Multi combined 10gbe and 1gbe bridged LAN with dual WAN



  • Hello community.  Long time lurker and information sponge, but first post.

    I have long since had a dream of not spending $1000 on a 10gbe switch.  I have been working on and off for some time trying to get a decent performing bridge working on several flavors of Linux, and several manufactures of 10g cards.  Pfsense is by far my favorite, and I'm happy to say I've achieved my goal using it.

    My specific goal was to get 4x10g +1x1g ports bridged for a flat LAN configuration, and then a dual WAN setup.  Using the 1g port as an uplink to a 24 port managed switch, it effectively gives me the equivalent of a 24 port gigabit switch with 4 10 gig links.  This allows me to build a home "core" 10g infrastructure of NAS, ESX clusters, etc.  Plus 10g to my desktop just for overkill, and hook everything else up to the 24 port gig switch.  I also wanted to do it as cheaply as possible.

    I'm making this post because I have tried numerous combinations of hardware and Linux distributions, with mostly lackluster results.  Tons of driver issues, and even when the cards do work, terrible performance.  I hope my pain and effort might help someone else down the road.  I am assuming a general working knowledge of pfsense.

    Disclaimer, your mileage may vary, I make no guarantees you won't shoot your eye out, or burn down your house or whatever, so use the following information at your own risk.

    Hardware:  Asus Sabertooth x58 mb.  6 gig ram. Xeon W3550. 2x Chelsio S320E-LP-CR Dual-Port 10GBe PCI-E Adapter w/ SFPs. 1x  INTEL - PRO/1000 PT QUAD PORT SERVER ADAPTER PCI-E (EXPI9404PT).  I had the motherboard and ram already.  I ebayed the xeon for around 50 bucks, paid 80 a piece for the Chelsio cards, and 50 for the Intel card.

    Software: PFSENSE 2.1.3-RELEASE (amd64)

    10g cards in PCIEx8, 1g card in PCIEx4

    Install pfsense.  Select em0 as WAN, em2 as LAN (for my intel card em0 is the top port, em3 is bottom.  Walk through the initial web config, and complete installation.  Enable SSH. (This assumes LAN gets a static address with DHCP server enabled.)

    If the Chelsio cards do not load, and you get the message:  cxgb0:  Could not find firmware image cxgb_t3fw.ko repeatedly, do the following:

    Download the compiled FreeBSD 8.3 ko file from http://files.nl.pfsense.org/jimp/ko-8.3/amd64/cxgb_t3fw.ko. (Thanks to whoever did this)
                                          SCP the file to your pfsense box to /boot/kernel/.
                                          chmod 555 /boot/kernel/cxgb_t3fw.ko
                                          vi /boot/loader.conf
                                          add if_cxgb_load="YES" on it's own line if it doesn't exist.
                                          reboot

    (Hit apply when necessary)
    Go to interfaces, assign. Add interfaces OPT1-OPT5.  This should give you a config of WAN:em0 LAN:em2 OPT1:em1 OPT2:cxgb0 OPT3:cxgb1 OPT4:cxgb2 OPT5:cxgb3 (depending on your hardware this may vary.)
    Go to interfaces, and select each interface and enable it.
    Go to System, advanced, system tunables, change net.link.bridge.pfil_member to 0(from default (1)).
    Go to Firewall, rules, add a rule for each interface LAN, OPT2, OPT3, OPT4, OPT5; Pass rule, all defaults except Protocol:Any.  To be clear, that will be 5 rules, all identicle, on each interface.
    Go to interfaces, assign, bridges.
    Create BRIDGE0, use OPT4 and OPT5 to create the bridge.
    Go to interfaces, assign.  Add interface OPT6, this should be BRIDGE0.
    Go to Firewall, rules, add a rule for OPT6, Pass rule, all defaults except Protocol:Any.

    Disclaimer for the next few steps; I'm pretty sure they are right, but I'm writing this from memory.  Sometimes you have to remove an interface from a bridge in order for pfsense to allow you to manipulate it the way you want, so if it's wrong, I apologize, try a couple combos, it's pretty straight forward, just make sure you can always get to the webgui, or console, I may have had to disable the DHCP server at one point)

    Go to interfaces, assign, bridges.  Edit Bridge0 to include LAN, OPT2, OPT3, OPT4, OPT5.
    Go to interfaces, assign. Change LAN through OPT6 interfaces to the following (WITHOUT HITTING APPLY BETWEEN THE SELECTIONS):  LAN:BRIDGE0, OPT1:em1, OPT2:em2, OPT3:cxgb0, OPT4:cxgb1, OPT5:cxgb2, OPT6, cxgb3. (now apply)
    Go to interfaces, assign, bridges, and remove LAN from the bridge, and make sure OPT2,OPT3,OPT4,OPT5,OPT6 are all part of the bridge.
    You can re-enable the DHCP server on LAN at this point if it was disabled.

    I am going to forgo the dual WAN setup instructions as there are others out there.  For the purposes here em1/OPT1 was reserved for the second WAN connection.  em2/OPT2 is reserved for an uplink to a multiport 1gig switch.

    Placing point to point hosts on all 4 10g links I was able to get between 7 and 9.50 gbps between all the hosts using iperf, received a DHCP address, and maintained a flat WAN.

    I do have some tuning parameters I have been playing with, I may post them later if there ends up being any interest in this novel.

    Please do your testing without added packages.  Bandwidthd, darkstat, ntop, rrdgraphs can all drastically effect performance.






  • Thanks for documenting this. Ive just replicated your setup on my Supermicro Rangeley board with a Intel x520 & i350 quad card and am seeing dreadful performance, in the region of 600mbps! :( Can you share your tunables and loader config files please to see if they shed any light on why my setup is so slow?
    thx



  • I'm seeing 900Mbps on a 2 core rangely over IPSec using 2.2.



  • @irj972:

    Thanks for documenting this. Ive just replicated your setup on my Supermicro Rangeley board with a Intel x520 & i350 quad card and am seeing dreadful performance, in the region of 600mbps! :( Can you share your tunables and loader config files please to see if they shed any light on why my setup is so slow?
    thx

    @gonzopancho:

    I'm seeing 900Mbps on a 2 core rangely over IPSec using 2.2.

    Don't think you two are on the same page  ;)

    @digital_janitor: thanks for the post.
    @irj972: https://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/3092



  • Oh, and I know exactly where that 600Mbps comes from.  ::)



  • Thx for the link re lro!

    Ive been spending some time optimising my FreeNAS system…finally getting somewhere but have a weird pfSense issue which is a bit beyond me at the moment which is holding me back.

    pfSense sits at close to 0% CPU utilisation for two minutes and then jumps into life, 6gbps shows 75% interrupts on one core of the Rangeley c2758 but Im beaten why it takes two minutes to spring into life....its repeatable too. Ill keep debugging and see what I find.
    Hopefully something I overlooked. PS. I managed to get FreeNAS running at 9+ gbps with Intel x520 directly connected to my Mac & PC so hopefully some of that knowledge and settings are transferable to pfSense.

    
    j@freenas:~ % iperf -c 192.168.124.126 -i 1 -t 10000
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Client connecting to 192.168.124.126, TCP port 5001
    TCP window size: 16.0 MByte (default)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    [  3] local 192.168.124.143 port 33619 connected with 192.168.124.126 port 5001
    [ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
    [  3]  0.0- 1.0 sec  21.0 MBytes   176 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  1.0- 2.0 sec   384 KBytes  3.15 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  2.0- 3.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  3.0- 4.0 sec   384 KBytes  3.15 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  4.0- 5.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  5.0- 6.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  6.0- 7.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  7.0- 8.0 sec   640 KBytes  5.24 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  8.0- 9.0 sec   384 KBytes  3.15 Mbits/sec
    [  3]  9.0-10.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3] 10.0-11.0 sec   384 KBytes  3.15 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 12.0-13.0 sec   512 KBytes  4.19 Mbits/sec
    [  3] 13.0-14.0 sec   640 KBytes  5.24 Mbits/sec
    [  3] 14.0-15.0 sec   384 KBytes  3.15 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 17.0-18.0 sec   768 KBytes  6.29 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 19.0-20.0 sec   640 KBytes  5.24 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 60.0-61.0 sec   896 KBytes  7.34 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 63.0-64.0 sec   896 KBytes  7.34 Mbits/sec
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    [  3] 209.0-210.0 sec   718 MBytes  6.02 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 210.0-211.0 sec   727 MBytes  6.10 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 211.0-212.0 sec   720 MBytes  6.04 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 212.0-213.0 sec   722 MBytes  6.05 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 213.0-214.0 sec   727 MBytes  6.10 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 214.0-215.0 sec   732 MBytes  6.14 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 215.0-216.0 sec   728 MBytes  6.10 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 216.0-217.0 sec   728 MBytes  6.11 Gbits/sec
    [  3] 217.0-218.0 sec   727 MBytes  6.10 Gbits/sec
    ...
    ...
    ... at 6gbps until stopped. 
    
    




  • is old, and somewhat out of date.



  • @gonzopancho:

    is old, and somewhat out of date.

    i'm sure it is within your power to make it "new and shiny" and somewhat up-to-date  :))