X86 or x64 in production environment?



  • Hello,
      I am evaluating pfSense 2.0 RC1 (lastest build) to be deployed in the production environment. At the moment the firewall is working just for the LAN to access the Internet, just to test it…
    The question is: which version is better to deploy? At the moment I am running the x64 version, but maybe it's better to deploy the x86 version in a production environment? Is the x86 version more stable? Any advantages/disadvantages in stability?

    The hardware the firewall is running on is:
    CPU: Pentium D 3.4Ghz
    Ram: 4Gb
    NICS: 2 x Intel PRO/1000MT DUALPORT (driver: em)
            1 x Intel PRO (don't know which one, it's built in the motherboard) (driver: em)
    HD: 64gb ssd

    Thanks,
    Michele


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    [EDIT: adding notes since this still comes up high in Google search results]:

    Old response:

    The x86 version sees more testing, due to its wider user base, but these days there isn't much difference between them except the architecture. You probably can't access all of your RAM on x86 though, so x64 may be the way to go.

    That was true for 2.0-RC but on current releases, 64-bit is preferred. If the hardware is capable of running 64-bit pfSense, use 64-bit pfSense. There is no longer any compelling reason to continue using 32-bit.



  • Ok, thank you for the answer! I will keep the x64 version then…

    Michele



  • Hi,

    just one word from me: I have a x86 version running on an old 32bit box (pfSense 1.2.3). I tested both versions now - x64 and x86 - in a VM. At least the config convert worked much better on x86 - but I ran into various other problems with x64 as well.
    For me it seems the x86 version works better - however I will NOT install more then 4GB RAM in the old machine and dont know if pfSense will ever use this - even though I now x64 will be the future.
    At the moment  there are a lot of problems with RC1 and I would NOT deploy it in our production environment now. But the outlook is very good and it has a lot of cool features like LDAP auth and LP2P - but still my boss will be furious if he has no internet or is unable to dial in ;) - Better wait for the release version here and have a working config ready the day it is available.

    Helge


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    There are not a "lot" of problems that affect a large number of people on RC1. We have lots of customers running 2.0 in production with minimal (if any) issues.

    The config conversion is identical on x86 and x64. If you have issues, start a thread for them individually, with as much detail as possible.



  • @jimp:

    The x86 version sees more testing, due to its wider user base, but these days there isn't much difference between them except the architecture. You probably can't access all of your RAM on x86 though, so x64 may be the way to go.

    I confirm… I was also setting-up CARP between a x86 and x64 version of pfSense 2.0-RC1 (both latest build)... no problems at all... wow...


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