Can QuickAssist be virtualized on Rangeley (C2758) ?



  • Greetings,

    For an upcoming home server, I want to use pfsense 2.2.
    As my bandwith needs are moderate, I thought about using pfsense in a VM.  The box would also do NAS duties and maybe low volume web server through other VMs.

    The hardware I got is a SuperMicro A1SRi-2758F, going into a big case.  As the Rangeley C2758 processor has QuickAssist, I wondered if there was any way QA can run on a VM or it needs absolutely to run on the bare metal.

    Hypervisor would probably be ESXi, which I am not familiar with.  So far I have only played with Hyper-V, but I do not want to have to reboot the whole machine for an OS patch …
    Is there another OS agnostic hypervisor that would be more appropriate ?

    Thank you!



  • Hello,

    As the Rangeley C2758 processor has QuickAssist, I wondered

    I would be looking further to AES-NI inside of the C2758, because Intel QA is not supported under
    FreeBSD and then also not in pfSense too. So the AES-NI function will be more interesting for
    pfSense users as I see it right now.



  • QA will hopefully be supported in a future release

    and yes, a VM should be able to access same.



  • @messerchmidt:

    a VM should be able to access same.

    This is not so obvious for two reasons:

    • Rangeley does NOT support Vt-d based peripheral virtualization.

    • The underlying co-processing HW may have very deep buffers.  I was not able to find a good description of Rangeley's QA HW architecture.

    If a VM can access the QA hardware, it may end up that QA would be dedicated to that one and only one VM…  I don't know, I am a newbie to both pfsense and ESXi  :P

    Intel QA is not supported under FreeBSD and then also not in pfSense too.

    From previous posts by gonzopancho, I suspect prototypes of pfsense may already run QA on the bare metal of https://www.pfsense.org/hardware/pfsense-store.html#c2758



  • From previous posts by gonzopancho, I suspect prototypes of pfsense may already run QA on the bare metal of https://www.pfsense.org/hardware/pfsense-store.html#c2758

    It can be but is also only guesswork and nothing anyone can trust really on, so as I see it
    like in other posts here in the forum also where explained, better buy a CPU that comes
    with AES-NI and if this CPU will also comes with Intel QA, it might be nice to have for
    the future usage, but once more again nothing I would count on!

    For the ESXi it would at the time the best choice to go with a Intel Xeon E3 or E5
    together with ECC RAM, to build a stable box that is also sorted by AES-NI and VD-T
    assets.

    For sure I personally would really prefer to buy a crypto accelerator card likes the Exar DX-1700
    Series and I must not think about all this things.


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