Switching To Pi 3

So hardware floating point is a bust. That leaves our next (and only other) simple option to improve performance: upgrade the host to a Pi 3. This is a surprisingly simple process if you’re on a recent image that has the latest Pi firmware:

  • Edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and replace the HWADDR value with the MAC address of the new Pi 3 host.
  • Reconfigure DHCP to give the new host the appropriate IP address.
  • Shut down, connect the Pi 3, swap the card in, and power up.

The result? The Pi 3 is… a Raspberry Pi. There’s no real discernable difference in the boot process between it and the Pi 2. It boots, it seems to work, and life is good. So we run our test a third time:

Wait, what?

The Other End?

Okay, there’s obviously something up here. Nothing is improving the VPN’s performance. The only thing I can think of is on the other end of the connection: the new VPN endpoint at Amazon. It’s only a t2.nano, which isn’t the fastest thing in the world.

Swapping instance types is simple enough on Amazon, so I’ll go ahead and shut the endpoint down, retype it as a t2.small (which comes with a much larger CPU allocation), and bring it back up. I’m kinda dreading the result: if it turns out to be the problem, then equivalent performance to the Amazon “hardware” VPN solution will cost about the same, which would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

Lucky for me (for various values of ‘Lucky’), it does nothing to the results. We’re still seeing 3MB/s.


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