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Barracuda CloudGen Firewall

Best Practice - VPN Performance Testing

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The following VPN performance test method provides a guideline for creating a standardized VPN performance testing environment required by Barracuda Technical Support that allows to identify potential configuration improvements. Please note that the VPN throughput results can differ from the values published on the datasheet of NextGen Firewall F models due to varying test methods and equipment used.

Before You Begin

To collect all relevant information for Barracuda Technical support download the Word template form and fill in the required values as you go through the steps. Paste the output from each step in to the text form and save the result. Include the filled-in form when contacting Barracuda Support.

fill_in_word_form.png

Download VPN Performance Testing Form (Microsoft Word).

VPN Performance Test Setup

Before You Begin

To rule out devices in the local and remote networks, as well as side effects of other services on the firewall, create the following setup:

  1. Testing must be performed on dedicated clients on both ends. Do not run performance tests directly on the shell of the firewall unless specifically stated otherwise.
  2. Connect the test clients directly to the firewall. If that is not possible, up to one switch between the firewall and the test client is acceptable.
  3. Do not use wireless network connections to connect to the firewall.

vpn_performance_testing1.png

Step 1. VPN Tunnel Configuration

Configure the VPN tunnel on both firewalls with the following settings:

  1. Create a TINA site-to-site VPN tunnel with a single transport with the following encryption settings:
  2. In the Basics tab, configure the following settings:
    • Transport – Select UDP.
    • Encryption – Select AES 128. 
    • Authentication – Select NOHASH
    • Compression – Select Disabled.
    • Use Dynamic Mesh – Clear check box.
    vpn_perf_setup_01.png
  3. In the TI Bandwidth Protection tab, configure the following settings:
    • Dynamic Bandwidth Detection – Select Disabled
    • Bandwidth Policy – Select None
    • Consolidated Shaping – Clear the check box.
    vpn_perf_setup_02.png
  4. In the Advanced tab, configure the following settings:
    • High Performance Settings – Select the check box.
    • WANOpt Policy – Select NO-WANOpt

    vpn_perf_setup_03.png

  5. Configure the Local and Remote Networks.
  6. Configure the Local and Remote IP addresses used by the VPN endpoint.

For more information, see How to Create a TINA VPN Tunnel between F-Series Firewalls.

Step 2. Optimize Performance Settings for VPN
  1. Go to CONFIGURATION > Configuration Tree > Box > Advanced Configuration > System Settings.
  2. From the Interface CPU Assignment drop-down list, select Optimize-for-VPN.
    vpn_perf_setup_04.png
Step 3. Access Rule Configuration

On both firewalls, configure access rules to allow the test traffic through the VPN tunnel.

  1. Create a Pass access rule:
    • Source – Select the IP address of the local test client.
    • Service – Select Any.
    • Destination – Select the IP address of the remote test client.
    • Bi-Directional – Select the check box.
    • IPS Policy – Select No Scan.
    • Application Policy – Select No AppControl.
    • QoS Band (Fwd) – Select No-Shaping.
    • QoS Band (Reply) – Select No-Shaping.

    vpn_perf_setup_05.png

  2. (Testing with SMB traffic only) In the Miscellaneous section of the Advanced access rule settings, set Force MSS (Maximum Segment Size) to 1300.
    vpn_perf_setup_06.png
  3. (Testing with SMB traffic only) In the Miscellaneous section of the Advanced access rule settings, set Clear DF Bit  to yes.
    vpn_perf_setup_07.png
Step 4. Verify the Network Interface Is Using Full Duplex

On the CONTROL > Network page of both firewalls: Verify that the network interfaces used by the test client and the VPN tunnel are using full duplex:

vpn_perf_setup_08.png

Step 5. (Multi-Core Firewalls Only) Verify VPN Bypass Is Enabled

VPN bypass is a performance optimization for the VPN device queues on multi-core firewalls. The VPN bypass must be enabled.

  1. Log into the firewall via SSH.
  2. Enter the following command to check the VPN bypass state:

    acpfctrl tune vpnbypass

    vpn_perf_setup_09.png

  3. If it is disabled, enable it with the following command:

    acpfctrl tune vpnbypass on
Step 6. Verify that the VPN Rate Limit Is Disabled

If a VPN rate limit is set, the VPN throughput is automatically decreased to the configured value.

  1. Log into the firewall via SSH.
  2. Enter the following command to check the VPN rate limit:

    ktinactrl boxrate get

    box_rate_limit.png

If needed, the VPN rate limit can be configured in the Operational VPN settings on the General Firewall Configuration page.

Performance Testing

Perform the following tests to gather performance data for the VPN tunnel and the ISP connection.

  • ISP link speed
  • VPN tunnel throughput
  • Latency to the other firewall
  • (virtual only) Cryptographic hardware performance test
Check ISP Link Speed

Execute the speed test on both firewalls.

  1. Log into the firewall via SSH.
  2. Enter the following commands to download and start the speed test:

    cd /tmp/ wget -O speedtest-cli https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest.py --no-check-certificate chmod +x speedtest-cli ./speedtest-cli

    speedtest.png

  3. Collect the following the output from both firewalls:

    • Speedtest output

Ping Firewall to Firewall
  1. Log into the firewall via SSH.
  2. Enter ping
    ping_fw_to_fw.png
  3. Collect the following values from the output:
    • Ping firewall to firewall
Ping Test Client to Test Client
  1. Log into the test client.
  2. Enter ping
    ping_client_to_client.png
  3. Collect the following values from the output:
    • Ping test client to test client
Test VPN Tunnel TCP Traffic Throughput
  1. Log into the remote test client 
  2. Install iperf.
  3. start an iperf server:

    iperf -s
  4. Log into the local test client.

  5. Install iperf.

  6. Test the VPN throughput for TCP traffic:

    iperf -c <ip> -P -e -m

    iperf_tcp.png

  7. Repeat in the other direction.
  8. Collect the following values from the output:
    • VPN TCP iperf (fw1 to fw2)
    • VPN TCP iperf (fw2 to fw1)
Test VPN Tunnel UDP Traffic Throughput
  1. Log into the remote test client 
  2. Install iperf.
  3. Start an iperf server:

    iperf -s -u
  4. Log into the local test client.

  5. Install iperf.

  6. Test the VPN throughput for UDP traffic.

    iperf -c <ip> -P -e -m -u

    iperf_udp.png

  7. Repeat in the other direction.
  8. Collect the following values from the output: 
    • VPN UDP iperf (fw1 to fw2)
    • VPN UDP iperf (fw2 to fw1) 
(Virtual and Public Cloud Only) Test Hardware Capabilities

Execute the following test to measure the hardware capabilities on virtual and public cloud firewalls.

  1. Log into the firewall via SSH.
  2. Enter cryptoctrl perf all
    cryptoctrl_test.png
  3. Collect the following values from the output: 
    • Cryptoctrl output
Testing with SMB / CIFS Traffic

When testing performance with SMB/CIFS traffic an be difficult to receive reproducible results. When testing the same VPN tunnel with iperf and CIFS traffic, expect the transfer rate for the file transfer to be slower than the iperf value.

  • Calculate the theoretical TCP throughput to know the theoretical bandwidth of the connection: https://www.switch.ch/network/tools/tcp_throughput/.
  • If file transfer performance is very low, verify that you are not affected by issues with TCP receive windows scaling on Microsoft Windows. A quick search will offer troubleshooting steps and solutions for this problem.

Collect Additional System Information

Collect the following information from both firewalls.

  1. Log in to the firewall via SSH

  2. Copy the performance output for the firewall kernel module:

    cat /proc/phion/ktina_prof

    ktina_proc_output.png

  3. Copy the output from the VPN kernel module

    cat /proc/phion/acpf_prof

    acpf_proc_output.png

  4. Collect the following values from the output: 

    • ktina_prof output
    • acpf_prof output
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