Back to a CHR?

Friday 13th was an exciting one in my household! Not only did I kill the internet for everyone for a good 3 hour period whilst I swapped from an Ikea Lack table to a “real” 6U cabinet causing huge disruption when my planned single patch panel turned into 3! I also fired up old faithful and stuck on a fresh copy of the latest (6.42.6) CHR into my VM box.

Now I have my spare ESXi box housed in the attic in a real rack it means I don’t need it screaming away in the cave so I can finally move back to a CHR build and keep it. My rough maths says the CHR unit will have around 4-5 times the performance of the RB3011 which will now get moved to the cave as a dedicated VLAN breakout switch (or maybe sold) but ultimately I can employ some far more complex queues without worrying that I’m running the CPU up too far.

My long term plan is to SFQ my LAN traffic but then pick out particular traffic types from that and SFQ them against each other whilst doing some PFIFO pulling them all together. I’ll try to document as much as I can but in short it will be a huge amount of packet marking so CPU grunt is needed. I’m even now tempted to look at upgrading the CPU so it’s more than a dual core!

Fun times ahead.

CHR completed! But not how I hoped it would be

My long ongoing build of a 1U ESXi server to run CHR on has come to an end, a frustrating end that meant I simply couldn’t live with the noise it was kicking out because of the 40mm fans and constantly comparing it to my massively overpowered i7 mATX fileserver.

As a fairly large change to the home setup I decided to pull apart about 3 of my home servers and rebuild the main storage into the spare N54L and then rebuild the “Node” into an ESXi server to host the CHR. Quad port NIC in the Node and a quick install onto the Crucial M4 128GB and it was up and running, installed the CHR and it’s moving along really well and actually turning about double the traffic capability of what the “older” Xeon was doing!

So a really big shuffle around but now I feel like I’m actually starting to do my i7 some justice and not just using it for a ridiculously overpowered power hungry file server.

Whilst doing the work I had the dog in the cave with me (not that she was much help)

CHR build pushes forwards again

The RB3011 is starting to aggravate with it’s high CPU usage under VPN and the ports flapping, a major network change around is due I think and I’m hoping the CHR is going to be the start of it.

iDrac express and enterprise have been ordered to try and rein in some of the fan noise further.

Today I’ve managed to get the CPU re-pasted as the old stuff was just genuinely crusty and also manage to strip out a load of not needed bulk in the case.

Before:

After:

The CHR is fully installed an so far I’ve managed to push a very strong 7Gb through it internally testing so I’m relatively confident it will handle my 100/50 connection even when I do start using VPN.

Home Router Downgrade?

After having some what of a very quick and easy build process for the ESXi server I was hoping to put a new CHR installation on I’ve struggled massively with noise levels with the kit. Even though I knew to expect “some” noise, I just can’t get the Dell quiet enough to live in my rack permanently.

My cave is a very nice tranquil place and even though my Ryzen build hums at times, the ESX server just wasn’t cutting the mustard for me.

I have now down / side graded back to my RB3011 however I have made a slight change to the network. As I receive service through FWA the cat5 comes down and goes into an RB260GSP where it is converted to fibre and then that is fed from the house out to my cave. The RB3011 having an SFP port is ideal so now is connected directly without going through further multiple copper links and patches.

The LAN has not been left alone either, a copper uplink into a CRS112 has been used (due to it’s 4 SFP slots) and also extend the RB3011’s 10 copper ports. The CRS112 is now feeding a Unifi 8 port PoE switch in the attic, a CRS125 (for non PoE) in the attic and also the PoE switch in the cave as well as the “Tutorial” RB2011.

A busy and disappointing weekend (week really), but it has left me wanting a bit more. I’m thinking about possibly looking in to a CCR1009 with 2 SFP slots (WAN and LAN) but that’s a fairly large amount of money that I won’t be getting my hands on with the new Ryzen Zen+ lineup launching in 2 months time.

For the time being I’ve also managed to tidy the attic up, I had been using 1m patch cables and it was getting extremely messy up there so now have properly mounted the Unifi switch with the CRS and things have neatened up a treat.