Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

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Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

mottycruz
Hello all,
I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the
past i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.

Any suggestions!
Thanks,
Motty

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Daniel Melameth
On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 1:52 PM, Motty Cruz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
> i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.

As I understand it, amd64 has been the way to go for some time now
(but the network stack will still not see benefit from SMP systems).

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Juan J. Fernandez
In reply to this post by mottycruz
Greetings Motty Cruz,

In general, you could achieve performance by configuring your kernel
according to your hardware. You can use dmesg(8) and 'GENERIC' kernel
configuration as a guide for your hardware.

Sometimes i386 will run faster than 64 bit (see
http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html).


Juan J. Fernandez

On 11/25/14 16:52, Motty Cruz wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have
> found mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in
> the past i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>
> Any suggestions!
> Thanks,
> Motty

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

mottycruz
 Thank you Juan,

I appreciate your suggestions and advice.
I am planning on using Dual socket B2 (LGA 1356) supports Intel® Xeon®
processor E5-2400 v2, I suppose i386 would perform better rather than 64bit
amd processor. Thank you again!

Thanks,
Motty
On 11/25/2014 03:01 PM, Juan J. Fernandez wrote:

Greetings Motty Cruz,

In general, you could achieve performance by configuring your kernel
according to your hardware. You can use dmesg(8) and 'GENERIC' kernel
configuration as a guide for your hardware.

Sometimes i386 will run faster than 64 bit (see
http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html).


Juan J. Fernandez

On 11/25/14 16:52, Motty Cruz wrote:

Hello all,
I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.

Any suggestions!
Thanks,
Motty

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Philip Guenther-2
In reply to this post by Juan J. Fernandez
On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Juan J. Fernandez
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> In general, you could achieve performance by configuring your kernel
> according to your hardware. You can use dmesg(8) and 'GENERIC' kernel
> configuration as a guide for your hardware.

That's bad advice.  When you run a non-standard kernel and something
goes wrong, the *first* response will be "does it happen on a GENERIC
kernel?  What are the symptoms, backtrace, etc there?"   And what
changes are you suggesting would make a *performance* difference?
Have you been drinking the kool-aid over at that c*l*mel site?


> Sometimes i386 will run faster than 64 bit (see
> http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html).

I see nothing on that page to suggest that.


Philip Guenther

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Brad Smith-14
In reply to this post by mottycruz
On 11/25/14 18:18, motty cruz wrote:
>   Thank you Juan,
>
> I appreciate your suggestions and advice.
> I am planning on using Dual socket B2 (LGA 1356) supports Intel® Xeon®
> processor E5-2400 v2, I suppose i386 would perform better rather than 64bit
> amd processor. Thank you again!

The amd64 arch runs on any modern Intel CPU as well as AMD CPUs (as
well as VIA). amd64 refers to the ISA not that it will only run on AMD
CPUs.


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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Juan J. Fernandez
In reply to this post by Philip Guenther-2
Thank you for your advice Philip.

Can you please give your advice then ?

Thank you :)

Juan J. Fernandez

On 11/25/14 21:06, Philip Guenther wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Juan J. Fernandez
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> In general, you could achieve performance by configuring your kernel
>> according to your hardware. You can use dmesg(8) and 'GENERIC' kernel
>> configuration as a guide for your hardware.
> That's bad advice.  When you run a non-standard kernel and something
> goes wrong, the *first* response will be "does it happen on a GENERIC
> kernel?  What are the symptoms, backtrace, etc there?"   And what
> changes are you suggesting would make a *performance* difference?
> Have you been drinking the kool-aid over at that c*l*mel site?
>
>
>> Sometimes i386 will run faster than 64 bit (see
>> http://www.openbsd.org/amd64.html).
> I see nothing on that page to suggest that.
>
>
> Philip Guenther
>
>
>

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Juan J. Fernandez
In reply to this post by Brad Smith-14
Thank you Brad.

Juan J. Fernandez

On 11/25/14 21:20, Brad Smith wrote:

> On 11/25/14 18:18, motty cruz wrote:
>>   Thank you Juan,
>>
>> I appreciate your suggestions and advice.
>> I am planning on using Dual socket B2 (LGA 1356) supports Intel® Xeon®
>> processor E5-2400 v2, I suppose i386 would perform better rather than
>> 64bit
>> amd processor. Thank you again!
>
> The amd64 arch runs on any modern Intel CPU as well as AMD CPUs (as
> well as VIA). amd64 refers to the ISA not that it will only run on AMD
> CPUs.

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Nick Holland
In reply to this post by mottycruz
On 11/25/14 15:51, Motty Cruz wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the
> past i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.

Paraphrasing your question:
I'm looking for the fastest car for my commute to work.  Should it be
blue or orange?

IF you have truly got an environment where you need to wring the last
bit of performance out of the system, you might want to look at the
things that actually matter -- like NICs, bus, etc.  And you will
probably have the budget and motivation to do a bit of experimenting.

More than likely, just like my commute to work is throttled by the
roads, NOT my car's paint color (or engine), your performance will be
throttled by your links more than anything else.  Once your machine can
move all the packets that your pipes support, the rest is just wasted
effort.

There are other considerations.  My primary firewall/router is an AMD64
capable processor, but running i386.  Why?  Because if I blow out the
computer, I have more i386-capable scrap hw than I do amd64 capable hw.

Nick.

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Adam Thompson
In reply to this post by mottycruz
On 14-11-25 02:52 PM, Motty Cruz wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have
> found mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in
> the past i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>
> Any suggestions!
> Thanks,
> Motty
>

As Nick said, it probably doesn't actually matter.  Most of the junk
hardware you scrapped years ago can still saturate your WAN connection,
unless you work for a high-energy physics laboratory.

Generally speaking, if you have an extremely fast network, and you
really need to route things quickly, latency and PPS will be much more
important to you than raw bandwidth, and in that case you probably
shouldn't be using a regular computer as a router at all - go buy a
router from Cisco or Juniper or Huawei or Pick-Your-Favourite-Vendor,
and they'll typically give you better latency and PPS numbers.

If you're determined to go with a software router for one reason or
another (cost, typically): if you're going to use OpenBSD, I've found
that CPU clock speed matters most to latency, whereas the CPU's
instruction dispatch rate (or issue rate) matters most to bandwidth.  
I'm not sure what affects Packets-per-second most.

The quality of your NIC and NIC drivers can easily be more important
than a 1GHz difference in clock speed.  Don't forget the latency
inherent in RAM; slower systems can actually have lower memory latency
than faster.

In other words, as Nick said, it's simultaneously usually a pointless
question to ask, AND an extremely difficult - practically impossible -
one to answer.

FWIW, I'm running a pair of OpenBSD boxen as routers: each system is a
Dell PowerEdge C6100, with dual 2.27GHz L5520 CPUs and 48GB of RAM.  
It's massive, massive overkill for routing, no matter how many full
tables I have in memory.  (Top tells me I'm only using 338MB of memory,
which seems suspect.)  They're fast enough for my needs; the fastest
usable connection they have is 1Gbps and they can easily saturate that.

--
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  [hidden email]

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

jungle Boogie
In reply to this post by mottycruz
Hello All,
On 25 November 2014 at 12:52, Motty Cruz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
> i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>

I'm in similar situation as Motty, I'd like an OBSd to use for pf.

I'm interested in this: http://store.netgate.com/kit-APU1C4.aspx
with the msata drive.

Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.

> Any suggestions!
> Thanks,
> Motty
>

Thanks,
Jb


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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Stan Gammons-2
On 11/27/14 21:35, jungle Boogie wrote:

> Hello All,
> On 25 November 2014 at 12:52, Motty Cruz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
>> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
>> i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>>
> I'm in similar situation as Motty, I'd like an OBSd to use for pf.
>
> I'm interested in this: http://store.netgate.com/kit-APU1C4.aspx
> with the msata drive.
>
> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
>
>

I have a couple of the APU1C's and they are Ok.  They had and to some
extent still have a few BIOS issues. Perhaps it's nit picking, but I
wish they would fix the LED link rate issue.  The APU's do run pretty
warm, but that doesn't seem to hurt reliability.


Stan

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Brad Smith-14
In reply to this post by jungle Boogie
On 11/27/14 22:35, jungle Boogie wrote:

> Hello All,
> On 25 November 2014 at 12:52, Motty Cruz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
>> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
>> i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>>
>
> I'm in similar situation as Motty, I'd like an OBSd to use for pf.
>
> I'm interested in this: http://store.netgate.com/kit-APU1C4.aspx
> with the msata drive.
>
> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.

Unless you guys give some sort of hints as to what these routers and /
or firewalls are going to be used for just asking for hardware
recommendations without such details is useless. What sort of throughput
/ packets per second do you forsee on the inside network? What is your
target or expectation? If there is a WAN connection how fast is it? Are
you lucky enough to have Gbit or is it only say a 50Mbps connection?
Those types of details matter.


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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

jungle Boogie
In reply to this post by Stan Gammons-2
Hi Stan,
On 27 November 2014 at 19:49, Stan Gammons <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/27/14 21:35, jungle Boogie wrote:
>>
>> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
>> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
>>
>>
>
> I have a couple of the APU1C's and they are Ok.  They had and to some extent
> still have a few BIOS issues. Perhaps it's nit picking, but I wish they
> would fix the LED link rate issue.  The APU's do run pretty warm, but that
> doesn't seem to hurt reliability.
>
>

Well I think to run free/openBSD, you have to run a bios update.
Hopefully there's a newer bios that resolved those issues you

> Stan
>

jb


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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Stan Gammons-2
On 11/27/14 22:01, jungle Boogie wrote:

> Hi Stan,
> On 27 November 2014 at 19:49, Stan Gammons <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 11/27/14 21:35, jungle Boogie wrote:
>>> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
>>> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
>>>
>>>
>> I have a couple of the APU1C's and they are Ok.  They had and to some extent
>> still have a few BIOS issues. Perhaps it's nit picking, but I wish they
>> would fix the LED link rate issue.  The APU's do run pretty warm, but that
>> doesn't seem to hurt reliability.
>>
>>
> Well I think to run free/openBSD, you have to run a bios update.
> Hopefully there's a newer bios that resolved those issues you
>
>

The latest BIOS, 9/8/2014, doesn't fix the LED issue.

I saw Brad's comments in the other email. The APU is Ok to use as a home
firewall. I have no experience on using one in more demanding environment.


Stan

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

jungle Boogie
In reply to this post by Brad Smith-14
Hi Brad,
On 27 November 2014 at 19:51, Brad Smith <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 11/27/14 22:35, jungle Boogie wrote:
>> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
>> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
>
>
> Unless you guys give some sort of hints as to what these routers and /
> or firewalls are going to be used for just asking for hardware
> recommendations without such details is useless. What sort of throughput
> / packets per second do you forsee on the inside network? What is your
> target or expectation? If there is a WAN connection how fast is it? Are
> you lucky enough to have Gbit or is it only say a 50Mbps connection?
> Those types of details matter.
>
>

I think the WAN on my home connection is 100Mbit. I'd essentially like
it to replace the cable company netgear router.

Regarding PPS, I have no idea how I'd measure that. It would be
serving a home network with moderate network usage. I'd like basically
have a router that I can experiment with pf and openbsd without the
worry that the hardware is no good.

>
> --
>

Thanks,
jb

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

jungle Boogie
In reply to this post by Stan Gammons-2
Hi Stan,
On 27 November 2014 at 20:09, Stan Gammons <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The latest BIOS, 9/8/2014, doesn't fix the LED issue.
>
> I saw Brad's comments in the other email. The APU is Ok to use as a home
> firewall. I have no experience on using one in more demanding environment.
>
>

Well what would be something above OK? A soekris? It doesn't seem
those have as much RAM, though.

> Stan
>

Thanks,
jb



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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

dan mclaughlin
In reply to this post by mottycruz
On Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:10:14 -0800 jungle Boogie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Brad,
> On 27 November 2014 at 19:51, Brad Smith <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 11/27/14 22:35, jungle Boogie wrote:
> >> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
> >> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
> >
> >
> > Unless you guys give some sort of hints as to what these routers and /
> > or firewalls are going to be used for just asking for hardware
> > recommendations without such details is useless. What sort of throughput
> > / packets per second do you forsee on the inside network? What is your
> > target or expectation? If there is a WAN connection how fast is it? Are
> > you lucky enough to have Gbit or is it only say a 50Mbps connection?
> > Those types of details matter.
> >
> >
>
> I think the WAN on my home connection is 100Mbit. I'd essentially like
> it to replace the cable company netgear router.
>
> Regarding PPS, I have no idea how I'd measure that. It would be
> serving a home network with moderate network usage. I'd like basically
> have a router that I can experiment with pf and openbsd without the
> worry that the hardware is no good.
>
> >
> > --
> >
>
> Thanks,
> jb
>
> --
> -------
> inum: 883510009027723
> sip: [hidden email]
> xmpp: [hidden email]
>

you can just use old hardware for these purposes.

from the man who literally wrote the book on pf (from pf tutorial via
http://home.nuug.no/~peter/pf/en/long-firewall.html):

  I have not seen comparable tests performed recently [3.1 era], but in my
  own experience and that of others, the PF filtering overhead is pretty
  much negligible. As one data point, the machine which gateways between
  one of the networks where I've done a bit of work and the world is a
  Pentium III 450MHz with 384MB of RAM. When I've remembered to check, I've
  never seen the machine at less than 96 percent 'idle' according to top.

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

jungle Boogie
Hi,
On 27 November 2014 at 20:38,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> you can just use old hardware for these purposes.
>
> from the man who literally wrote the book on pf (from pf tutorial via
> http://home.nuug.no/~peter/pf/en/long-firewall.html):
>
>   I have not seen comparable tests performed recently [3.1 era], but in my
>   own experience and that of others, the PF filtering overhead is pretty
>   much negligible. As one data point, the machine which gateways between
>   one of the networks where I've done a bit of work and the world is a
>   Pentium III 450MHz with 384MB of RAM. When I've remembered to check, I've
>   never seen the machine at less than 96 percent 'idle' according to top.
>

Yes, that's true! But less fun. ;)

I do have some Dell dimensions machine with OpenBSD -current running
now that I could easily get two NICs but its kinda old and slow to
update current. I'll measure the power to see how much it uses.

With the fact that old hardware, why would the APU be "OK" and not good?


jb
-------
inum: 883510009027723
sip: [hidden email]
xmpp: [hidden email]

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Re: Packet Filter router i368 vs 64bit

Edgar Pettijohn
In reply to this post by jungle Boogie
On Nov 27, 2014, at 9:35 PM, jungle Boogie wrote:

> Hello All,
> On 25 November 2014 at 12:52, Motty Cruz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I am searching for hardware to build a router with OpenBSD. I have found
>> mixed signals as to fastest system with i386 or 64bit. I know in the past
>> i386 OpenBSD used to perform a lot better than 64bit system.
>>
>
> I'm in similar situation as Motty, I'd like an OBSd to use for pf.
>
> I'm interested in this: http://store.netgate.com/kit-APU1C4.aspx
> with the msata drive.
>
> Anyone have any objections? I know the NICs are not intel so that will
> probably get a strike against it, but I like the low power.
>
>> Any suggestions!
>> Thanks,
>> Motty
>>
>
> Thanks,
> Jb
>
>
> --
> -------
> inum: 883510009027723
> sip: [hidden email]
> xmpp: [hidden email]
>
>


This is something I've been interested in trying, but I would want it as a wireless access point as well and not sure what cards are supported and work well.  Does anyone know of any good choices?

thanks

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