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 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)

More CHR router updates

My iDrac kit has arrived and a lot faster than I thought it would. I’ve got it installed and I’m ready to battle with it and try to learn how to get into it and access the iDrac interface.

Now to get it powered up and updated to latest firmware. Also I’ve been looking at OS for routers and OPNSense has come onto my radar, I may be tempted to spin up one of each on ESXi so I can switch between the two.

Home Router Update

Quick update on the state of play with the router.

After the Dell server was phenomenally loud when running I had decided not to make the move over however some deep googling and checking through the Dell forums turned up that there were BIOS releases that addressed this problem. With the combination of the new BIOS and turning all the power settings onto custom and opting for power saver the server has quietened down now to what I would class as below acceptable levels.

Project CHR is back on track! I’m hoping that this weekend I can get the copper to fibre converter in so I can get the CHR spun up and routing as my main router.