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

Paul paul at
Sun Jul 6 00:58:20 UTC 2008

UP 32 bit test vs 64 bit:
negligible difference in forwarding performance without polling
slightly better polling performance but still errors at lower packet rates
same massive hit with ipfw loaded

Installing dragonfly in a bit..
If anyone has a really fast PPC type system or SUN or something i'd love 
to try it :)
Something with a really big L1 cache :P

Paul wrote:
> 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
>> -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
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