Freebsd IP Forwarding performance (question, and some info) [7-stable, current, em, smp]

Paul paul at
Sat Jul 5 23:08:50 UTC 2008

no major differences with SMP with ULE/4BSD and preemption ON/OFF

32 bit UP test coming up with new cpu
and I'm installing dragonfly sometime this weekend :]
UP: 1mpps in one direction with no firewall/no routing table is not too 
bad, but 1mpps both directions is the goal here
700kpps with full bgp table in one direction is not too bad
Ipfw needs a lot of work, barely gets 500kpps with no routing table with 
a few ipfw rules loaded.. that's horrible
Linux barely takes a hit when you start loading iptables rules , but 
then again linux has a HUGE problem with routing
random packet sources/ports .. grr
My problem Is I need some box to do fast routing and some to do 
firewall.. :/
I'll have 32 bit 7-stable UP test with ipfw/routing table and then move 
on to dragonfly.
I'll post the dragonfly results here as well as sign up for their 
mailing list.

Bart Van Kerckhove wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Paul / Ingo,
>>> I tried all of this :/  still, 256/512 descriptors seem to work the
>>> best. Happy to let you log into the machine and fiddle around if you
>>> want :) 
> I've been watching this thread closely, since I'm in a very similair
> situation.
> A few questions/remarks:
> Does ULE provide better performance than 4BSD for forwarding?
> Did you try freebsd4 as well? This thread had a report about that quite
> opposite to my own experiences, -4 seemed to be a lot faster at forwarding
> than anything else I 've tried so far.
> Obviously the thing I'm interested in is IMIX - and 64byte packets.
> Does anyone have any benchmarks for DragonFly? I asked around on IRC, but
> that nor google turned up any useful results.
> <snip> 
>> I don't think you will be able to route 64byte packets at 1gbit
>> wirespeed (2Mpps) with a current x86 platform.
> Are there actual hardware related reasons this should not be possible, or
> is this purely lack of dedicated work towards this goal?
> <snip>
>> Theres a "sun" used at quagga dev as bgp-route-server.
>> (but they don't answered my question regarding fw-performance).
> the Quagga guys are running a sun T1000 (niagara 1) route server - I happen
> to have the machine in my racks,
> please let me know if you want to run some tests on it, I'm sure they won't
> mind ;-)
> It should also make a great testbed for SMP performance testing imho (and
> they're pretty cheap these days)
> Also, feel free to use me as a relay for your questions, they're not always
> very reachable.
> <snap>
>> Perhaps you have some better luck at some different hardware systems
>> (ppc, mips, ..?) or use freebsd only for routing-table-updates and
>> special network-cards (netfpga) for real routing.
> The netfpga site seems more or less dead - is this project still alive?
> It does look like a very interesting idea, even though it's currently quite
> linux-centric (and according to docs doesn't have VLAN nor ip6 support, the
> former being quite a dealbreaker)
> Paul: I'm looking forward to the C2D 32bit benchmarks (maybe throw in a
> freebsd4 and/or dragonfly bench if you can..) - appreciate the lots of
> information you are providing us :)
> Met vriendelijke groet / With kind regards,
> Bart Van Kerckhove
> eca31f7WQ/oXq9tJ8TEDN3CA
> =YGYq

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