I am running several FreeBSD 7.x servers in an setting where we recently went from controlling the border firewall with PFSense; We were mandated to replace it with an outside provider which has an ASA in place.

And we are having TONS of issues..

This seems to be the only thing I can find that might possibly be what he is seeing. The operator of the upstream ASA does not give us access to see the config or output of the debug(s) he runs.. so we are totally blind to help ourselves..

We have a 30Mbit feed from them, and find that people downloading 3.5Mb pdf files from our lighttpd webserver takes about 2-3 minutes. Running anywhere from 600 down to 2..

Below is his email to us regarding his cisco case:

I spent close to 2 hours this afternoon with two Cisco engineers troubleshooting the download issue while on the ASA.

The root cause of the problem is that the ASA is being fed a significant stream of out-of-order TCP packets when the file download is launched from the PokCSD Web Server. With HTTP inspection enabled on the ASA, the ASA is required to process the HTTP stream in order, so it buffers out-of-order packets until it can create a proper order for processing. In this case, the volume is so high the buffers fill, and the ASA is forced to begin dropping packets from the conversation. (Oddly, the faster the connection the faster the buffers overload which appears to be why slower WAN connections appeared to have more consistent throughput since they minimized or avoided the buffer drops)

While some out-of-order TCP packets are normal, this volume was deemed excessive. Even setting the buffer sizes to their maximum configurable limit on the ASA would not contain the volume of out of order packets and prevent drops from occurring.

We did some additional troubleshooting by enabling HTTP inspection and some captures on the PokCSD-ASA, which was not enabled by default. Once enabled, we re-ran the download test and the PokCSD-ASA began dropping the out-of-order TCP packets. So that leads us to conclude that the source of the out-of-order TCP stream was downstream of the PokCSD-ASA not some issue further upstream towards BOCES. We returned the HTTP inspection on the PokCSD ASA to its original disabled state at the end of testing.

Given the volume of out-of-order TCP packets being sent, it is likely that there is a network or server issue somewhere inside the PokCSD network. But all of that is outside of our purview to access or troubleshoot.

Beyond looking for a duplex miss-match someplace in the LAN gear I have no obvious initial guess for you but I don’t think there is much between that ASA and the server as I recall.

I does make me wonder if whatever this is isn’t in some way tied into your other issues with direct e-mail transfer.

So at this point I have closed the case with Cisco since HTTP inspection is identifying the issue and is not the cause.

Some things have changed related to web filtering such that the original purpose of the inspection may or may not be needed at this point. I will investigate that further tomorrow. Even if we decide we can turn that inspection off it would seem we are just avoiding the real problem if we don’t root out the out-of-order issue so either way I would encourage troubleshooting that to conclusion.

That is it for now,. you are up to date.

Let me know if there is something else I can do.


So after 6 hours of cisco techs.. all they could come up with is a "... possible duplex mis-match.. "


So dropping my pf rules (which contain scrub settings) made no difference, I found the above URL which seeme to point to net.inet.ip.random_id.

I can not find any '' documentation pertaining to it regarding what it actually does. I do however find it scattered amongst tons of 'FreeBSD hardening' docs..

Can anyone shed some light on what this does?

Thanks in advance.
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