[Guide] Spice up your rack with these stylish & sexy chassis for your pfSense build!

Supermicro chassis are often used by firewall and network appliance companies. Some chassis may need slight/moderate modification, but I’ve done my best to find ones that don’t need much work. If anything, you just need an angle grinder, some Duck Tape, JB Weld, and/or some Blu-Tack.

You may see NEI branding on these chassis, AKA Network Engines Inc. NEI was acquired by Unicom sometime in 2012, so you might see that branding as well. Models include the S-1200, S-1400, S-1600, and more.

If you find any, please post them! You can use the following search terms:

  • Firewall Appliance
  • email appliance
  • virus appliance
  • Network Appliance
  • Security Gateway
  • Load Balancer

Generally speaking, I do not recommend that you use the hardware built into these systems. Replace with your own, and if you want it to be completely silent you can use an DC power supply like the one used in the [Guide] JDM's Mini-ITX pfSense builds.

With that said, here are some models to look at!

Barracuda Networks Appliances (1U S-1200, CSE-815)

BlueCat Networks Adonis 500/750/1000

Bomgar B200 (1U S-1200)

Cisco Ironport C150/C160/C170 (1U Other)

Citrix CloudBridge CB-504-2 (1U S-1200)

Cobalt Networks RaQ3 (1U Other)

FireEye 5300/7300 (1U CSE-815)

FireEye NX series (1U S-1200/Other SM)

Google Mini-0020 search Appliance (1U S-1200)

Imprivata OneSign OS200/OS201 (1U S-1200)

Kemp Loadmaster (1U Other)

Lightspeed Systems S-1400 (1U S-1400)

nCircle Network Security (1U Other)

Netcordia NetMRI LENA (1U S-1200)

Network Engines P7500 Roadster LX (1U Other)

Nitro Security NitroView/NitroGuard (1U S-1200)

Mailfoundry 2100 (1U S-1200)

MobileIron Sentry (1U S-1200)

Motorola Air Defense SV

Phantom Technologies iBoss (1U S-1200)

RedCondor Mag 2000/2500 (1U S-1200)

Sapphire BT Diamond (1U S-1200)



Shoretel Mobility Router

Sophos WS1000 (1U S-1200)


Sophos WS1100 (1U S-1200)

Steelcloud/AVG 3000 (1U S1200)

Qualys Guard (1U S-1200, 1U Other)

WatchGuard XCX 170/370/570 (1U S-1200)


Well now I have no excuse to not rack mount my pfsense box. Just gotta do it when the wife isn’t home. Thanks for this JDM!


Why would you do this to me?! No excuses anymore

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Is there a cooling solution that you recommend for the 1u chassis?

Also, how about using one of these?


Here is the 1U I built, pfSense 1U Rack Build Complete using the Silverstone Tek NT07-115X Super Slim Profile CPU Cooler and 2x Noctua case fans, no temp issues since Dec.


LANDesk LDMG1000-001

and a different LANDesk

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Kind of the point was to not use a “boring” supermicro case :slight_smile:


Only reason I dont like that build is because its $250. You could get a dell r210ii for less than 200.

Doesn’t have to be $250.

The one Metrics referenced was $250. That is what i was referring to.

Right, but a router doesn’t need to cost that much, There’s a lot that can be culled from that build.

You def can trim some fat off my build, starting with the wifi card I couldn’t ever get to fit because of the riser ribbon and the noctua brand fans aren’t needed. I really only shared it to show the cooler and how it looked on the board. Never the less, I set a budget and came in under, I am happy.

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One could also get a hyze zeus bare bones for $102 and sell the motherboard (or use it I suppose) - it’s a pretty blue. I wonder if they would sell just the chassis - because they do sell the motherboard by itself.

who wants to get real creative with the dremel?

the Hyve Zeus guys will sell the chassis, its not through ebay, so let me know if interested and ill send you the email, a few of us got them for 40 bucks.

not wanting to post their email address though.

I got the FireEye NX900 CSE-512 today for $74. Seems pretty sweet! I don’t have to make any modifications right? I would imagine that I can slap in an SSD and install pfsense right?

To get pfSense up and running, any HDD or SSD will work just fine.

Somewhat unrelated, I get mine in tomorrow!

Which one did you opt for Commander @JDM_WAAAT?

the top one is serverbuilds blue…
the 2nd one is the AMD one that looks cool
the red one I think is e3-1270 v2 w/ 16GB of RAM
the orange one at the bottom is LGA 2011