So, this may be the wrong list to post to, but it seemed the most appropriate. If someone could suggest a better location to move/cross post to let me know.

I've been running some tests with using FreeBSD to filter and rate limit traffic. My first thoughts were to goto the latest stable release, which was 6.1 at the time. I've since done the same test under 6.2 and haven't seen any difference. I later migrated to running 4.11 to get away from these issues, but have discovered others.

I've tested on an AMD 3200+ system with dual Intel 1000 series NICs, an AMD Opteron 165 with the same, and a Xeon 2.8 with the same. I've used both stock and intel drivers.

6.x;
Normal traffic isn't a problem. The second you get into the realm of abusive traffic, such a DoS/DDoS (over 100mbps) UDP floods the machine falls over. Little packets with ip lengths of 28-29 bytes seem to do the most damage. I've tried playing with various sysctl values and have seen no difference at all. By "falls over" I mean "stops sending all traffic in any direction". TCP syn packets have the same effect, tho not quite as rapidly (200~230mbps). I then tried moving filtering off to a transparent bridge. This improved the situation somewhat, but an extra 30-40mbps of UDP data and it would ultimately crumble. Overall the machine would be able to move between 300k-600k PPS before becoming a cripple, depending on packet length, protocol, and any flags. Without a specific pf or ipfw rule to deal with a packet the box would fall over, with specific block rules it would manage an extra 30-40mbps and then fall over.

4.11;
Again, normal traffic isn't a problem. When routing & filtering on the same system some of the problems found in 6.x are still apparent, but to a lesser degree. Splitting the task into a transparent filtering bridge with a separate routing box appears to clear it up entirely. UDP floods are much better handled - an ipfw block rule for the packet type and the machine responds as if there were no flood at all (until total bandwidth saturation or PPS limits of the hardware, which in this case was around 950Mbps). TCP syn attacks are also better handled, again a block rule makes it seem as if there were no attack at all. The system also appears to be able to move 800-900k PPS of any one protocol at a time. However, the second you try and queue abusive traffic the machine will fall over. Inbound floods appear to cause ALL inbound traffic to lag horrifically (while rate limiting/piping), which inherently causes a lot of outbound loss due to broken TCP. Now, I'm not sure if this is something to do with dummynet being horribly inefficient, or if there's some sysctl value to deal with inbound that I'm missing.

I suppose my concerns are two-fold. Why is 6.x collapsing under traffic that 4.11 could easily block and run merrily along with, and is there a queueing mechanism in place that doesn't tie up the box so much on inbound flows that it ignores all other relevant traffic?

(as a note, all tests were done with device polling enabled. Without it systems fall over pretty quickly. I also tried tests using 3com cards and had the same results)


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