[Snort-users] OS options to monitor traffic over a 1GiB and 10 GiB

Robert Vineyard vineyard at ...15653...
Sat Jun 30 03:21:38 EDT 2012


Livio,

Hats off to you, it appears you've beat me to the punch :-)

You've just done what I was about to do...

For what it's worth, I'll be testing on a third-generation E5-1650 with 
VT-d technology (separate writeup coming soon on a similar, virtualized 
approach, leveraging IOV and related technologies).

I've got an I350 waiting to install when the box arrives on Monday, and 
if all goes well, I'm going to see about acquiring an X520-based card too.

It sounds like you've already done the heavy lifting on this. If you 
don't mind, I'd like to integrate your methods and lessons learned into 
my own HOWTO guides -- attributing all credit for that part of work to 
you, of course.

Best regards,
Robert Vineyard


On 06/29/2012 02:23 PM, livio Ricciulli wrote:
> You can also check out
> https://www.metaflows.com/technology/10-gbps-pf_ring-2/
>
> It gives detailed instructions on how to build a reliable PF_RING-based
> 10G box on CentOS using the Intel 82599 and compare the relative
> performance of PF_RING in NAPI mode and DNA mode. DNA wins but note that
> if you use DNA, you can only attach up 16 Snort processes using the
> Intel 82599 and attach 1 application to the interface (for example
> snort) but you could not (for example) run both Snort and Ntop at the
> same time. NAPI lets you do that.
>
> The number of rules you run is extremely important in determining how
> much bandwidth you can handle. With our traces we could process 4-6 Gigs
> on a dual X5670 and 4000 to 7000 rules respectively.
>
> Livio.
>
> On 06/29/2012 07:41 AM, Robert Vineyard wrote:
>> On 6/29/2012 9:23 AM, Joel Esler wrote:
>>> Probably BSD. But I think it's less dependent on the OS, and is more dependent on hardware. When you are talking about 10 Gig, there's lots of factors that come into play.
>> Some hardware options I'd recommend, in decreasing order of cost:
>>
>> http://www.pcapexpress.com/index.php/products
>>
>> http://www.endace.com/endace-dag-high-speed-packet-capture-cards.html
>>
>> http://www.silicom-usa.com/10_Gigabit_Ethernet_Networking_Server_Adapters
>>
>> http://www.myricom.com/products/network-adapters.html
>>
>> http://ark.intel.com/products/series/46825
>>
>>
>> To monitor that much traffic reliably, you're going to have to employ a load-balancing technique. The best way I've found to go about doing that is to use something that can perform a hash function on the 5-tuple of any given flow. The 5-tuple is composed of the source and destination IP addresses, ports, and protocol. Hashing in this manner ensures that traffic is distributed roughly evenly, and that bidirectional conversations are preserved and sent to the same sensor engine.
>>
>> The more expensive products in my list above can do this in hardware, often using FPGA tricks and DMA buffering to dramatically accelerate the process. When you're trying to monitor a fully-saturated link, every CPU cycle counts.
>>
>> The less expensive products (typically from Intel or Myricom) can do some of it in hardware, but they really shine when you pair them with capture-optimized drivers like PF_RING DNA (http://www.ntop.org/products/pf_ring/dna/) or Myricom Sniffer10G (http://www.myricom.com/support/downloads/sniffer.html).
>>
>> In any case you'll want a big server with lots of CPU cores and as much RAM as you can afford. If you'll be logging payloads and/or expect heavy alert volumes, you'll also need fast disk, like SSD or a hardware RAID10 array. The idea is to run multiple sensor engines (Snort, for example) and bind each one to one of the load-balanced virtual network interfaces presented by the setup I just described. If your traffic is fairly predictable or you have plenty of headroom on your sensor box, you can use CPU affinity to peg those engines to individual cores (there are ways to do this for the firehose of interrupts coming from the NIC too) to avoid spurious context-switching and buy yourself a few more precious CPU cycles. You'll want to run one sensor process per core.
>>
>> On the other hand, if your traffic is bursty and unpredictable, you may want to forgo the CPU affinity and let the kernel scheduler do its job. For cases like that, I prefer to run two sensor processes per core (doubling the number of required virtual interfaces on your packet-capture NIC). That way, the chunks are smaller and if one needs to burst up to consume a full CPU core, the kernel scheduler will happily relocate the lesser-utilized processes to other cores.
>>
>> Happy sniffing! :-)
>>
>> -- Robert Vineyard
>>
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>
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