Impressive performance from FreeBSD on alix 2D13



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I've been playing with OpenWRT on my alix 2D13 board for about 8 months now. Its a decent enough Linux router distro with some very handy scripting that makes it quite functional. Unfortunately, the x86 platform doesn't receive as much attention as I would like so I started looking at FreeBSD 9, specifically, a nanobsd build to put on the alix. For comparison purposes I ran some performance numbers on the alix using a Smartbits test tool. I ran some basic "drag strip" type tests to get an idea of the raw routing performance of each.

With OpenWRT, just routing between two interfaces, no firewall, nat, or other features the alix 2D13 moved around 32,000 frames per second at a 64 byte frame size.

With FreeBSD, on the same alix board, just routing between two interface, no firewall, nat, or other features, the alix 2D13 moved 47,000 frames per second, again at a 64 byte frame size.

Damn, that's an impressive gain just by changing the OS. I've tried several different builds of OpenWRT, including the newest trunk, and I can't get the numbers above 32k frames/sec.

Needless to say, I'm working on porting my OpenWRT configuration over to FreeBSD. I'm impressed both with its performance and the completeness of the nanobsd package.