Lab Progress: Cabling

Ethernet and console cables finally arrived, so it was a busy and sweaty morning of cable routing for the lab. Still need to hook up power, move my Home Production stack over w/ the US-16-XG, and figure out how I’m going to lay out the 10GbE stuff and a few other miscellaneous items.


2017-07-20 15.09.13 Lab Progress.jpg

Lab Progress Report

UPS dropped off some rack shelves and an ES-48-Lite today, which means the only thing holding me up from starting to get this lab racked up and online is time and rack screws.

A kind soul on the Ubiquiti Discord offered me a good deal on an ERLite-3, pair of ERPro-8, and a ES-16-XG so the total amount of Ubiquiti gear available for labbing is going to be fairly impressive!

On hand I’ve got:

Waiting to be delivered:

The end goal here is to be able to run mock deployments with a pair of every class of EdgeRouter and build out complex internetworking without ever having to physically touch the boxes.

ER-X vs ER-X-SFP Performance

See Preliminary Observations of the ER-X for the story leading up to now. I retrieved the ER-X-SFP but after giving it some more thought I concluded that the SFP port shouldn’t provide better throughput because it has to be hanging off the switch.

But I decided to test away anyways. Here’s a baseline iperf run of my test setup:


About what I’d expect from the hardware I’m using: 908 Mb/s uni-directional, 1,465 Mb/s aggregate bi-directional.

Here is the ER-X, with eth0 WAN and switch0 / eth1LAN:


The bi-directional result of 765 Mb/s is one of its better runs, high 600s to low 700s was its general range.

Now, here’s the ER-X-SFP in the same config:


It takes a hit, tho it’s results were consistently in the high 700s — a tiny bit better than the ER-X.

Now let’s try it again using an RJ45 SFP in eth5 as WAN:


929Mb/s bi-directional! And consistent! So it performs better… and I’ve no idea why… but clearly the platform is limited to 1Gb/s aggregate throughput.

As a sanity check I ran the same test against an ERLite-3 and was able to get > 1,700 Mb/s using multiple threads. Using multiple threads against the ER-X did not affect the results.

Both ER-X and ER-X-SFP on v1.9.1.1, configured using the Basic Setup Wizard for single LAN, with set system offload hwnat enable and port forwards for 5001, 5201, and 5202 TCP & UDP (iperf / iperf3​).

The Lab Begins

2017-07-07 13.24.02

UPS just dropped off my first new acquisitions for the Ubiquiti routing and switching lab I am constructing — 2x ER-X, 2x ER-4, 2x ER-4 rack kits, and a Monoprice keystone patch panel. Ultimately it’s going to have about a dozen routers, several switches, an AP, and several dedicated client devices.

More to come once my rack shelves arrive and I get the 7′ rack moved to its new home. In the meantime I’m going to put the ER-Xs through their paces to see if they’re a suitable substitute for the ER-8 I’m running at home now…