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FreeBSD Netperf Cluster



The netperf cluster provides a multi-node, SMP-capable, network functionality and performance test capability for the FreeBSD Project, supporting a variety of on-going sub-projects including the netperf project, and on-going work on high performance threading. The cluster is available on a check out basis for developers, who must request accounts be created by contacting one of the netperf cluster admins. The cluster includes both 1gbps and 10gbps test segments, with network hardware from a number of vendors.


The netperf cluster was made possible through the generous donation of a number of organizations, including:

  • Sentex Data Communications, who not only host the complete cluster, provide front-end build system, several test systems, and the management infrastructure (remote power, serial console, network switch, etc), but also appear to be endlessly willing to help configure, reconfigure, and troubleshoot at almost any time of day or night.

  • FreeBSD Systems, who through a generous matching grant with the FreeBSD Foundation, provide the majority of testing hardware used in the cluster, including three dual-Xeon test systems.

  • The FreeBSD Foundation, who provided a matching grant for the purposes of purchasing testing hardware, as well as taking ownership of hardware, offering tax receipts to donors in its role as a non-profit, and participating in cluster planning.

  • IronPort Systems, who have donated a test server.

  • iXsystems, who have donated several test servers.

  • Google, Inc., who have donated two test servers.

  • Cisco, Inc., who have donated a 10gbps switch.

  • Chelsio Communications, who have donated two 10gbps network cards.

  • Myricom, Inc., who have donated two 10gbps network cards.

  • Intel Corporation, who have donated two 10gbps network cards.

  • Meinberg, who have donated a LANTIME M600 IEEE 1588 Grandmaster Clock.

  • George V. Neville-Neil, who has donated a quad-core AMD test system.

  • Robert Watson, who has donated a dual-CPU PIII system and a Portmaster terminal server.

Donations to support the netperf cluster have an immediate and substantial impact on the success of a number of on-going performance projects, providing access to high-end hardware to a large number of developers. If you or your company are interested in helping to support continued development of the netperf cluster as a resource for FreeBSD development, please contact the netperf cluster admins.

Netperf Cluster Admins

The FreeBSD netperf cluster is managed by a small team of developer/administrators to support SMP development and performance testing on high-end hardware. If you have any questions, including questions about access to the cluster as a developer, or about possible future donations of testing hardware, please feel free to contact them via netperf-admin at

Netperf Cluster Resources

The Netperf cluster consists of several systems interconnected using a management network, as well as individual back-to-back gigabit ethernet links for a test network. Please refer to the Test Cluster One Reservations page on the FreeBSD wiki for the current allocations.

Netperf Cluster Procedures

As the netperf cluster is a centrally managed and shared resource, understanding and consistent following of its procedures is important. In particular, following of the procedures makes it easier for developers to have reasonable expectations about the configuration of systems in the cluster, as well as to avoid treading on each others toes.

Pointers and documentation on Netperf Cluster procedures can be found on the Test Cluster One Pointers page on the FreeBSD wiki.