Estimating required hardware for this load

  • Im getting ready to try and shoehorn in a micro-atx motherboard inside of a 24-port switch (there is a fair amount of room). Before I waste about 2 weeks of time welding, cutting, grinding etc… I would like to know if my hardware is up to the task, or anywhere near it.

    Hardware :

    500Mhz AMD K6-2, 415MB ram
    256MB Compact Flash drive using CF-> IDE Adapter.
    415MB PC100 ram
    Dual-Port compaq Netelligent PCI
    Onboard 10/100.

    Im looking to do some LAN routing, and routing between the two LANs and the internet. Traffic isnt much, couldnt be over 10-15 users. The idea was to have a few game-servers on one LAN, and anything unsecure (such as open WiFi AP's) on the LAN side, and have some kind of captive portal or restrictions on what can and cant take place between the two. Mostly just for a busy-project (boredom sets in during winter), but also to learn, and give a good excuse for using linux.

    The onboard NIC will probably handle the internet, since its only about 1-4Mbps at most, im not really concerned. No, I will not get a better nic, this is all going in a 1U case and space is very tight. I may consider a quad-port Adaptec NIC (server-grade) in the future, but for now the compaq should be able to handle any traffic as good as an intel NIC.

    As far as moving large files, what should I expect out of a K6-2 with good NICs? The K6 was a poor cpu in comparison to the P2, but I challenge anyone here to fit an entire P2 in the cozy home of a 1U switch.

    Any general advice or speculation on what I should expect, not considering any packages/options such as traffic shaping?

  • You should expect something around 40-50 mbit/s with that machine I think. I did some tests with a k6-2 450MHz which is maxed out around these values when using 3com nics.

  • Well, that sounds acceptable for me. Ill test it out to be sure, and if anything comes of this project ill be sure to provide a link to some kind of worklog.


    I tried it out again, by pinging 65.5KB from one computer to another. Network traffic according to windows was getting close to 25-30Mbps (Rx and Tx total)before the pings started timing out. This was between the WAN and LAN port (Tl0 and Tl1 on the compaq dual-port server NIC). Oddly enough cpu load stayed around 30-40% most of the time. Im not sure what the bottleneck is. I could still ping a normal 64-byte sized packet between the two computers with minimal latency (10-15ms during heavy ping load, as opposed to 1ms with no load).

    I dont think the compaq NIC is to blame, it can easily hit 90% loads with 100+ copies of ping running in my windows computer.

    Any suggestions as to what I should be looking for? I chose to use ping as stress-testing, because I couldnt get apache to work on my computer (to test throughput while copying large files), and I felt the 50-100+ copies of ping running would better simulate dozens of users/connections, rather than just one connection.

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