Sunday, 21 August 2011

A year of entropy

It has been a couple of years now since the release of the Entropy Key Around a year ago we finally managed to have enough stock on hand that I obtained a real production unit and installed it in my border router.

I installed the Debian packages, configured the ekeyd into EGD server mode and installed the EGD client packages on my other machines and pretty much forgot about it.

The recent new release of the ekey host software (version 1.1.4) reminded me that I had been quietly collecting statistics for almost a whole year and had some munin graphs to share.

The munin graphs of the generated output is pretty dull. Aside from the minor efficiency improvement in the 1.1.3 release installed mid December the generated rate has been a flat 3.93 Kilobytes a second.
The temperature sensor on the Entropy key shows a good correlation with the on-board CPU thermal sensors within the host system.
The host border router/server is a busy box which provides most network services including secure LDAP and SSL web services, it shows no sign of not having enough entropy at any point in the year.
The sites main file server and compile engine is a 4 core 8 gigabyte system with 12 drives. This system is heavily used with high load almost all the time but without the EGD client running has almost no entropy available.
The next system is my personal workstation. This machine often gets rebooted and is usually turned off overnight which is why there are gaps in the graph and odd discontinuities. Nonetheless entropy is always available just like the rest of my systems ;-)
And almost as a "control" here is a file server on the same network which has not been running EGD client (Ok, Ok already it was misconfigured and I am an idiot ;-)
In conclusion it seems an entropy key can keep at least this small network completely filled up with all the entropy it needs without much fuss. YAY!