CHR back in place with a shuffle around

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The new PSU has worked so far so it was back up into the attic rack for my R210ii. No other modifications although if it manages a couple of weeks I will most likely look into some Noctua fans to quiet it off a bit. A bit of a tidy up as well removing some old switches and getting the patch panel in line.
One of the next jobs on the list will be to get a “CRS3XX” down into the cave so I can take advantage of some 10GB goodness with failover on 2 of the 3 fibres.

A breathe of life for the CHR

There has been a glimmer of hope for the CHR. I’ve come across a donor R210 with a power supply that is in brilliant condition, installed the power supply and it burst back into life. A good hour getting ESXi re-installed to the SSD I’d wiped and then reloading a CHR image onto it then carefully copying over the config and it’s just about ready to bring back into service.

I’ll be sorry to part ways again with the Hex and the FastTrack setup but this time around with the CHR I’ll be going for a really big QoS tree build.

So Much Broken MikroTik

What an absolute nightmare of a week so far!

Friday afternoon my beloved Dell R210ii decided to eat it’s own PSU, completely rendering the box useless and along with it my CHR routing my home network. It’s fine though as I made backups, which I stored within the CHR, so can’t access them #feelsbadman

Never mind, I quickly pulled out my CCR1009 which I retrieved from a scrap pile and whilst it had faulted 1 or 2 times had never completely keeled over. I configured it up and replaced the CHR, after a few hours of tweaking and trying to resume normality as well as activating fast track as CHR can’t do that), home was up and running.

Monday morning, got some weird things going on in the network, checked the CCR and it was reporting traffic on interfaces I knew weren’t even connected as well as flapping on the SFP port which the other end showed as solid. The CCR has now been marked for removal. I am so thankful of having a “spare” RB750Gr3 Hex unit about though as that should keep the family quiet whilst I work out where to go from here. Currently my poultry 55Mb connection won’t stress it but I have been eyeing up a Virgin Media upgrade to 350Mb next which looks set to increase to 500Mb in the next few months, who knows, Gigabit may be round the corner as well. Either way, I’m not confident the little Hex can do that so back to the drawing board and looking for a unit to suffice my needs.

CHR – Now faster and more efficient!

I’ve finally had some time to pull drag a monitor up into the attic to make some changes to the ESXi server that hosts my CHR. After some extensive reading on the MikroTik forum, it looks to read that a virtual CHR benefits from a “real” core and not a virtual one, in some cases virtual cores hindering performance! Even though my residential 55/15 connection isn’t going to set the world alight, I want to do some really in depth packet inspection next year so having raw performance is top of my list.

The changes I’ve made were to move the server BIOS performance setting from “OS Control” which was initially set to try and minimise noise in the cave to maximum performance, a few packets made there maybe?

The second big change was to turn off the hyperthreading on my Xeon. When I bought the Xeon I went out of my way to buy one with 4c/8t for maximum cores but RouterOS itself is very single core based and can’t multi-thread so single core efficiency is key. It also benefits from L3 cache so splitting the cache between 4 rather than 8 helps more so. There is also some heat efficiency to be made by running the processor without HT which counter balances the BIOS performance setting which could increase heat.

Overall testing without firewall now yields a far healthier 10+Gbps speedtesting to itself on a single core compared to the previous 7(ish).

All will be undone though if/when rOS7 launches with multicore!

CHR CPU Upgrade

Its been on my mind for a while that the CPU in my CHR wasn’t setting the world on fire, it was great for what it was doing and it was low powered but as I start and do more with my CHR, maybe start to look at a dude server and do some more advanced packet marking and processing I wanted something with more oomph!

I’ve now upgraded from a Xeon E3-1220L to an E3-1270. That’s a boost in base clock from 2.2Ghz to 3.4Ghz and a big step from 2c4t to 4c8t. I managed to do a small amount of testing before and after and whilst the difference from what has been done is negligible at this point, I’m expecting that as I burden the CPU more it will withstand the pressure for longer.

Before upgrade;

After CPU upgrade, same ESXi settings so this is “just” the core speed improvement;

This is the performance after shutting the machine down and applying the additional CPU cores;

 

Concluding my testing, a 400Mb increase in pushing traffic to itself from the CPU core speed upgrade, nothing to be sniffed at I guess, the traffic was also a bit more stable at this speed as opposed to the previous CPU.