Dual P3-850mhz enough?



  • Hi there,

    I'm testing a pfsense 1.2 install on the following hardware:

    Supermicro motherboard (PIIIDME)
    Dual P3-850 processors
    1gig ECC SDRAM
    80gig barracuda IDE drive
    integrated 10/100 Intel 82559 Ethernet controller
    2 x Netgear 10/100 cards (FA310…the old DEC tulip chips)

    It seems to work OK in testing.  My plan is to deploy it at a small office (50 people) to load balance a T1 and a 3mbit DSL link while also doing firewall and dishing out DHCP leases.

    Does this seem like it is enough horsepower for the job?  I installed pfsense with the SMP kernel.  Sometimes I see cpu utilization at 50-100% with just my laptop doing a bittorrent download.  Is pfsense showing me the cpu utilization of both processors or just the first one?

    Best,



  • http://www.bsdcan.org/2008/schedule/attachments/66_pfSenseTutorial.pdf

    I'd suggest switching the Netgear cards with some Intel Server cards, but otherwise yes you should be fine.



  • That's more than adequate for that little bit of Internet bandwidth. There are people running 100 Mb Internet connections through boxes of that spec. Surprising you see 100% CPU, that's not sustained I presume? For the CPU usage on a dual proc system, 50% is 100% of one proc, 100% is 100% of both procs.



  • I switched to the latest 1.2.1 snapshot and the cpu issues disappeared.  It now shows between 1-5% of cpu utilization when I've got a single pc connected to it downloading a couple of bittorrent streams and saturating my home cablemodem link (which appears to be 12mbits/sec down…much faster than I thought).

    Best,



  • Must be a FreeBSD glitch specific to your hardware resolved in newer versions.



  • it was probably the slbd process, if you run the SMP kernel on 1.2 on a multi wan setup, slbd has some kind of glitch where it spawns multiple instances of itself and runs away with one of the cpus



  • @Valhalla1:

    it was probably the slbd process, if you run the SMP kernel on 1.2 on a multi wan setup, slbd has some kind of glitch where it spawns multiple instances of itself and runs away with one of the cpus

    Ah yeah, you're probably right. I overlooked the fact he's running multi-WAN. It may return then. If it continues to be a problem, switch to the uniprocessor kernel. slbd doesn't do that with uniproc kernels. This box is more than fast enough on one proc for the load it's handling.

    This is one of the reasons slbd no longer exists in 1.3. If you do have to switch to uniproc, you'll be able to switch back to SMP once 1.3 is released.



  • @cmb:

    @Valhalla1:

    it was probably the slbd process, if you run the SMP kernel on 1.2 on a multi wan setup, slbd has some kind of glitch where it spawns multiple instances of itself and runs away with one of the cpus

    Ah yeah, you're probably right. I overlooked the fact he's running multi-WAN. It may return then. If it continues to be a problem, switch to the uniprocessor kernel. slbd doesn't do that with uniproc kernels. This box is more than fast enough on one proc for the load it's handling.

    This is one of the reasons slbd no longer exists in 1.3. If you do have to switch to uniproc, you'll be able to switch back to SMP once 1.3 is released.

    I didn't really investigate any further after the problem vanished when I upgraded to 1.2.1 snaps.  Processor load seems to bounce between 2-5% now, even when the machine is "busiest".

    Best,



  • Argh….I switched back to 1.2 and am having the slbd problem again.  What's the procedure for switching from the SMP to the uniprocessor kernel?

    Cheers,



  • @familyguy:

    Argh….I switched back to 1.2 and am having the slbd problem again.  What's the procedure for switching from the SMP to the uniprocessor kernel?

    run:
    rm /boot/kernel/pfsense_kernel.txt

    then go to firmware upgrade and it'll let you choose which kernel you want.



  • @cmb:

    @familyguy:

    Argh….I switched back to 1.2 and am having the slbd problem again.  What's the procedure for switching from the SMP to the uniprocessor kernel?

    run:
    rm /boot/kernel/pfsense_kernel.txt

    then go to firmware upgrade and it'll let you choose which kernel you want.

    That fixed the problem for me.  I really appreciate your help.

    Best,


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