New vyatta-nsp list

George Bonser gbonser at
Wed May 25 02:52:37 UTC 2011

> The graphs show near 100% CPU usage at small packet sizes, and low
> PPS. That would lead to a pretty easy to launch DDoS against a
> software based router platform.
> Since there isn't a separation between control plane/forwarding plane,
> an attacker could trivially take you offline. I'd imagine due to the
> nature of x86 platform, being interrupt based and forwarding table
> residing in memory the CPU has to access, theres a finite amount you
> can scale this without risking big disruptions from a relatively small
> DDoS.
> Not saying software platforms can't achieve good throughput, there has
> to be a realization of the limits of the platform, and when it
> shouldn't be used.
> Again, I personally use the Vyatta commercial software, and it works
> great, so I'm not knocking it. But I wouldn't consider it high-end
> performance when a few million PPS can lead to service disruptions.
> --
> Brent Jones
> brent at

Every tool has its use.  Also, they have several different sized
appliances.   How much CPU use you get depends on how many cores you
throw at the problem.  They can use multiple cores/processors.  The
result given in one test might not match someone else's test if they
have higher end hardware, maybe better than the appliances Vyatta ships.

But the primary point I am trying to make is if you have an office with
sub-gigabit connectivity and you need NAT and firewalling and VPNs, it
might be a very cost-effective solution.   It might not be a good
solution in a different environment.  It is sort of like pointing out
that your neighbor's Accord doesn't have the performance characteristics
of a Ferrari but your neighbor only drives in rush hour on roads with a
maximum speed of 65 MPH.  The Ferrari would cost much more money, cost
more to support over time, and not get him to work any faster.

If one is never going to pass enough traffic to get anywhere near the
maximum performance of the unit anyway, why spend so much more money?
Besides, on most integrated firewall/NAT/VPN units I have used in the
past, I have run them out of CPU from VPN and NAT long before they ever
reached their maximum traffic throughput.

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