Description

I'm fortunate to be in an area that runs 10 gigabit Internet to the home. Unfortunately that means off the shelf hardware to act as a firewall/router isn't cheap, so I white boxed it. Was running the Mellanox card with an old Ivy Bridge system I had on hand and was only pushing 4/5 gigabits (which shows as 7 gigabit on Netflix's speed test). Upgraded to Ryzen 3rd gen and now pushing 9 gigabits on the same test (hilariously reads as 13/14 gigabits). Something you pretty much never see tested in reviews.

RAM is 2666MTs Samsung B-die ECC which is overclocked to 3200MTs CL 18-17-17-17-21-53 @ 1.2V. Could probably go faster, but no need to.

Motherboard was chosen before I found the chassis, and most DIY 2U chassis are mATX. Could have changed it, but decided since I didn't need anything more than the X570M Pro4 may as well vote for the form factor and hopefully encourage better offerings in the future.

The CPU doesn't matter a whole lot here. At least if htop is to be believed it's mostly idling even when forwarding 10 gigabit of traffic. Went 3rd gen mostly to have the latest PCIe controller. Will admit that the halved write speed worried me that I might need to use a 2nd gen or APU instead, but in the end it seems to do its job just fine.

Video card is a rescue from a box of garbage. It's a garbage card so was a fitting place to find it, but given that the Linux drivers for it are fine and literally all it needs to do is display text there was no need for anything more. But for those curious I did run Doom on it (classic, GZDoom) and lets just say the software renderer was faster, and even then was bottle-necked by the speed the frame could be transferred to vram.

Hard drive is also a salvage. Don't see a need to change it since the machine rarely ever does disk IO.

Using a Mellanox ConnectX-5 since compared to the 3 or 4 there were a few features that piqued my interest. Not sure if I'll ever actually get around to playing with them, but they're there. Practically speaking though this build would likely have worked just as well with a ConnectX-3 or 4 which are much cheaper 2nd hand.

As I said in the first paragraph, the build works well. About my only complaint is that I can't disable the on board LAN, which is an extremely minor gripe since there's not really any advantage to disabling it besides looking slightly cleaner in the OS.

Figured it would be funny to post something completely different from the norm on here.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice build, I dig the function over form here.

Those speeds truly are a marvel. What country are you in to get that kind of bandwidth?

Here in the glorious land of dirt, otherwise known as the UK; we can only begin to imagine those speeds.

  • 2 months ago
  • 4 points

USA. It's pretty rare here as well, but the city I'm in got fed up with the ISP in the area not doing anything. Instead of just sitting still, the local government, recognizing how important the Internet is to encouraging businesses to move in, started their own ISP and ran enough fiber to provide symmetric 10G to every home in the city.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

We have several old school cable companies around my area In the US that won't update their crummy infrastructure and this is MY DREAM. I've been practically begging our only fiber provider to run to our neighborhood but there just isn't enough demand.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I cannot even begin to comprehend speeds that fast. You must be in heaven. And yes, always nice to see somethin' out of the ordinary around here. Well done and nice write-up.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Honestly 10G Internet feels just like 1G and to an extent 500M Internet. Most services which host large enough content for it to matter throttle server side to prevent people like me from being a one man denial of service. Did find out that Visual Studio's installer could download at multigig speeds. Not sure if 10G though since it was ultimately limited by the SATA SSD that I run Windows off of (it's my secondary OS). Which it is indeed weird to wrap my head around the idea that my Internet is faster than local storage.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

lemme hit you with some real speed: my sub megabyte plan

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, I like seeing builds like this. Which distro do you run on it?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Ubuntu Server 19.04 stripped down to the point where it's basically just systemd and nftables. (Running DNS and DHCP on my NAS.) Thought about using other distros, but ultimately couldn't think of a reason to mix distros in my environment, and once stripped down to this level they're all basically the same.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

That's fair. Though, why not Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, since it's a server?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Basically just comes down to the configuration isn't complex enough to have to worry about upgrades breaking anything. Honestly given the hardware enablement stacks there isn't a whole lot of difference between LTS and the 6 month releases although it does take awhile before the newer kernels are backported. So part of the decision was just making sure I had the best possible performance. I could theoretically use a rolling distro here, but I think the 6 month snapshot model provides a decent middle ground where I can just turn on automatic updates and not have to worry about it. Still though there's a chance I might keep it on 20.04 LTS when that's a thing.

I do use LTS on my NAS and website, but follow the 6 month releases on my workstation and laptop. So generally speaking I do agree with your thought.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I see, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

now I gotta see if my area has 10 gig ethernet