MikroTik – CCR1072-1G-8S+ – PPPoE testing preview – 30,000 connections and queues.

 

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Why we chose PPPoE as the next test

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback, comments and questions about the CCR1072-1G-8S+ testing we have been posting in the last few months.  Even MikroTik has taken an interest in this testing and we have gotten some great feedback from them as well.

We received more questions about the PPPoE capabilities of the CCR1072-1G-8S+  than any other type of request. Since we have already published the testing on BGP, throughput and EoIP, we have decided to tackle the PPPoE testing to understand where the limits of the CCR1072-1G-8S+ are. This is only a preview of the testing as we are working on different methods of testing and config, but this will at least give you a glimpse of what is possible.

30,000 PPPoE Connections !!!!

30k-pppoe

Overview of PPPoE connections and CPU load

30k-PPPoE-overview

PRTG Monitoring

We have started using PRTG in the StubArea51.net lab as it makes monitoring of resource load over time much easier when we are testing. Check it out as it is free up to 100 sensors and works very well with MikroTik

https://www.paessler.com/prtg/download

PRTG CPU Profile 

30k-PPPoE-CPU-total-prtg

 

PRTG PPPoE connection count over time

It took us about 20 minutes to reach 30,000 connections…we are working on tuning the config to see if we can shorten the time it takes to build the connections. In the graph here, you can see it go form a 24 hour stable load of 30k connections donw to nothing as we prepare for a load test. At about 10:07 AM is when we started the full load test and you can see the time it takes to get to 30k.

30k-PPPoE-conns-total-prtg

More on the way!!!

This is just a small preview of our full PPPoE testing. We will be completing testing and should be publishing the results within the next week.

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10 Gbps of Layer 2 throughput is possible using MikroTik’s EoIP tunnel.

 

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Getting to 10 Gbps using EoIP

The EoIP tunnel protocol is one of the more popular features we see deployed in MikroTik routers.  It is useful anywhere a Layer 2 extension over a Layer 3 network is needed and can be done with very little effort / complexity.  One of the questions that seems to come up on the forums frequently is how much traffic can an EoIP tunnel handle which is typically followed by questions about performance with IPSEC turned on. Answers given by MikroTik and others on forums.mikrotik.com typically fall into the 1 to 3 Gbps range with some hints that more is possible. We searched to see if anyone had done 10 Gbps over EoIP with or without IPSEC and came up empty handed. That prompted us to dive into the StubArea51 lab and set up a test network so we could get some hard data and definitive answers.

The EoIP protocol and recent enhancements

Ethernet over IP or EoIP is a protocol that started as an IETF  draft somewhere around 2002 and MikroTik developed a proprietary implementation of it that has been in RouterOS for quite a while. Similar to EoMPLS or Cisco’s OTV, it faciltates the encapsulation of Layer 2 traffic over a Layer 3 network such as the Internet or even a private L3 WAN like an MPLS cloud. If you follow MikroTik and RouterOS updates closely, you might have come across a new feature that was released in version 6.30 of RouterOS.

What's new in 6.30 (2015-Jul-08 09:07):

*) tunnels - eoip, eoipv6, gre,gre6, ipip, ipipv6, 6to4 tunnels
   have new property - ipsec-secret - for easy setup of ipsec
   encryption and authentication;

This is a much anticipated feature as it simplifies the deployment of secure tunnels immensely. It makes things so easy, that it really gives MikroTik a significant competitive advantage against Cisco and other vendors that have tunneling features in their routers and firewalls. When you look at the complexity involved in deploying a tunnel over ipsec in a Cisco router vs. a MikroTik router, there is a clear advantage to using MikroTik for tunneling. I originally looked into this feature for EoIP but it is available many other tunnel types like gre, ipip and 6to4.

When you look at the complexity involved in deploying a tunnel over ipsec in a Cisco router vs. a MikroTik router, there is a clear advantage to using MikroTik for tunneling.

Here is one of the simpler implementations of L2TPv3 over IPSEC in a Cisco router which still has a fair amount of complexity  surrounding it.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/security/flexvpn/116207-configure-l2tpv3-00.html

VS.

http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:Interface/EoIP

The MikroTik config has 3 required config items for EoIP on each router vs double the steps with Cisco and the added complexity of troubleshooting IPSEC if you get a line of config wrong.

The test network

In order to test 10 Gbps speed over EoIP, we needed a 10 Gbps capable test network and decided to use two CCR-10368G-2S+ as our endpoints and a CCR1072-1G-8S+ as the core WAN. We used an HP DL360-G6 with ESXi as the hypervisor to launch our test VMs for TCP throughput.  We typically use VMs instead of MikroTik’s built in bandwidth tester because they can generate more traffic and have more granularity to stage specific test conditions (TCP window, RX/TX buffer, etc).

EoIP Testing

Concept of testing

Most often, EoIP is implemented over the Internet and so using 9000 as a test MTU might be surprising to some users and possibly irrelevant, but when using a private WAN, quite often a Layer 3 solution is much less expensive than Layer 2 handoffs (especially at 10 Gbps) and 9000 bytes is almost always supported on that kind of transport, so L2 over private L3 definitely has a place as a possible application for EoIP with 9000 byte frames.

9000 byte MTU unencrypted
9000 byte MTU encrypted with IPSEC

1500 byte MTU unencrypted
1500 byte MTU encrypted with IPSEC

And the results are in!!! 10 Gbps is possible over EoIP

10 Gbps over EoIP (Unencrypted with 9000 byte MTU)

10-gbps-unencrypted-throughput-EOIP

Video of 10 Gbps over EoIP (Unencrypted with 9000 byte MTU)

7.5 Gbps over EoIP (IPSEC encrypted with 9000 byte MTU)

7-5-gbps-encrypted-throughput-EOIP

 

Video of 7.5 Gbps over EoIP (IPSEC encrypted with 9000 byte MTU)

 

6.4 Gbps over EoIP (Unencrypted with 1500 byte MTU)

6-4-gbps-unencrypted-throughput-EOIP

 

Video of 6.4 Gbps over EoIP (Unencrypted with 1500 byte MTU)

1.7 Gbps over EoIP (IPSEC encrypted with 1500 byte MTU)

1-7-gbps-encrypted-throughput-EOIP

Video of 1.7 Gbps over EoIP (IPSEC encrypted with 1500 byte MTU)

Video will be posted soon.

Use cases and conclusions

The CCR1036 certainly had no issues getting to 10 Gbps with the right MTU and test hardware, but we were suprised that the IPSEC thoughput was so high. Considering a pair of CCR1036-8G-2S+ routers are just a little over $2000.00 USD, 7.5 Gigabits of encrypted throughput with IPSEC is incredible. Even over a 1500 byte MTU, the 1.7 Gbps we were able to hit is amazing considering it would probably take at least 20k to 30k USD to reach that kind of encrypted throughput with equipment from a mainstream network vendor like Cisco or Juniper.

Use cases for this are probably too numerous to mention but we came up with a few

  • Extending an ISP or joining two or more ISPs in different regions
  • High volume PPPoE backhaul to a BRAS
  • Data Center Interconnect (DCI) at Layer 2
  • Enterprise HQ and Branch connectivity or backup
  • Layer 2 network extension for network migration or merger.

Please feel free to leave comments with questions about the testing or use cases we might not have thought of…we love getting feedback :-)

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