Weird performance issue pfSense 2.0.1 [SOLVED]



  • Hi all,

    Just installed a new pfSense machine, and I'm having a bit of trouble with (at least) torrents. Specs are as follows:

    Connection: 100/100Mbit - using speedtest I get roughly 95/90.
    pfSense machine: AMD X2 @ 2GHz, 4GB RAM. 2 Intel NICs Pro 1000 (one PCI, one PCIE).
    Torrent machine: Q9450, 6GB RAM, dedicated download drive (very little utilization on this machine even with several downloads).

    By just downloading 4-5 torrents at the same time my connection grinds down and becomes slow so slow, even though pfSense is only utilizing around 4-5% CPU and RAM!? I did some testing yesterday;

    1 torrent downloading - ~7MB/s (peaks at 9% CPU in pfSense)
    4-5 torrents downloading - ~1MB/s (peaks at 4-5% CPU)

    Running a speedtest from another machine when the multiple torrents are downloading gives me a result between 0.1-1Mbit/s. So basically im getting barely 10Mbit/s total WAN capacity then. Now why is that, when the pfSense machine isn't hogged down at all?

    I don't have a complicated pfSense setup, just the basic WAN-LAN and 7-8 NATs. No traffic shaping or anything. I've tried fiddling with the "Hardware Offloading" options but it doesn't help.

    Please advice,

    Tomas


  • Netgate Administrator

    It could be a number of things.
    Do you get good connection speed if you remove pfSense? It could be your ISP limiting the number of connections you can make.

    Although you are only seeing 10Mbps it is the number of packets or connections that are probably limiting you. Bit torrent generates traffic very differently to other protocols.
    What does you state table size show in the dashboard?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    It could be a number of things.
    Do you get good connection speed if you remove pfSense? It could be your ISP limiting the number of connections you can make.

    Steve

    Well.. I have been running 20 torrents+ with an old D-Link 655 with the same ISP, but that's when I only had a 12/13 connection. That would have generated even more connections, but ofc not the bandwidth. And I haven't heard anything about this ISP limiting connections before.

    Even if the ISP would be limiting connections, I think the overall bandwidth/throughput shouldn't plummet like it does? These torrents have fairly beefy seeders.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Worth checking though.
    What about your state table size? Are you seeing anything unusual in the system log?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Worth checking though.
    What about your state table size? Are you seeing anything unusual in the system log?

    Steve

    Yeah, absolutely. I'm at work now so can't test it until tonight.

    I looked at state table size in the dashboard, and it wasn't full at least. All I can remember now when I'm not in front of it.



  • @bran:

    Even if the ISP would be limiting connections, I think the overall bandwidth/throughput shouldn't plummet like it does? These torrents have fairly beefy seeders.

    Are the paths between your systems and the download sources equally beefy? Are they at worst, lightly congested?

    It could be interesting to do a traceroute to your speedtest server and traceroutes to some torrent sources and compare the number of hops, then say concurrent ping -c 100 -s 1450 (100 pings of size 1450) directed at the speedtest server and torrent sources to get an idea of round trip time variation and loss between you and speedtest server and download sources, all while you have active torrents.


  • Netgate Administrator

    That doesn't explain the fact that other downloads are massively restricted when torrents are running.
    Not that I have any better ideas.  ;)

    Try going back to the D-link, see how that effects things.

    It could be that your new 100/100 connection comes with traffic shaping limiting your total connections or connections per second.

    Does your torrent client list the total connections? Is it a similar number with different numbers of torrents running?

    Steve



  • Thanks for replying guys. I have a maximum of 600 global connections in my uTorrent settings.

    Look at the following screenshots, it just plummets when adding more torrents… You see the dip in the first screenshot? I accidentially added then removed another torrent.



    EDIT: Installed the latest beta of m0n0wall (freeBSD 8.2), same problem there =/ Also tried exchanging the DLINK (acting like a switch) for a 24 port Netgear rack mounted switch, same problem. So it's either my ISP/connection or the firewall. Gonna reinstall the DLINK as a router now and test.

    EDIT2: Ok, connected my laptop straight to the WAN connection. 4 torrents = 9.7MB/s.

    So clearly, it's the firewall messing it up.

    EDIT3: The plot thickens… Installed ClearOS, same problem from my torrent machine. Laptop speeds @ almost 10MB/s!? There must be some very weird setting on the uTorrent machine that bogs down my whole connection?

    EDIT4: Complete reinstall uTorrent, cleared registry from entries and did some tweaks. All is well now, running at 10MB/S which is the limit I put in uTorrent.

    Thanks for trying to help!


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