[tor-project] More resources required for Snowflake bridge

David Fifield david at bamsoftware.com
Mon Mar 28 02:23:12 UTC 2022

On Tue, Mar 01, 2022 at 04:26:48PM -0700, David Fifield wrote:
> The bridge needs to be moved to faster hardware. Its current hosting is free of charge, but is already on the highest-spec VPS configuration (8 CPUs, 16 GB). Switching to a server with, say, double the CPUs will have an immediate positive effect: the proof of that is that while we were installing the load balancing on the main bridge, I paid for an only slightly higher-spec server to handle Snowflake traffic during the upgrade, and during that week the bandwidth [immediately rose to higher than where it is now](https://github.com/net4people/bbs/issues/103#issuecomment-1033067920). I used Snowflake a lot during that week, and the difference was palpable.

Thanks to the help of friends and donors, we've been able to bootstrap getting the bridge onto better hardware (since 2022-03-16), and have begun a process of putting it on a long-term stable host.

At this link you can see the effect moving the bridge to a faster server has had. Where formerly the bandwidth was maxing out at about 320 Mbps, it's now reaching about double that. Snowflake is working again for applications like streaming video.


The server the bridge is on now has 32 CPU cores and 128 GB of RAM, which is more than adequate for current levels of use. The next performance bottleneck is likely to be available bandwidth on the network link. There are many complications to deal with, but development is underway to make it possible for there to be multiple bridge sites, each running its own Snowflake server pluggable transport and load-balanced tor installation. Rather than there being multiple bridge sites sharing a fraction of 1 Gbps traffic, it's looking more like it will be multiple bridge sites *each* providing about 1 Gbps traffic. Here are summaries of the anti-censorship team's discussions on this topic over the past few weeks:


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