Download Speed from console 2x what clients see

  • PFsense, v 2.2.6 and 2.3.4
    Both are VM's under ESXi

    Internet speed with analyzer directly connected to modem, (5) Static IPs , 185MB down/36Mup
    I'm paying for a 150up/35down line - the speed is there at the modem.

    2 Different HP Proliant systems, ML350/360s  – both have quad GBE Nic cards.

    Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5430 @ 2.66GHz
    Current: 333 MHz, Max: 2666 MHz
    2 CPUs: 2 package(s) x 1 core(s)  6GB RAM for the VM.

    Internet WAN Nics are separated, broken out, etc.  No LAggs, no Vlans, vanilla.

    Take wire from modem and put into quad nic port.
    Attach that port to PFSENSE f/w and configure the wan ip address.

    reboot f/w for fun

    test directly from PFsense console ....    fetch -o /dev/null

    The PFsense GUI traffic meter is shows  165-175MB down...  COOL, I wouldn't expect no overhead... that speed is acceptable.
    but hey it tells me that cables and config is good. It says that the quad card is working fine at 1GB speeds... etc..
    It says that the ESXI VM host hardware and virtualization can support that speed.

    No clients using PFSENSE as a gateway on my local network can get more than 80-100 download speeds from or any other speed test thingy...

    ELIMINATE EVERYTHING  -- hubs switches, cables...  ? how?

    Using a W7 guest system on the same host, I configured it to use the STATIC IP, attached the nic that was directly connected to the modem, and poof,  shows 160-170 down.... yeah baby. it works. No cables, virtual NICs.

    Move the W7 guest system to the other VM host, and use the Ngear 24port GBit switch  NetgearGS724 in the middle of it.  shows 160-190 down....  wow, but its working. And now its using my network infrastructure.  No errors, frags, or collisions show on the switch stats.

    Take a known good cable and go from a laptop PC and directly connect into the cable modem, 190mb down.  working.

    Take the same cable and go from the same laptop PC and directly connect into a NIC port on Ngear switch.

    Configure the laptop pc to use PFSENSE (Either one, 2.2 or 2.3) as its internet gateway.  shows 70-90 down/36 up......

    What gives.. ? REBOOT Netgear SWITCH, default to factory settings. Nothing...  O yes, every port on the  NetgearGS724 is green, no amber (100m) anywhere....

    I'm lost here. ..  Something is causing the drop.

    Can anyone point me to where its loosing its sh.t?

    The VNICS are E1000 type. And they are working fine, because they work at the best speed possible by testing from the console.

    I simply cant get PFsense to move any faster.

    What questions can you ask me? Anything... 
    What addition info is needed...


  • reply to myself….

    I took an old Dell Dimension 3000 tower from 2006 with a 3GHZ processor, and 1GB of RAM.

    burned an Iso CD and configured  - pfSense-CE-2.3.5-RELEASE-i386

    It smoked the PROLIANT HP ML350 with DUAL 2.66GHZ processors…..

    This 12 year old PC with (2) Intel nics, ran 192MB DOWN / 40MB UP

    I can't believe it…. The ML350 is not even close with ESXi.....  I never noticed it at 60-80MB, but now that my speed was upgraded,
    baremetal wins. 
    I really hated to say it.... but it does...

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    What version of esxi, how did you have the vswitches configured and tied to your physical network.

    Why would you have been using e1000 vs vmx3?

    What interface was this quad nic connected to?  pci express x1, x4, x8, x16?

    My old vm setup could not do 500mbps, so I also moved to hardware… But clients could see 120 down on my 500mbps connection.  Then again my VM host was 6 years old, HP N40L etc..

  • John,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Intel 82546GB GB Enet controller. Quad card. PCIx4?
    Server is a PRoliant ML350 with (2) CPU cores. 32gb ram
    running  ESXI 4.1 –- so VMX2 is available and its worse if I select it. So its E1000 and its been like that for 4 years.

    Here's the thing... I see 160-190mb download from the PF console... 
    That means that the hardware is capable, but the overhead? of PFsense (freebsd?) is slowing it down.
    My test system (baremetal) had no rules. So I installed SNORT, Pfblocker, Squid, and exported the ruleset from my existing machine.
    It still ran 170 downloads to the clients.. running it fully as a gateway and proxy.

    There MUST be a tuning parameter that needs to be set in the VM to make it better. Something in the VMX file.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    ESXI 4.1?

    Why?  Dude freebsd 10.x not support until esxi 6.0u2 at min..

    Also where is your lan side of psfsense.. You running vlan top of the vnic you installed in pfsense?  Why add another vnic on your pfsense vm and connect to proper vswitch or portgroup on vswitch to connect it to your lan network?

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