Up until a few hours ago we had a Symantec firewall appliance protecting the office network from script kiddies and the like, but unfortunately it was prone to crashing and required regular rebooting.
As I was returning from my coffee break I passed Kev who was leaving the room to go reboot said device.
I was in an impulsive mood and when Kev returned I offered to build a new firewall. Unfortunately I didn’t get an opportunity to use any empty fairy liquid bottles or stick-back plastic, but I did grab the latest release of the excellent Linux-based IPCop, an old 450MHz Dell Dimension desktop from the stack we have in the corner of our room and a spare network card that had been lying on a shelf, gathering dust.
I’ve been using IPCop at home for a while now and this site is running on a cobbled together machine sitting behind an old Compaq box running this fine piece of software. I used to use a commercial hardware router and the thought of running another pc just to route traffic seemed extravagant, but I haven’t looked back since I first installed Smoothwall, which IPCop is based on. Being familiar with IPCop’s installation and configuration proved beneficial and before I left for my lunch break the new firewall was in place and running like a champion.
So far this is the only Linux box on the network, but I like the idea of an ancient Linux box protecting all our windows desktops and dual-Xeon Server 2k3 machine (can Windows Server be run on anything less??), don’t fear the penguins!