Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cisco IPS Manager Express performace tuning

A few weeks ago I did a clean install of IME on a virtual XP with 2GB of RAM. The user experience was okay, after it loaded the gadgets, but I just had to check out the system resources graph.
The java process used around a 100MB of RAM, and the MySQL used under 15MB. While I had a lot of free RAM as buffer, from my experiences it never hurts to give MySQL a lot of RAM.
The config file is "my.ini" under the base installation folder, and this is how it looks like after some tweaks:

basedir=C:\Program Files\Cisco Systems\Cisco IPS Manager Express/MYSQL
datadir=C:\Program Files\Cisco Systems\Cisco IPS Manager Express/MYSQL/data

# performance options

Now it uses around 120MB, and once started, it loads the gadgets noticeably faster.
I tried to add some InnoDB options too, but the options are not recognized. I guess that InnoDB support is not compiled in, or something.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cisco MARS 20 upgrade

I'm not sure where can you find performance evaluations for MARS models, but our MARS 20 definitely had issues with managing 100+ switches and our main ASA cluster and FWSM logs. Since it's EOL soon, we don't want to buy a bigger one. But it's just a PC, so we looked into upgrade possibilities.

The MARS 20 has a SuperMicro P4SCT mainboard and 1GB of RAM, so our options are:
  • A new CPU, possibly with Hyperthreading. Problem is, the kernel is not SMP compatible, and I don't really want to compile a new one.
  • More RAM. That's always good, the maximum supported is 4GB DDR-400 in 4 sticks of 1GB.
  • A new HDD. Our old one is, well, old (40k+ hours), so I decided to replace it with a 160GB standard IDE Western Digital drive.
In the end, we opted to upgrade the RAM and replace the HDD.

The RAM upgrade was no problem at all, and I used a RescueCD USB stick to 'dd' the MARS OS between drives. The new drive is a good 2 times faster, and the new memory usage stats are eye-candy:

[root@voyager bin]# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:          3772       3764          7        210         98       2141
-/+ buffers/cache:       1523       2248
Swap:         1027        851        175

Overall, the responsiveness of the system is way better in the web interface, and cron tasks are much faster.