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Half-U net appliance runs Linux

Dec 22, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Lanner Electronics has announced a space-saving, “half-rack” network appliance that runs Linux on a Core2Duo or Celeron M chip. Targeting network security and acceleration applications, the FW-7872 has five Ethernet ports, a serial port, two internal SATA ports, and two external SATA connectors, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Lanner's FW-7872)

Lanner touts the FW-7872 as “an ideal platform for environment-conscious applications.” While its power consumption and heat generation aren't quantified, they're claimed to be lower than many competing devices. In addition, the device has a small “half-rack” footprint that allows it to operate stand-alone, as pictured above, or in a standard 19-inch teleccommunications rack. As we show below, the device is small enough that two of them can be mounted side by side.

A standard 19-inch rack can hold one (above) or two (below) instances of the FW-7872

One use for the extra rack space saved by the FW-7872 could be extra hard disk storage, Lanner suggests. The FW-7872 includes two internal 2.5-inch drive bays and SATA connectors, plus two external SATA connectors. The device also provides an internal Type II CompactFlash slot, for embedded operating system installation.

The FW-7872's front panel includes four gigabit Ethernet ports, plus, optionally, a fifth 10/100 port that is intended for IP KVM connection, according to Lanner. Also up front are a power switch, two USB ports, and a serial console port.

Around the back, the small appliance has two further USB ports, two eSATA ports, a PS/2 port that supports both a keyboard and mouse via a supplied Y-adapter. Of interest internally are both a Mini-PCI slot and the optional IAC-AST100 remote management card pictured at right. Lanner says the IAC-AST100, which fits onto the FW-7872's main board via a dedicated OPMA (open platform management architecture) connector, provides an IPMI (intelligent platform management interface), allowing the appliance to be monitored and controlled remotely via Ethernet.

The FW-7872 is said to accept several different Intel uFCBGA (micro flip chip ball grid array) processors, such as the 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400, 2.0GHz Core Duo T2500, or 1.86GHz Celeron M 440. Via the 945GME northbridge and ICH7-M southbridge, the device can employ 667MHz, 533MHz, or 400MHz memory, in the form of two DIMMs up to 2GB apiece, Lanner says.

Finally, the FW-7872 has dual DC power input connectors, leading to dual, redundant power supplies. The device's feature set is rounded out by a watchdog timer, plus an internal, battery-backed real-time clock, according to the company.

Features and specifications listed by Lanner for the FW-7872 include:

  • Processor — 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400, 2.0GHz Core Duo T2500, or 1.86GHz Celeron M 440
  • Memory — Up to 4GB of RAM via two SO-DIMM slots
  • Display — VGA output, or serial console
  • Storage — Up to two 2.5-inch hard disk drives internally, two external, plus CompactFlash Type II slot
  • Networking — 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, plus optional fifth 10/100 port for IP KVM option
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x USB (two front, two rear)
    • 1 x serial (for console)
    • 4 x SATA (two internal, two external)

  • Expansion:
    • Mini-PCI slot
    • OPMA connector for optional IAC-AST100 IPMI card
    • CompactFlash Type II slot

  • Operating temperature — 0 to 40 deg. C
  • Power requirements — n/s, but uses dual DC power supplies with locking connectors
  • Dimensions — 13.2 x 8.5 x 1.7 inches (335 x 215 x 44mm)
  • Weight — 13.2 pounds (6kg)

Lanner did not release pricing or general availability information for the FW-7872 but said the device is sampling now. More information may be available on the company's website, here.

According to Lanner, the FW-7872 is compatible with Linux, Windows XP, and Windows XP Embedded.

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