Connections creation and management

Sometime overall network speed can be hampered by connections creation and management speed. While this is rarely a problem for home and small office, it can be the case when you have some high-load, high-access web servers behind you firewall and / or you are using some client software that use lots of connections (eg: Microsoft Outlook clients connecting to an Exchange server for push notifications or rich web-based applications).

For testing connections creation and management speed I used the trusted Apache Benchmark, with Apache itself showing the default CentOS test page:

Sonicwall tz100 apache benchmark connections

While firewall-only rates are quite good, UTM-enabled ones suggest us to use this firewall for LANs with a maximum of 15 / 20 client machines. This does not means that you can not use this appliance for slightly larger networks, but sometimes you will have to wait a few more seconds to load your preferred web page.

So, what about web page loading latency?

Sonicwall tz100 apache benchmark load time

Loading latency remain under control most of the time: in 95% of all cases, the test page was loaded between 6 ms (basic mode) and 26 ms (UTM + VPN mode). Moreover, while absolute maximum latency is greatly influenced by UTM and VPN functionalities, it remain under 700 ms (less than a second, if you prefer).