Load Balancing Hardware Requirements

  • Hi Everyone,

    We have a project where we need to sustain a large amount of traffic. We wish to set up a Web Server pool and use pfSense Inbound Load Balancing for this. There will probably be around 20,000 users hitting the system per second. Potentially rising towards 80,000 per second at some points. With more users, we will add more Web Servers to the pool, however there will always be just the one pfSense box.

    I've read through the hardware requirements guides, however there is nothing there speaking about Load Balancing, and what burden this puts on the system.

    I'm thinking about installing a box with a Core2Quad 2.8 Ghz with 8GB of RAM. All NICs will be Intel Pro/1000.

    Does this seem like enough? My concerns are the burden introduced by the Load Balancer itself, as well as the size of the state table..


  • Hi,

    I just could provide help to your state table question. State Tables are dependet on your amount of RAM.
    This is on the pfsense docs:

    You can configure the state table size in the webGUI at System -> Advanced, one of the last options on that page. Keep in mind each state requires about 1 KB of RAM, or about 1 MB RAM usage for each 1000 states. 

    in pfsense 2.0 you can change the size of the state table individual.

  • Thanks, but I'm already aware of the state table size is dependant on the RAM size. I'm just trying to get someone's opinions on whether or not I have enough RAM, as well as CPU power


  • 80K/sec is extreme load. I would suggest you go for more CPU and RAM. Load balancing can take up CPU process, and when you say 80K/sec that means switching 40K times in a second. I doubt if the i3 will be able to take that load. i5 with 8GB+ would be a better choice in my opinion. Add a 1x8GB stick first, if required you can add in additional RAM to the second slot.. depending on what kind of mobo u will be using.

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