- able to handle two seperate IP ranges.

(the linux routers seem nice and redundant, but complex to setup - which means it's not redundant for me. Something like a cisco router probably is closer to what I need, but I don't know enough about the specs to venture into a purchase).

Apologies for the lengthy post and tia for your comments :).

Re: Router/firewall/traffic monitoring for small web host 14 years 4 months ago #5179

I don't know if I got your requirements completely, but check out Smoothwall.. it should be able to do your routing / monitoring all in one...

Jack will have some inputs on this since he runs a web hosting service as well.

Good luck with the business !

Sahir Hidayatullah. Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
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