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Opnsense HA rave up

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OPNsense is a free and open-source firewall and routing platform that can be used for network security and management. High Availability (HA) is an important feature for ensuring maximum network uptime and protection against failures. This how-to guide will cover the steps needed to set up OPNsense in HA mode, along with suggestions for upgrading to faster networking and approximate costs for a setup using refurbished parts.

Setting up OPNsense in HA mode

To set up OPNsense in HA mode, follow these steps:

  1. Choose your hardware - To set up OPNsense in HA mode, you will need at least two servers with identical hardware specifications. The hardware specifications should include a multi-core CPU, at least 16GB of RAM, and enough storage for the OPNsense operating system and configuration files.
  2. Configure the network interfaces - You will need to configure the network interfaces on each server with at least two interfaces, one for WAN and one for LAN. It is recommended to use separate interfaces for heartbeat communication between the two servers.
  3. Configure the firewall rules - You will need to configure the firewall rules on both servers to allow traffic to pass between them.
  4. Configure the HA settings - You will need to configure the HA settings on both servers, including the Virtual IP (VIP) and the synchronization settings.
  5. Test the setup - Once the setup is complete, test the HA setup by unplugging one of the servers and ensuring that traffic fails over to the other server seamlessly.

For a more detailed guide on setting up OPNsense in HA mode, refer to the OPNsense documentation.

Upgrading to faster networking

To upgrade to faster networking, you may consider the following:

  1. Upgrade to 10G networking - Upgrading to 10G networking can provide a significant increase in network throughput. You will need to upgrade the network cards on both servers, as well as any switches and routers in the network.
  2. Use LACP for link aggregation - Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) allows you to combine multiple network interfaces to increase bandwidth and redundancy. This can be particularly useful in HA setups.
  3. Upgrade to faster storage - Upgrading to solid-state drives (SSDs) can provide a significant performance boost for storage-intensive applications.

For more information on upgrading to faster networking, refer to the OPNsense forum.

Approximate cost of setup using refurbished parts

The cost of setting up OPNsense in HA mode using refurbished parts will depend on the specifications of the hardware you choose. Here is a rough estimate of the cost for the required components:

  1. Hardware - Two refurbished servers with identical specifications (multi-core CPU, 16GB RAM, and storage) - Approximately $600 - $800 per server
  2. Networking - Two refurbished 10G network cards - Approximately $100 - $200 per card
  3. Storage - Two refurbished SSDs - Approximately $50 - $100 per SSD
  4. Total cost - Approximately $1,500 - $2,200

Note that these are rough estimates and actual costs may vary depending on the availability and condition of the refurbished hardware.

In conclusion, setting up OPNsense in HA mode can provide maximum network uptime and protection against failures. Upgrading to faster networking can also provide significant performance improvements. With refurbished parts, it is possible to set up a high-performance OPNsense HA setup at an affordable cost.