In a previous post I discussed some of the political motivation for beginning to remove Cisco from my network and replace it with opensource software. Jacob Appelbaum likes to say, “Free Software for Freedom”.
Instead of buying new hardware I decided to repurpose an old SuperMicro server I had built to run FreeNAS a few years ago. The motherboard is a simple MicroATX with an Intel Atom D525 and 4GB of RAM housed inside of a small SuperMicro 1U case. While I was thinking about this transition I decided the biggest thing I would miss were the two Power Over Ethernet (POE) interfaces that the ASA 5505 had. After a tiny bit of digging I discovered StarTech has a PCI Express POE Gigabit Ethernet adapter with two or four ports. It supports IEEE 802.3at so it wont have any trouble powering access points.
Part Number: ST2000PEXPSE
Keep in mind the user interface is going through major changes in the next release of pfSense. I included a sample screen shot that was posted from the Alpha build.
pfSense has a lot of guides already out for installation and configuration. If you have any questions feel free to post them here or check their Wiki! If there is any interest I could create an install guide but if you are installing it on a normal computer with two network cards it is fairly straight forward.