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
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
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
I can not find any 'freebsd.org' 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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