Question regarding the Hardware Sizing Guide

  • Hello,

    I have a question regarding the "Throughput Considerations" section of the Hardware Sizing guide here -

    Is the throughput that is being referred to here between interfaces, or, does it also apply to throughput between 2 computers on a single interface?

    I have an old workstation (Intel P4 2.8GHz with HT), 2GB RAM and 2 Intel dual-port gigabit NICs. I run 3 interfaces - LAN (gigabit switch and 8 PCs / devices with gigabit NICs), WAN (FIOS - 25/25 Mbps) and WirelessLAN (Linksys E2000 access point). My primary throughput concern is between PCs on the LAN - does the anemic CPU slowdown traffic between PCs on the LAN? Since everything on the LAN is gigabit capable, I would expect to see gigabit speeds on the LAN. Also, the average CPU load on the pfSense box never goes above 10%.

    A follow-up question. How can I establish whether the hardware of my pfsense box is limiting throughput? I am only aware of the Dashboard and the System Activity tools to monitor system load.


  • That's only for traffic that routes through the pfsense box. You run 3 interfaces: WAN, LAN, WLAN so in other words traffic has to travel from one of those interfaces to another (or back out the same interface) for that sizing guide to have an impact. Traffic from PC1 and PC2 that are both on the LAN won't ever touch the pfsense box. But traffic from PC1 on the LAN and Laptop1 on the wireless WILL route through the pfsense box and WILL be impacted by the sizing guide.

  • LAN to LAN traffic doesn't pass through the firewall.

  • Your bottle neck will not be pfSense as previously mentioned, it will be your switch.

  • Thanks very much for the detailed clarification!  Makes perfect sense now.