Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default Rethinking Untangle on a USB flash drive

    Recently, my HDD in my firewall crashed. Not wanting to sink a lot of money into a new one, I opted to go with a new USB 3.0 flash drive. The read speeds claimed 133MB/s. After I plugged it in, I installed Untangle on it. Performance wise, it was probably "good enough" and on par with my old HDD. Combined with a USB 3 Ethernet adapter on the WAN side, I'm not seeing any bottlenecks.

    So if your thinking this way, it might work for some instances of Untangle.

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,268

    Default

    I'm thinking it will work right up until you run out of write endurance in a month.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  3. #3
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default

    We'll see. This "problem" is largely overstated depending on the application. If this were the case, we'd be buying new smartphones every month. My application is low on rewriting areas of the disk of the drive, so my suspicion is that it will last longer than that. I've run Linux distros off the same flash drive for years without problems to this point. And when it does die, I'll replace it and load my config from a backup. I also run microservers off of SD cards too in other applications with issue. But like everything else, I still back it up.
    Last edited by blaize; 04-05-2016 at 07:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,268

    Default

    Well, if you don't install the reports module, and never bother actually reading a log or needing any actual detail on what's going on... sure.

    But, a properly deployed Untangle will have the reports module, so the event logs work, and once that's in place... game over. Untangle generates enough writes to make a Samsung EVO 840 cry, and it's got a ton more write endurance than a typical USB key.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  5. #5
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default

    A "properly deployed Untangle" is one that serves the purpose that it was intended to serve -- reports or no reports. Some deployments use it a spam filter in front of an email server only in bridge mode where logging isn't necessarily important. Others use it it to help mitigate threats in lateral movement on LAN segments so it sniffs viruses and other malware. Others use it as a VPN server only. Others install everything and the kitchen sink. The great thing about Untangle is that it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. It's a Swiss Army Knife like appliance that works modest hardware like I'm using at home and (where I'm using a USB drive) to HA clusters fronting thousands clients on a corporate LAN. I've seen and used it in variety of setups.
    Last edited by blaize; 04-06-2016 at 07:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,268

    Default

    And in every case you've just listed, without logs it's a liability.

    Indeed, I cannot envision a single instance of having an untangle around where not having logs is OK. I was one of the first to deploy SSDs widely, and I remember telling customers to do this while I figured out what was going on as they fried on six month intervals. It was a bad idea then, it's a bad idea now. Run your box without reports if you wish, and if you do you can limp by on a USB memory stick. I just find it incredibly silly to run a security device without logs, it can be penetrated and you just don't know!

    It's like trying to use Untangle without the Attack Blocker, which is... well... part of the platform now so people can't remove it. Reports is just as essential.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #7
    Master Untangler abailey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blaize View Post
    It's a Swiss Army Knife like appliance that works modest hardware like I'm using at home and (where I'm using a USB drive) to HA clusters fronting thousands clients on a corporate LAN. I've seen and used it in variety of setups.
    I hope I am reading this wrong. Are you saying that the Untangle install you did is for a corporate environment? I hope not. I thought you were just trying an experiment at home to see if it could run off a USB. Outside of an interesting experiment I can't see why anyone would load Untangle on a USB flash drive. You can get a decent 320gig, 7200 RPM drive for $25.00. With a little looking around you can get a decent drive for Untangle for less that $20.00. In a corporate environment I really can't see why someone would take a chance with a USB flash drive when a small hard drive for Untangle is very inexpensive.

  8. #8
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by abailey View Post
    I hope I am reading this wrong. Are you saying that the Untangle install you did is for a corporate environment? I hope not. I thought you were just trying an experiment at home to see if it could run off a USB. Outside of an interesting experiment I can't see why anyone would load Untangle on a USB flash drive. You can get a decent 320gig, 7200 RPM drive for $25.00. With a little looking around you can get a decent drive for Untangle for less that $20.00. In a corporate environment I really can't see why someone would take a chance with a USB flash drive when a small hard drive for Untangle is very inexpensive.
    I'm running this at home, not in a corporate environment. I use mostly VM's in corporate environments on server class hardware -- very few baremetal installs. In fact, I don't think I've done a bare metal install of Untangle in a business in several years now.

    You can get flash drives for a dime a dozen, even good ones. The one I'm using is ~$5 new. I'm running UFW at home on an older centrino based laptop that doesn't have any SATA ports. It uses ZIF HDD's which are similar to what they used in old iPods. They are notoriously unreliable, and I really didn't want to buy another one because even the grey market ones are sketchy. A USB flash drive was a simple, cheap and effective solution thus far. Using the laptop started off as an experiment, but it worked well enough that I replaced a more power hungry box with it. The biggest drawback is boot time (around 60 seconds), but how often do I reboot Untangle? Almost never...

    Would I encourage this for a cporporate environment? No. Home -- that all depends on who's home it is.
    Last edited by blaize; 04-06-2016 at 10:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Untangler
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Reports is just as essential.
    They're essential if you deem them so. Some people don't care about reports for a spam filter or otherwise.It's pretty much that simple. I do have reports turned on though, if you must know. And even so, the sequential writes of how PostgreSQL and the files system does this isn't constantly rewriting bits within the databases. In fact most of the config in Untangle from my own development is in static files on the file system. The database exists to make filtering the results faster and simpler.

    But the little set up I have using a USB stick for for 20 devices on a 50MBS fiber connection. There's no lag, no bottle necks, no perceivable difference with or without Untangle installed. Bottom it works. If it crashes, I sigh. I spend 10 minutes reinstalling Untangle on another flash drive, restore the settings and I'm back up and running.

    If Untangle really wanted to make this sort of setup inadvisable, then simply remove the USB drivers for flash media from the the distro so it is arduous to install it otherwise. My point is not everyone uses Untangle the same way. It's flexibility is really what makes it a great product. Because so and so doesn't doesn't use module XY and Z doesn't imply that they are misusing it or otherwise.
    Last edited by blaize; 04-06-2016 at 11:41 AM.

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,268

    Default

    No logs on a spam filter?

    You sir, are a brave soul... If I attempted that I'd be terminated without further argument.

    And if it works great! I just wouldn't expect it to live terribly long. Untangle has come a long way in the last year at limiting writes. And the new v12 kernel has additional toys that assist in that effort in ways that are yet unquantified. I was just pointing out that I'd expect it to fry in a month, given better information in your last post, I'd give it three months. I'd love to be wrong of course, this is just my experience with the product talking.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 04-06-2016 at 11:02 AM.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2