Fujitsu Futro S920 Thin Client as opnsense firewall

tinfoil3d

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Now, I can't even look at this "Builds" sub-forum without people like @Samir posting deals there too. Thanks @Samir
@Samir You better get your lawyer involved, this man has a strong case against ya, for your upvotes on deals forums.

On a serious side, this is pretty rusty piece of hardware that produces more heat than calculations. I'm not a poor guy, but I've been replacing my old hardware actively thoughout last years not because of the watts it eats, but because of the watts it emits, versus the performance. And when it comes to bad weather, yep, newer hardware lasts way longer on UPS than antiques of 2000s. I still love them and use them but mostly they've been retired from mission-critical positions. I always ttry to find ways to repurpose the old stuff I have but I would not buy a decade old computers right now.
 
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Samir

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Ugh. I've been trying to avoid the Great Deals forum as much as possible, simply because I keep buying things that I see and think, "oh that's a really good price for (fill in the blank)". Unfortunately, I don't always have a need for a (fill in the blank). But, do I think about whether or not I have a need? No. No, I don't. I never seem to get past "oh that's a really good price for (fill in the blank)," before I'm off to Ebay clicking "Buy".

Now, I can't even look at this "Builds" sub-forum without people like @Samir posting deals there too. Thanks @Samir :mad:

Not sure if the seller will accept my offer (suddenly there's a lot of offers pending..STH Effect), but I'll probably have to find a use for an S920 now too. Sheesh
So you now you know what I do to keep myself from buying the 'good deal'--pass it on so someone else buys it. :p

But in case you can't find a use for it, download the original win10 iso and restore it and put it back on ebay as a fully restored win10 thin client with gpu and make your money back plus a bit for your time. ;)
 

Samir

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@Samir You better get your lawyer involved, this man has a strong case against ya, for your upvotes on deals forums.

On a serious side, this is pretty rusty piece of hardware that produces more heat than calculations. I'm not a poor guy, but I've been replacing my old hardware actively thoughout last years not because of the watts it eats, but because of the watts it emits, versus the performance. And when it comes to bad weather, yep, newer hardware lasts way longer on UPS than antiques of 2000s. I still love them and use them but mostly they've been retired from mission-critical positions. I always ttry to find ways to repurpose the old stuff I have but I would not buy a decade old computers right now.
:D Doing what I can to make The STH Effect™ a household name, lol!

I did some searches for win10 thin clients when I was toying with the idea of restoring these and putting them back out for sale and was hard pressed to find anything that was more power efficient that didn't cost more. And I think the difference was like 5w vs 25w--but then the cost was almost 2x. And that becomes the inevitable issue--you can either pay for efficiency or you can pay for power, but either way you're still paying. I get it that in some places where power is terribly expensive the impact is more and in places where power is cheap it's hardly an issue. But I've noticed that even a baseline lab or assortment of equipment doubles your power usage than if you don't have such fun toys around. I always remind people--your clothes dryer is typically 240v and a 30a breaker and so is an electric car charger. And either of those is enough to power a pretty good chunk of equipment--even if they're older. ;)
 

Markess

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On a serious side, this is pretty rusty piece of hardware that produces more heat than calculations. I'm not a poor guy, but I've been replacing my old hardware actively thoughout last years not because of the watts it eats, but because of the watts it emits, versus the performance. And when it comes to bad weather, yep, newer hardware lasts way longer on UPS than antiques of 2000s. I still love them and use them but mostly they've been retired from mission-critical positions. I always ttry to find ways to repurpose the old stuff I have but I would not buy a decade old computers right now.
Are you saying that these (the Fujitsu Futuro S920) are old and rusty and a decade old? These Fujitsu S920 didn't get announced till late in 2015 and the first ones didn't ship in any quantity till 2016. AMD is still selling the CPU in the model @Samir linked, and isn't phasing it out till 2023. I agree its not super powerful, but its not supposed to be.
 
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roqueeee

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Power consumption on my unit is around 9-10W when idle. I'm running OPNsense with a 4-port Intel nic. Downsizing to a 2-port nic might save another 1-2W. Under load consumption shoots up to 12W.

I guess using an APU2 for example might actually cut power consumption in half, what are the real world numbers there?
Edit: Just realized Stephan already answered my question:
[...] Things still going for the APU: Only 5 watts idle power draw [...]
Anyways, the latest bios update for the S920 is from 2018. I wouldn't call them antiquated yet.

On the topic of ECC ram, this might be an issue for some people who plan to have really long uptimes with their machines. Using OPNsense though, it's likely you'll be restarting your machine every other week for updates anyways. Sure, I'd prefer ECC. But beggars can't be choosers sometimes.
 
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Stephan

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If you don't have ECC I recommend two things (I also recommend this if you DO have ECC...):

1) Activate the hardware watchdog if the board has one (usually from chipset, AMT or IPMI), so a crashed or hardlocked machine is reset after like 60 seconds. Not sure if the *sense distributions support this out of the box. I always roll my own custom installs with Arch, and there systemd has built-in support for watchdogs. See wdctl and system.conf. Aside from RAM errors, on my C236 board Intel once managed to fsck up a microcode update, leading to a hardlocked frozen machine every couple of days. A watchdog also helps in that case.

2) If you use some Linux then in sysctl.conf use

kernel.panic=1
kernel.panic_on_oops=1

and in fstab use

...,errors=panic,... in the options field.

This way any more serious bug in the kernel like an "oops" will panic the kernel right away, leading to a reboot after 1 second. Similarly with errors=panic if the filesystem code encounters a serious error, it will also directly panic the kernel, and not remount everything read-only or even worse, continue, and possibly write corrupted data to disk.
 
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WANg

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Are you saying that these (the Fujitsu Futuro S920) are old and rusty and a decade old? These Fujitsu S920 didn't get announced till late in 2015 and the first ones didn't ship in any quantity till 2016. AMD is still selling the CPU in the model @Samir linked, and isn't phasing it out till 2023. I agree its not super powerful, but its not supposed to be.
Eh, the CPU in the Futro S920 is the embedded version of the A4-5000 APU, which goes back to...2013. The APU has a 10 year extended availability cycle so it's sold until 2023...but I doubt that there are any new/recently announced designs with that chip inside. It's the the same vintage as the HP t620 Plus - It's not old and crusty as much "mature and well understood". It's also not worth top dollars or an eBay bidding war over - this is still an off-lease castaway that you pick up for a few Euros (or Kronors, or whatever currency is on the other side of the pond) and get some good results over. Of course, I would be more interested in their S940, which is like a Dell Wyse 5070 but with a more interesting (and useful) layout.

The good thing is that the S920/930 motherboard design is based on a Fujitsu/Kontron industrial design, so it's fairly well understood. The Futros generally also have good build quality (I had a Futro S400 that was great for retro-computing) which make them good value for the money...too bad we don't see much of them state-side.
 

zuzuboy981

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This is what I noticed as well. I have thin clients from Dell, HP, and Lenovo and the build quality of the Fujitsu is better than all of them (Lenovo being second, but Lenovo is the only brand where I had one fail too, so dunno what that means). And when I read 'Made in Germany' on them, it was clear why these were made 'just better'. :)

As a thin client, it's quite fast because of the additional built-in gpu. I haven't done a full production test yet, but for my use case (RDP) it seems as these will literally be twice as fast as the Wyse GX-420CA based thin client I just recently upgraded to from my 415CA based one.

I didn't purchase mine from the seller I linked to, but I think the guy I got these from on reddit originally did. He was trying to use one of the for pfsense and hadn't done anything with the other one. I upgraded both to 16GB of ram and loaded the original win10 image from Fujitsu's site and they were back to factory stock. And windows activates when you manually tell it to activate so license is tied to the board. :) There was a small coa sticker which you can see in the image in the ebay link so I think those could do the same if you wanted to restore them.

I'm actually surprised the seller hasn't fully restored them because a working win10 based thin client with a gpu/slot would double the sales prices. I have even toyed with the idea of buying the lot and restoring them and reselling them, but I don't have time to do that.

Some notes on the power that I gathered from my friend's site parkytowers--these will take either 19v or 20v adapters and according to the motherboard spec sheet and technical manual, even 12v should work as it bypasses the voltage converter on the board. I personally haven't tried anything other than 19v since that's all I have lying around.

Couldn't be happier with my two. :)
I am the seller from Reddit who sold you these :). I do lurk around STH and recognized you from your screen name.

The reason I decided to sell them was because I am running pfSense on an Optiplex 3020 SFF which idles at 21W. The one unit that had pfSense installed was idling at 23W with traffic shaping enabled so I had no use for them as a low power firewall.

The eBay seller TechRenew is local to Columbus and yes, I did buy my units from them and saved $15 due to local pickup. They do post quite a few items usable for Homelabbing for cheap so mark them under your favorites for future references. I had an HP T620 Plus before which idled around 11W w/ GX-420CA and an Intel i350T2-V4. The 424CC in these units are comparable to the HP T730 which are not low power (<15W) at all though they are passively cooled and are smaller than SFF machines. These are not great with IDS/IPS or even traffic shaping for gigabit speeds as they cap between 300-500mbps. For a regular firewall, they are very functional.
 
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WANg

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I am the seller from Reddit who sold you these :). I do lurk around STH and recognized you from your screen name.

The reason I decided to sell them was because I am running pfSense on an Optiplex 3020 SFF which idles at 21W. The one unit that had pfSense installed was idling at 23W with traffic shaping enabled so I had no use for them as a low power firewall.

The eBay seller TechRenew is local to Columbus and yes, I did buy my units from them and saved $15 due to local pickup. They do post quite a few items usable for Homelabbing for cheap so mark them under your favorites for future references. I had an HP T620 Plus before which idled around 11W w/ GX-420CA and an Intel i350T2-V4. The 424CC in these units are comparable to the HP T730 which are not low power (<15W) at all though they are passively cooled and are smaller than SFF machines. These are not great with IDS/IPS or even traffic shaping for gigabit speeds as they cap between 300-500mbps. For a regular firewall, they are very functional.
Eh, the 424CC is closer in tech to the 420CA in the t620 plus - both are “big cat” (Jaguar/Puma) cores, while the RX427BB in the t730 are from AMD’s “heavy equipment” family (specifically the Piledriver). The 424CC in the Futro S920 is not nearly as power hungry as RX427BB in the t730, but the RX427BB (well, its non-embedded variant the FX7600p) were found in low cost gaming laptops from Asus, so they were not designed as low powered APUs, but rather "feature rich" offerings...rather different use-case.
 
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Samir

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I am the seller from Reddit who sold you these :). I do lurk around STH and recognized you from your screen name.

The reason I decided to sell them was because I am running pfSense on an Optiplex 3020 SFF which idles at 21W. The one unit that had pfSense installed was idling at 23W with traffic shaping enabled so I had no use for them as a low power firewall.

The eBay seller TechRenew is local to Columbus and yes, I did buy my units from them and saved $15 due to local pickup. They do post quite a few items usable for Homelabbing for cheap so mark them under your favorites for future references. I had an HP T620 Plus before which idled around 11W w/ GX-420CA and an Intel i350T2-V4. The 424CC in these units are comparable to the HP T730 which are not low power (<15W) at all though they are passively cooled and are smaller than SFF machines. These are not great with IDS/IPS or even traffic shaping for gigabit speeds as they cap between 300-500mbps. For a regular firewall, they are very functional.
Thank you for posting! I didn't see your post until now unfortunately.

Very cool you were able to pick them up locally, and they've been great for revamping my rdp setup as these two connected to each other over my vpn makes everything seem like it's local even thousands of miles away. :) They're really great thin clients and were quite easy to restore. :)

Now I only wish I had more use cases for them as they're really solid machines. And as an ironic event, my Lenovo that I thought was dead decided it wanted to start working again 100% when I was going to use its power supply for the Fujitsu, haha! I think it heard me in this thread. :D
 

Samir

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What power supply do these use?
They uses a standard 5.5mm power jack either 19v or 20v. The cheapest power supply I've found that I think will work is the Dell nb-65b19:

I originally bought these Best Buy cable extensions that can be use as conversions for some existing HP power supplies I have that have a smaller 4.7mm power connector: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-6-extension-dc-cable-kit-black/6305513.p?skuId=6305513

These are going to be really good to have for gear that I may not have a power supply for or that has the wrong tip.

But then I just looked at my Dell link again and bought 2x power supplies for $13 shipped, lol. I'll see how these work too.

The one thing I haven't tried yet is a 12v power supply which should work as the motherboard specs indicate that it has a 'bypass' circuit that will not convert 19v/20v when it detects 12v. I would just expect a 12v power supply will need to be nearly 6A to have enough power for the video cards I have in mine and I don't have a 12v power supply with that many amps.

Hope the link helps as there's a lot of power supplies there for <$10 shipped. (When I was first looking $11 shipped was the cheapest--hence why I had to jump on the pair for $13. :D)
 
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Samir

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Oh, and one more thing I have learned about these is that they will run 16GB of ram via 2x8GB DDR3 and even 32GB of ram via 2x16GB DDR3, which are quite expensive modules. If I didn't already have them for another project to do a test, I definitely wouldn't have bought them specifically. But the factory w10 version definitely does like them. :) (It ran the same with the 16GB though too.)

And I just found out a few seconds ago via an AMD press release that there were actually 5 different motherboards in these:

D3313-ED3313-GD3313-FD3314-FD3314-E

 

e97

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They uses a standard 5.5mm power jack either 19v or 20v. The cheapest power supply I've found that I think will work is the Dell nb-65b19:

I originally bought these Best Buy cable extensions that can be use as conversions for some existing HP power supplies I have that have a smaller 4.7mm power connector: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-6-extension-dc-cable-kit-black/6305513.p?skuId=6305513

These are going to be really good to have for gear that I may not have a power supply for or that has the wrong tip.

But then I just looked at my Dell link again and bought 2x power supplies for $13 shipped, lol. I'll see how these work too.

The one thing I haven't tried yet is a 12v power supply which should work as the motherboard specs indicate that it has a 'bypass' circuit that will not convert 19v/20v when it detects 12v. I would just expect a 12v power supply will need to be nearly 6A to have enough power for the video cards I have in mine and I don't have a 12v power supply with that many amps.

Hope the link helps as there's a lot of power supplies there for <$10 shipped. (When I was first looking $11 shipped was the cheapest--hence why I had to jump on the pair for $13. :D)
Thanks Samir! Consolidated all my gadgets to use 12V from a HP Server PSU (Platinum 94% efficient) so its perfect if it can run off 12V.

Price is great, but I only have have DDR4 sticks and ECC RDIMM DDR3 lying around and want lower power consumption >_<
 
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Samir

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Thanks Samir! Consolidated all my gadgets to use 12V from a HP Server PSU (Platinum 94% efficient) so its perfect if it can run off 12V.

Price is great, but I only have have DDR4 sticks and ECC RDIMM DDR3 lying around and want lower power consumption >_<
I haven't tried it yet, so let us know if you have success at 12v. :)

8GB DDR3 modules can be found for $10/ea in the right places. ;) That's how I ended up stuffing both mine full. :D
 

yogi_en

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I ordered this device and the power cord both linked by @Samir , for PfSense/OpnSense. I would like to know the power consumption for this. I see two post in this thread which says the power consumption is around 10 W ( @roqueeee ) and another post which says the idle power consumption is 23 W (@zuzuboy981 ). Can any one please let me know the power consumption?
 
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Samir

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I ordered this device and the power cord both linked by @Samir , for PfSense/OpnSense. I would like to know the power consumption for this. I see two post in this thread which says the power consumption is around 10 W ( @roqueeee ) and another post which says the idle power consumption is 23 W (@zuzuboy981 ). Can any one please let me know the power consumption?
It really depends on what you're going to load it down with. The tdp of the 424 cpu is only 25w, however you need to consider the motherboard as well as the nic. I don't think pfsense really uses much more then 50% of this cpu under load so I would think the average of 10w with a peak of 23w would be correct:
 

yogi_en

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Thanks for the info @Samir, that is encouraging. Average 10w what is fine. Pfsense normally use less than 5% of the CPU in my HP 620Plus which is a machine with similar specs. I was bit concerned to 23W power consumption reported by some user. I assume those are peak power consumption. I will be getting the machine some time next week. Will report the power consumption.
 
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Samir

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Thanks for the info @Samir, that is encouraging. Average 10w what is fine. Pfsense normally use less than 5% of the CPU in my HP 620Plus which is a machine with similar specs. I was bit concerned to 23W power consumption reported by some user. I assume those are peak power consumption. I will be getting the machine some time next week. Will report the power consumption.
You're welcome. If you know what you're seeing with the 620Plus, check out how much more powerful the 424cc processor is and with that will come improved efficiency. But combine that with a design that may use a little more power overall and I think it will be a wash and basically use the same amount of power as the 620Plus, but have a lot more capability in reserve: