Gigabit Linux Routers

Adrian Chadd adrian at
Wed Dec 17 17:23:37 UTC 2008

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008, Chris wrote:
> All the responses have been really helpful. Thanks to everyone for being
> friendly and for taking the time to answer in detail.
> I've asked a hardware provider to quote for a couple of x86 boxes and I'll
> look for suitable Intel NICs too.
> Jim: We're a very small ISP and have a full mix of packet sizes on the
> network but the vast majority is outbound on port 80 so hopefully that'll
> help.
> Any more input will of course be considered. I may post the NIC models for
> approval if I'm scratching my head again :)

Just FYI, the more recent Intel hardware has multiple hardware TX/RX queues,
implemented via seperate (IIRC) PCIe channels, and Linux/FreeBSD is growing
support to handle these multiple queues via multiple kernel threads. Ie,
multiple CPUs handling packet forwarding.

The trick is whether they can pull it off in a way that scales the FIB
and RIB lookups and updates across 4 core (and more) boxes.

But 40kpps is absolutely doable on one CPU. Some of the FreeBSD guys working
on it are looking at supporting 1mil pps + on 10GE cards (in the public source
tree), so .. :)


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