I've been asked to look into placing a firewall between a webserver (Debian/Apache/PHP) in the DMZ and a backend MySQL database to achieve "isolation". Right now, iptables is running on the MySQL server and is only permitting TCP 22 and 3306 for SSH and MySQL respectively. However, this is apparently not good enough, and a hardware firewall is recommended.
Looking at Cisco's ASA 5505 for example, the max. throughput is 150Mbps, which seems like quite a step down compared to the Gigabit throughput that the Webserver and MySQL server enjoy now being on the same GbE switch.
Is this a concern? I can't really give you any numbers right now, but say your typical form-driven, data entry CRUD webapp with perhaps 100 concurrent user sessions at any time.
If this is impossible to determine without any real throughput numbers, can anyone suggest any methods of measuring? I was thinking of grabbing JMeter, simulating some load, and measuring bandwidth on a port mirror of the MySQL interface (or perhaps on the MySQL server itself) with ntop.
I bolded the item about the Gigabit Ethernet, which should have a theoretical throughput of 125MB/s, whereas the Cisco 5505 has a max throughput of 150Mbps (or ~18MB/s) and that's not accounting for NAT or ACL parsing etc (although I can't see NAT or ACL parsing being a big deal for a one-node network). Even still, the firewall would definitely be a potential bottleneck between the webserver and the MySQL server, seeing as a good, RAID1 setup with high-quality SAS disks and other server components should at least be able to push 50-75MB/s.