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the_rock
Authority
Authority

What does mux_enabled kernel parameter do exactly?

Anyone has an idea what does mux_enabled kernel setting do? I tried looking up on cp support site, but cant find the actual answer. If someone could confirm, would be great. Customer had an issue with downloading stuff from a self serve Apple portal on MAC machines and when this kernel setting was disabled, then all worked, even with https inspection rule intact.

 

if you enable that kernel option, then it does not work. This was suggested by escalation team, but I would still like to clarify exactly what it does, as I had not gotten an explanation.

 

Thanks!

Andy

4 Replies
the_rock
Authority
Authority

Did find below in R80.40 performance tuning guide, but still not clear how it actually works..

 

Module 'MUX' (Multiplexer for Applications Traffic)

R80.20 introduced a new layer between the Streaming layer and the Applications layer - MUX (Multiplexer).

Applications are registered to the Streaming layer through the MUX layer.

The MUX layer chooses to work over PSL (passive streaming) or CPAS (active streaming).

Syntax:

fw ctl debug -m MUX + {all | <List of Debug Flags>}

Timothy_Hall
Champion
Champion

I believe this has something to do with the new "PSL pipeline" and "CPAS pipeline" paths that can potentially spread a single connection's packets and processing across multiple worker cores; normally a single connection's packets can only be handled by one worker core for the life of that connection.  You can see these new pipeline paths with fwaccel stats -s in the later Jumbo HFAs of R80.40 and R81+.  The big application for these pipeline paths is dealing with elephant flows; this feature was teased at the very end of my CPX 2020 Presentation: Big Game Hunting: Elephant Flows.  Couldn't say more about it at that time due to NDA.

There are also some undocumented commands such as fw_mux and mux_stats that may provide some further insight; in particular running fw_mux all will show all connections and what paths they are being handled in, along with some other interesting information that is mentioned in these threads:

https://community.checkpoint.com/t5/Security-Gateways/fw-ctl-fast-accel-some-traffic-still-going-slo...

R81 - Cyber Security Platform Overview (Español)  - see R81-Workshop-PS_LATAM_Nov12.pdf attachment

"Max Capture: Know Your Packets" Video Series
now available at http://www.maxpowerfirewalls.com
the_rock
Authority
Authority

Thanks Tim, appreciated! Do you know at all if it affects any specific type of traffic and also is it safe to leave that parameter to off?

 

Andy

Timothy_Hall
Champion
Champion

Leaving it off will I assume make your worker cores more vulnerable to getting saturated by elephant flows and thus decrease performance in that scenario, this is simply how traffic was handled in the early releases of R80.40 and R80.30 and earlier.

The pipeline paths only cover traffic in CPAS and PSL if Mux is enabled, so I would assume there would potentially be a slight performance decrease in those paths by leaving it off.  Having Mux off should not affect traffic that is fully accelerated by SecureXL or F2F/slowpath traffic at all assuming my understanding is correct.

"Max Capture: Know Your Packets" Video Series
now available at http://www.maxpowerfirewalls.com