Testing 10Gb switches using iPerf

So I have a few 10Gb Switches I need to test out using iPerf. I know iPerf can handle it as they have 10Gb public servers available on the internet, but can my machines handle it and can I get cheap NICs to do this also?

Machines I want to use are Dell 7010 with Core i3 2120 3.3GHz 2GB DDR3 – was super cheap from eBay. They are the MT (tower) so have 3 PCI slots that are full height, one x16, one (x4 electrical) x16 and one x1. The chipset is IntelĀ® Q77 Express Chipset so v2 only, with only 8 lanes, so I assume the x16 slot is from the processor (also v2 16 lanes) and the x4/x1 from the chipset. (Note the DT has the same PCIe configuration but half height, and the SFF has only the x16 and x16 (x4 electrical).)

PCIe versionYearTransfersx1 speedx4 speedx8 speedx16 speed

So the x4 slot can do 10Gbit speeds, but the x16 would be better as it can do 64Gb/s – and also closer to the processor electrically so less latent. There’s quite a few dual 10Gb card cheap on eBay so maybe i’ll start by looking into them….

Shreddarhhhhhhhh (shredder)

I’ve been collecting plastic to melt down for a while now – been using a blender to break it up – but that’s a rubbish idea and has been failing. Time for a shredder. Got me a Fellowes 99Ci šŸ˜€



here’s some other YouTube links





Got the PCI hub/switch/expander installed finally.

Wahooo – brought a 40Ā£ workstation – whacked in a Hard drive and got it up and working with a GTX 1050 in the machine and also a GTX 750 on the riser/hub board.

PCI switch expander on a Dell 7010

PCI switch expander on a Dell 7010

Had to botch together a longer power cable….

power cable made longer

power cable made longer

And now sitting next to my blade server.

PCI switch expander on a Dell 7010

PCI switch expander on a Dell 7010

power usage

power usage

Power usage on the external card is less than 50w so happy with my power cable bodge.

lokid options

Usage: ./lokid [options|settings] [daemon_command…]

–help Produce help message
–version Output version information
–os-version OS for which this executable was
–config-file arg (=/home/mine/.loki/loki.conf, /home/mine/.loki/testnet/loki.conf if ‘testnet’, /home/mine/.loki/stagenet/loki.conf if ‘stagenet’)
Specify configuration file
–detach Run as daemon
–pidfile arg File path to write the daemon’s PID to
(optional, requires –detach)
–non-interactive Run non-interactive

–log-file arg (=/home/mine/.loki/loki.log, /home/mine/.loki/testnet/loki.log if ‘testnet’, /home/mine/.loki/stagenet/loki.log if ‘stagenet’)
Specify log file
–log-level arg
–max-log-file-size arg (=104850000) Specify maximum log file size [B]
–max-log-files arg (=50) Specify maximum number of rotated log
files to be saved (no limit by setting
to 0)
–max-concurrency arg (=0) Max number of threads to use for a
parallel job
–zmq-rpc-bind-ip arg (= IP for ZMQ RPC server to listen on
–zmq-rpc-bind-port arg (=22024, 38158 if ‘testnet’, 38155 if ‘stagenet’)
Port for ZMQ RPC server to listen on
–data-dir arg (=/home/mine/.loki, /home/mine/.loki/testnet if ‘testnet’, /home/mine/.loki/stagenet if ‘stagenet’)
Specify data directory
–test-drop-download For net tests: in download, discard ALL
blocks instead checking/saving them
(very fast)
–test-drop-download-height arg (=0) Like test-drop-download but discards
only after around certain height
–testnet Run on testnet. The wallet must be
launched with –testnet flag.
–stagenet Run on stagenet. The wallet must be
launched with –stagenet flag.
–regtest Run in a regression testing mode.
–fixed-difficulty arg (=0) Fixed difficulty used for testing.
–enforce-dns-checkpointing checkpoints from DNS server will be
–prep-blocks-threads arg (=4) Max number of threads to use when
preparing block hashes in groups.
–fast-block-sync arg (=1) Sync up most of the way by using
embedded, known block hashes.
–show-time-stats arg (=0) Show time-stats when processing
blocks/txs and disk synchronization.
–block-sync-size arg (=0) How many blocks to sync at once during
chain synchronization (0 = adaptive).
–check-updates arg (=notify) Check for new versions of loki:
–fluffy-blocks Relay blocks as fluffy blocks
(obsolete, now default)
–no-fluffy-blocks Relay blocks as normal blocks
–test-dbg-lock-sleep arg (=0) Sleep time in ms, defaults to 0 (off),
used to debug before/after locking
mutex. Values 100 to 1000 are good for
–offline Do not listen for peers, nor connect to
–disable-dns-checkpoints Do not retrieve checkpoints from DNS
–max-txpool-weight arg (=648000000) Set maximum txpool weight in bytes.
–service-node Run as a service node
–block-notify arg Run a program for each new block, ‘%s’
will be replaced by the block hash
–extra-messages-file arg Specify file for extra messages to
include into coinbase transactions
–start-mining arg Specify wallet address to mining for
–mining-threads arg Specify mining threads count
–bg-mining-enable enable/disable background mining
–bg-mining-ignore-battery if true, assumes plugged in when unable
to query system power status
–bg-mining-min-idle-interval arg Specify min lookback interval in
seconds for determining idle state
–bg-mining-idle-threshold arg Specify minimum avg idle percentage
over lookback interval
–bg-mining-miner-target arg Specify maximum percentage cpu use by
–db-type arg (=lmdb) Specify database type, available: lmdb
–db-sync-mode arg (=fast:async:250000000bytes)
Specify sync option, using format
–db-salvage Try to salvage a blockchain database if
it seems corrupted
–p2p-bind-ip arg (= Interface for p2p network protocol
–p2p-bind-ipv6-address arg (=::) Interface for p2p network protocol
–p2p-bind-port arg (=22022, 38156 if ‘testnet’, 38153 if ‘stagenet’)
Port for p2p network protocol (IPv4)
–p2p-bind-port-ipv6 arg (=22022, 38156 if ‘testnet’, 38153 if ‘stagenet’)
Port for p2p network protocol (IPv6)
–p2p-use-ipv6 Enable IPv6 for p2p
–p2p-external-port arg (=0) External port for p2p network protocol
(if port forwarding used with NAT)
–allow-local-ip Allow local ip add to peer list, mostly
in debug purposes
–add-peer arg Manually add peer to local peerlist
–add-priority-node arg Specify list of peers to connect to and
attempt to keep the connection open
–add-exclusive-node arg Specify list of peers to connect to
only. If this option is given the
options add-priority-node and seed-node
are ignored
–seed-node arg Connect to a node to retrieve peer
addresses, and disconnect
–hide-my-port Do not announce yourself as peerlist
–no-igd Disable UPnP port mapping
–out-peers arg (=-1) set max number of out peers
–in-peers arg (=-1) set max number of in peers
–tos-flag arg (=-1) set TOS flag
–limit-rate-up arg (=-1) set limit-rate-up [kB/s]
–limit-rate-down arg (=-1) set limit-rate-down [kB/s]
–limit-rate arg (=-1) set limit-rate [kB/s]
–save-graph Save data for dr monero
–rpc-bind-port arg (=22023, 38157 if ‘testnet’, 38154 if ‘stagenet’)
Port for RPC server
–rpc-restricted-bind-port arg Port for restricted RPC server
–restricted-rpc Restrict RPC to view only commands and
do not return privacy sensitive data in
RPC calls
–bootstrap-daemon-address arg URL of a ‘bootstrap’ remote daemon that
the connected wallets can use while
this daemon is still not fully synced
–bootstrap-daemon-login arg Specify username:password for the
bootstrap daemon login
–rpc-bind-ip arg (= Specify IPv4 address to bind RPC server
–rpc-bind-ipv6-address arg (=::1) Specify IPv6 address to bind RPC server
–rpc-use-ipv6 Allow IPv6 for RPC
–rpc-login arg Specify username[:password] required
for RPC server
–confirm-external-bind Confirm rpc-bind-ip value is NOT a
loopback (local) IP
–rpc-access-control-origins arg Specify a comma separated list of
origins to allow cross origin resource

PCIe switching….

So a year ago I brought one of these….

PCIe riser from amazon - https://amzn.to/2GFbeZm (affiliate link)

PCIe riser/switch from amazon – https://amzn.to/2GFbeZm (affiliate link)

It’s a PCI expander based around an Asmedia 1184a chip. It’s a PCIe switch 1 in 4out all PCIe-X1 links to put it simply.

Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo E5925

Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo E5925

My original plan was to attach it to an oldĀ Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo E5925, that I had running some VM’s (Core Quad, 8GB RAM and an 128GB SSD). But it didn’t like it at all – Gave me a POST error. At this point I should have done some research – but I didn’t, and I tried in another workstation (6 months later).

RM Server Case - Antec SX1040BII Performance Series II SOHO File Server

RM Server Case – Antec SX1040BII

The workstation was a botched together old RM server tower case, with a PSU from who knows where, with a HP xw4600 motherboard, a core duo processor and some RAM (who cares). It’s running quite nicely heating an outbuilding and doing some mining on some old GTX 750/1050 graphics cards. (The electricity would be used to heat the space wither way, so may as well mine some coins.) I tried it in this – same thing, a POST error – so I guess this doesn’t like it either. Oh well.


Dell 7020 with PCI riser

Dell 7020 with PCI riser

Move on another 6 months. The board is still in my workshop taking up space, so I thought i’ld actually read up on these things. Apparently it’s a PCIe version thing. The Fujitsu and the HP both being either older versions of PCIe or BIOS not supporting all of the v2 features (I think that’s when PCIe switches became a thing). Just because a standard says they support things, doesn’t mean it gets implemented. Anywho. I have many servers in the form of blades that should support it but unfortunately I don’t have any PCIe slots to plug into (anyone fancy getting me a Dell M610x blade?). But I did recently buy a new (second hand) computer for a business purpose. I quickly poped the lid off, plugged a few things in and it seems to just work fine.

lstopo showing the PCIe config

lstopo showing the PCIe config

Great – So I think it’s time to finally put this to use. I know it works in a Dell Optiplex 7020 – so I guess it’s time to buy one of those and retire the Fujitsu’s, the hobbled together machine and converge these and all the VM’s running on them into one machine. (Might even same some $$$ on the elec.)

So I have a UniFi VM, a VPN VM, a PBX VM and some VM’s for managing other things (dev mainly). Currently they all run on a only Lenovo X230 I picked up cheap off eBay, which now has 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD… that I stole from theĀ Fujitsu when it may have died a miserable death. Running these VM’s currently costs 16w of electricity – which is about Ā£16 a year (cheaper and faster than running in AWS!!!).

A Dell 7020 MT (mini tower (mATX?)) looks like a good option for me right now. 4 core CPU, 8GB of RAM (maybe pushing for 16GB) and then I can whack an SSD and a largeĀ spinning rust in also. But – seems a bit of a waste of my old case…

Dell 7020 MT

Dell 7020 MT

Well actually i’m buying a Dell 7010 instead. Fingers crossed it supports the PCIe switch – not a huge problem if it doesn’t though. (Chipset is the Q77, which has the same PCIe variants as the Q87 in the 7020 I tested.)

Running cli wallets against a remote node

So it should seem pretty obvious that running a wallet cli instance against a remote node will be slower than running it against a local one (same machine even). But what’s the difference?

So i’ve set about finding out by creating 2 wallets, one on Loki blockchain and the other on Graft and then timing the rescan_bc command against each. This rescans the whole blockchain for transactions. So I set up a script to spit out the time, do the scan, then spit out the time. For the first run’s I ran these again hashvaults public nodes, and for the second runs again local nodes I created myself running each with 2*5650 Xeons, 16GB RAM, 80GB SATA I drives. Nothing special going on optimisation wise, programs compiled directly from their githubs without modification.

Loki: 33s remote – 12s local
Graft: 74s remote – 10s local

So clearly local wins – but it’s still slow.

The size of the blockchains are:

Loki 11G, Graft, 19G.
BTC 230G, LTC 21G, XMR 64G, ETN 37G.

I should probably create backup or snapshots so I don’t have to resync ever again as it takes an age.

Cacti on PI


sudo apt-get install dirmngr


sudo apt-key list

ubuntuā€™s key servers – you should verify these yourselfā€¦..

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys E0B11894F66AEC98

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 7638D0442B90D010

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 8B48AD6246925553

Debians Key servers

apt-key adv –keyserver keyring.debian.org –recv-keys 0x1827364554637281


backports repo

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main (contrib nonfree)

sudo apt-get update Ā 

now install – need to tell it what to installā€¦.. and from where

sudo apt-get install -t stretch-backports cacti

Mining Electroneum

So today a coin is worth around 15p and electricity is 14p/kw/hr.

So first of all lets deal with the money side. I’m generating 900H/s using 365j/s (w) of energy. Scaling this upto a day’s hashing, thats 77MH/day and earns around 26ETN/day. It uses 8.76Kw/day which is Ā£1.22/day. So the ETN is worth Ā£3.90 and it costs Ā£1.22 to generate. That’s a profit of Ā£2.68 per day. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

So the hardware I’m using…. 2 old desktops and 2 old laptops.

PC 1 – Intel Core2 Quad Q9300 maybe? (has VM’s running on it which are more important than mining). Has a 750Ti installed. No AES NI support on proc.
PC 2 – Intel Core2 Duo (doesn’t do anything other than host a GPU (with the CPU mining also).Ā Has a 750Ti installed.Ā No AES NI support on proc.
Laptop 1 – Intel quad core? Has AES NI support.
Laptop 2 – Intel quad core? Has AES NI support.

Given that this was all old hardware, i’m not seeing any negative impacts of running this, and the extra heat is useful this time of year I think it’s a thumbs up for now.