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Enterprise router runs open Linux OS

Aug 4, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 16 views

Vyatta has spun a branded hardware “appliance” version of its dual-licensed Linux and open source software-based router and firewall stack. The first in a “Series 2500” line of “Open Networking Appliances,” the Vyatta 2501 targets data centers requiring up to 10Gbps of throughput.

Strategically, Vyatta as a company aims to leverage commodity x86-based hardware and open source software in order to compete on cost-performance with the likes of Cisco, Nortel, and Juniper Networks. The three year-old startup offers a free Community version of its eponymous “Vyatta” software stack, as well as a commercially supported “Subscription” version.

Vyatta has previously offered complete hardware/software systems, reselling its software pre-installed on Dell-branded server class platforms. It quietly shipped its first branded networking appliance, the small network-focused “514,” in March of this year. However, the Series 2500 appears to be Vyatta's first branded hardware aimed at enterprise customers.

The 2501 appears to be based on unexceptional off-the-shelf x86-based networking hardware. The 1U rackmount device uses a Celeron processor clocked at 1.8GHz, and comes standard with 512MB of RAM and an 80GB SATA hard drive.

I/O includes a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports. Expansion includes a 64-bit, 133MHz PCI-X slot, and a x8 (“by 8”) PCI Express slot. Available expansion interface cards are said to support a “wide variety” of networking interfaces, including 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet, 10Gbps Ethernet, ADSL, T1/E1, and T3.

On the software side, the 2501 comes pre-installed with Vyatta Subscription Edition 3.1, which offers a similar software feature set to version 4.1 of the Vyatta Community Release. The VC4 release arrived in April of this year, and is based on Debian Linux. Also included are a host of open source networking software applications, all “integrated” to work better together, the company claims.

Touted software features include:

  • IP routing protocols
    • IPv4
    • OSPFv2
    • BGPv4
    • RIPv2
    • Static routes
  • IP address management
    • Static
    • DHCP server
    • DHCP relay
    • DHCP client
  • Encapsulations
    • Ethernet
    • 802.1Q VLANs
    • PPP
    • PPPoE
    • MLPPP
    • Frame Relay
    • HDLC
    • GRE
    • IP in IP
  • Load balancing
    • WAN link load balancing
    • MLPPP
    • ECMP
  • QoS (quality of service)
    • Priority Queuing
    • Classful Queuing
    • Bandwidth Management
  • Logging
    • Syslog
    • SNMPv2c
  • Security
    • Stateful inspection firewall
    • Network address translation
    • Site to Site VPN (IPSec)
    • Remote VPN (PPTP, L2TP, IPSec)
    • DES, 3DES, AES Encryption
    • MD5 and SHA-1 Authentication
    • RSA, Diffie Helman Key Mgmt
    • NAT Traversal
    • RADIUS authentication
    • Role based access control
  • High-availability
    • VRRP
    • IPSec VPN Clustering
    • Protocol fault isolation
  • Administration
    • Integrated CLI
    • Single configuration file
    • Telnet
    • SSHv2
  • Debugging and packet sniffing
    • tcpdump
    • Wireshark (formerly Ethereal) packet capture

Additionally, a Web GUI is scheduled for delivery, presumably via a firmware update requiring a reboot, in the third quarter.

In an interview, we asked Dave Roberts, VP of strategy for Vyatta, who he saw as the competition for commodity x86 servers pre-configured with open soure networking software. He replied, “I've seen a few guys build an appliance, install Linux, and enable the Linux kernel's networking features. But nobody I know of is focused on doing a great, well-integrated networking appliance.”

Vyatta's customer list now includes Florida State University; the City of Madera, Calif.; Simwood eSMS, and others.


The Vyatta 2501 appliance will be available later this month, Vyatta says, followed by the Web GUI patch later this quarter. It is priced at $2,347.

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