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VPN hardware acceleration: QuickAssist. Need advice.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: VPN hardware acceleration: QuickAssist. Need advice. Reply with quote

Hi,

There are some incredibly good hardware acceleration features actually available now, for not much money. AES-NI is available and in use widely, but is only good for AES encryption.

There is a sort of expanded feature set, QuickAssist, on some Intel communications-oriented Atom chips. The chips that have it also have AES-NI. There are communications-oriented boards for not much money.

With this set, an atom based VPN can get multi-gigabit VPN throughput and still have lots left over for normal firewall/router tasks.

So the questions first:

  1. Has anyone built a Gentoo box with the QuickAssist patches yet?
  2. Is it straightforward?
  3. Were there significant complications?
  4. Was it what you expected?
  5. What hardware did you use?
  6. Do you have performance figures?


I want to build a crazy fast VPN router for not much money, meaning under USD $1000 (easily reachable) and hopefully under $500. I have not yet purchased anything, and would like to know if anyone has experience first. I'm trying to see if it's reasonable to build with Gentoo, or wait for pfSense to get it's stuff together.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/quickassist-technology/quickassist-technology-developer.html

The only CPUs I've found that have it in a way I might use it are Intel Atoms intended for communications use, for example C2358 and C2758. http://ark.intel.com/Search/Advanced?s=t&FamilyText=Intel®%20Atom™%20Processor%20for%20Communications

I know there are patches available for Linux: https://01.org/packet-processing/intel®-quickassist-technology-drivers-and-patches

I've found some motherboards for these, chip already installed. For example at supermicro: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/atom/ and some of them aren't that expensive. Some even have a "superserver" already made for pretty cheap.

Thanks.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump.
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