PFsense on Esxi - 100% CPU Usage?



  • Hi,

    I have been running PFsense on a 6 ESXI box, server specs:

    E3-1245
    Supermicro - X11SSL-CF-O
    64gb ram
    Evo SSD

    The system has been running since mid may.  It has been great & I have had to do very little with it.  I have a Freepbx installation running (Asterisk) for my home phones on another Esxi box (cheapie Dell T110II) & I would like to change the setup so the Freepbx is on the Pfsense box & I can repurpose the Dell server to a freenas backup - that is besides the point).  I did upgrade Pfsense from 2.3.1 to p5.

    Anyway, I transfered my Freepbx vm to the Pfsense esxi box on Friday & left it running over the weekend.  We dont do much calling on home phones so I am not surpirsed we didnt notice anything amiss.

    So my wife is working from home today & has mentioned that the IP pbx system keeps dropping calls.  Separately I noticed a big delay when browsing the web.  While looking at pfsense on the dashboard I saw the CPU spike to 100%.  Typically a speedtest.net run will make the pfsense dashboard cpu goto 4%.

    I tried rebooting pfsense, then rebooting the esxi box.  Then I shutdown the pfsense vm, gave it a second core, and rebooted it.  My wife again said the phones kept disconnecting.

    My next test was to shutdown the freepbx vm on the Supermicro box & turn it back on the dell box.

    Just now the CPU on the dashboard spiked to 35% - its just my wife & I home, no major downloading just email & web.

    Any idea what could be causing the issues?  The main change was adding freepbx to the pfsense/esxi box but freepbx is pretty low CPU usage.

    Thanks,
    Rich



  • If it was just 100% for a brief moment, that's safe to disregard. The dashboard itself pulls a lot of system details and will chew a bit of CPU, especially if it's a single vCPU VM, will very briefly have periods of high CPU usage. That runs at a lesser priority than the actual packet processing of the system, so it won't really have a noticeable impact on its function. Status>Monitoring is a better gauge of long-term CPU usage. Doubtful CPU usage has anything to do with dropping VoIP calls.



  • It looks like i am at 100% - though I am not exactly sure what this means (see attached).  I did add a second core & the system seemed normal in the middle of the day today.  The drop seems in line with me messing around.

    @cmb:

    If it was just 100% for a brief moment, that's safe to disregard. The dashboard itself pulls a lot of system details and will chew a bit of CPU, especially if it's a single vCPU VM, will very briefly have periods of high CPU usage. That runs at a lesser priority than the actual packet processing of the system, so it won't really have a noticeable impact on its function. Status>Monitoring is a better gauge of long-term CPU usage. Doubtful CPU usage has anything to do with dropping VoIP calls.

    ![Pfsense VM.JPG](/public/imported_attachments/1/Pfsense VM.JPG)
    ![Pfsense VM.JPG_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/Pfsense VM.JPG_thumb)



  • That's the number of processes. Your CPU usage is trivially low. No indication of any problem there.



  • @cmb:

    That's the number of processes. Your CPU usage is trivially low. No indication of any problem there.

    So should i take away a core?  I had 1, gave it 2 & the phone kept kicking my wife off.

    The phone is VOIP so I dont know what the issue was related to.  I assumed it was due to internet bandwidth.  I noticed I was having a very hard time connecting on my wired desktop.  Once i moved the pbx vm to the other Esxi box things went back to normal.

    Is there something or somewhere else i should look?  The esxi box itself?  I would like to run 1 esxi box with both vms on it.



  • 2 is fine, and better than 1. I'd leave it at 2. My point was just that the CPU usage isn't 100% for any length of time, so subject isn't actually an issue and you can rule out anything CPU-related.

    It's not likely the firewall that's dropping calls. Maybe you were having general Internet connectivity issues at the time, since you mentioned connectivity issues with other things. Which is likely ISP-induced. But that's the next step of troubleshooting, see if you have solid connectivity in general.



  • Was a solution to this ever found?  Recently discovered I have the exact same issue, but with pfsense 2.4.2 and esxi 6.5.  I can't find anything about it on the web, and this seems to be the most comprehensive discussion that was had on the topic.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Read up one post. There is no identifiable problem with the firewall software. I would suggest starting another thread detailing exactly what you are seeing instead.


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