Is Intel QuickAssist support dead in pfSense?



  • I recently heard that Intel ditched QuickAssist in Atoms chips in favor of the Xeon D chips. That being said, I haven't heard of any progress being made in pfsense towards adding support. Are they still working on adding QuickAssist, or is it vaporware at this point? If they are still working on it, has there been an established timeline?

    I ask because I'm trying to figure out whether its worth even getting any of the Atom chips since they seem to be getting phased out by Xeon D.



  • afaik there needs to be support for all the relevant OS parts/packages first before the devs can integrate it into pfSense. I believe it is still on the roadmap but I don't think anyone really knows when it'll happen.

    the goal the near future (between 2.3 –> 3.0) will most likely be the applying netmap / netmap-fwd to base & various packages. I believe bmeeks worked together with the devs to get surricata ready for netmap.

    This is my guess as I have no idea what the devs at the other side of the pond are actually cooking up in their bunker ;)



  • I have no information about QuickAssist, but the new Netmap-enabled Suricata IPS package is now posted for pfSense 2.3 users to use.  See the thread here:  https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=108068.0.  The package implements true inline IPS mode using Netmap for interfaces running supported network drivers.

    Bill





  • Would it make sense to go with a c2750 over the c2758? The big difference is that you get MUCH better performance on the c2750 because turbo can push each core an additional 200MHz (2.4GHz -> 2.6GHz). The con is that it doesnt support QuickAssist, which isnt really a con if nothing is utilizing it.



  • I recently heard that Intel ditched QuickAssist in Atoms chips in favor of the Xeon D chips.

    Both is a absolutely failing information, either from where you get your info´s out.

    • Intel Atom C2x58 (Rangeley) SoCs came with Intel QuickAssist support but not the other Intel Atom
      C2x50 (Avoton) series that comes there for with TurboBoost instead of QuickAssist, not more and not less.
    • The Intel Xeon D-1500 SoCs are existing since the Q1/2015 and now Intel is only upgrading them till Q1/2016
      with new SKUs (boards), so that now not one board must be fitting all needs and there are more then only the
      Intel Xeon D platform, the Intel Pentium D platform comes on top of this or beside it. There are 3 main fields
      this platforms are acting in now: Link1 Link 2 Link 3
    • Cloud
    • Storage
    • Edge Network (D-1518, D-1528 & D-1548)

    And the networking accelerated Intel Xeon Boards from SuperMicro (D-15x8) are for 4 main fields,
    Switches & Routers, Security Appliances and Wireless access and Wireless base stations as you will
    be able to read here under this links Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

    They all comes with the following things enabled: (D-1518, D-1528 & D-1548)

    • AES-NI
      cryptographic speed up
    • Intel QuickAssist
      cryptographic and compression/decompression speed up
    • DPDK (enabled software)
      massive Layer3 packet forwarding speed up
    • Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
      At workload peaks the CPU frequency will be pushed scaled up
    • Intel (HT) Hyper-Threading (vers. 9)
      Real CPU cores would be double being existing virtually

    This are the core or edge points from the new network accelerated SKUs SuperMicro will launching
    in the Q1/2016. And the Intel QuickAssist will be one of the core features on both SoCs, Intel C2x58
    and D-15x8 platforms. And that the pfSense team is actual working on netmap until the other Intel
    D-15x8 SKUs from SuperMicro will be launched in Q1/2016 might be only tend to the point that netmap
    matches now all platforms and when the other D-15x8 SKUs are launched the QAT will also fit to all on
    the market being boards and SoC´s.

    In former days Intel was promoting the Intel QuickAssist technology for speeding up the following tasks

    • DPI (canceled)
    • IDS/IPS (canceled)
    • cryptographic operations (actual able to use)
    • decompression & compression (actual able to use)

    And from this all features only the last two points are actual in the game, could it be that you perhaps mean
    this with your thread? That they (Intel) were canceling only some features here?

    That being said, I haven't heard of any progress being made in pfsense towards adding support.

    You can´t they are still working on this, and not code was entering in pfSense code that will be able to use by
    Intel QuickAssist. This will be perhaps owed to the circumstance that many devices are coming together with
    Intel QuickAssist technology as Intel Core i3, i5 i7 CPUs, Intel C2x58 SoC and D-1500 SoCs and on top of this
    some accelerator cards like shown under this links in the next line from ADI and Netgate.
    Intel QAT accelerator card without LAN ports (Netgate)
    Intel QAT accelerator cards with 4 GB LAN ports (ADI Engineering)

    Would they offer those cards if QAT was canceled or will be canceled in the near future?

    Are they still working on adding QuickAssist, or is it vaporware at this point? If they are still working on it, has there been an established timeline?

    No timeline but I would guess the SG-xx units from the pfSense store and the Netgate RCC-VE units could
    be the first ones that get their hands on this feature, as a goody and supporting the project as I would
    imagine it.

    I ask because I'm trying to figure out whether its worth even getting any of the Atom chips since they seem to be getting phased out by Xeon D.

    It is more to see likes an add on or gain and not as a phase out in my eyes. So pfSense, Netgate and ADI
    are able to enrich there product line for us or there customers.

    • Intel Atom C2x58 based products as entry level product line for home and SOHO
    • Intel Xeon D-1500 based pro product line
    • Intel Xeon E3-1200v3 & Intel QAT card enterprise line
    • Intel single or dual Xeon E5-2600v3 & Intel QAT card enterprise line

    Would it make sense to go with a c2750 over the c2758? The big difference is that you get MUCH better performance on the c2750 because turbo can push each core an additional 200MHz (2.4GHz -> 2.6GHz). The con is that it doesnt support QuickAssist, which isnt really a con if nothing is utilizing it.

    The Rangeley platform is more for network devices such as a firewall, a router or an another network appliance
    pending on the AES-NI and QuickAssist and the Avoton platform is more for servers likes Samba or Apache or
    any kind of file server, building a SAN or a NAS whatever more in this direction, where a peak can be easily
    wiped away by TuboBoost, to be future proof related to pfSense I would prefer to go with the Rangeley
    C2x58 platform or SoC that is also used by the pfSense store, Netgate store and ADI Engineering.


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