High load cable network



  • Hi at all. Next month we will start a new project in collaboration with a local cable tv, oriented to give cheap broadband access to his customers (from 6,00€/month).

    Cisco, Juniper and similar brands have very expensive prices for routers in cable platform. And I have been using pfsense routing for two years in a 100 customers wireless network.

    I have estimated 300 customers the first year and over 800 customers for the second year. Can I be confident with pfsense at these levels?  ???

    PD: Of course, if we use pfsense for the task, we will use the commercial support. And we won't forget the donations.



  • It's almost certain to be a matter of hardware choice.  The underlying OS is about as reliable as it comes.

    As for "levels", you mention customer numbers but not bandwidths - 1000 customers on a 1 Mb service is a different situation from 300 customers on a 50 Mb service.  The hardware the copes with the former may well choke on the latter.



  • I forgot to put customer bandwidth  :P.

    Will be two options: 256/64 kbps adn 512/128 kbps



  • So, in your first couple of years you're looking at pushing peak bandwidth of (about) 600 Mb/s.  On the assumption that you'd have more than one pfSense host (to minimise the problems that will occur when the hardware dies) you'd only be pushing a peak of about 300 Mb/s through each box under normal conditions - that should be well within the bounds of good hardware - and well beyond the limits of cheap hardware.

    If you weren't already planning it I would suggest that, if you do this, you consider getting access to a traffic generator so you can test your hardware under the theoretical maximum loads.



  • Search the forum and mailing list for PCI-E discussions.



  • As long as you're using new server class hardware you'll be fine at those numbers.


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