As Software Defined Networking grows in popularity and adoption networking companies are branching out from their traditional hardware platforms by offering virtual appliances and software based management tools to address this market. Brocade’s Q4 2012 acquisition of Vyatta allowed the storage networking vendor to come to market with their virtual appliance for IP services, the Vyatta 5400 vRouter.
Vyatta’s history of creating solutions for routing and IP security services on the Debian OS gives Brocade the solution it needs to complete against Cisco’s Cloud Services Router 1000V ,and less directly, with VMware’s vCloud Networking and Security and Junpier’s Contrail. Currently only the 5400 model is available, although Brocade plans to release a 5600 model later this year.
The Advantages of Debian
The fact that the Vyatta 5400 runs a specialized Linux distribution based on Debian allows for some interesting options. From a vSphere perspective it is just a Linux guest. It runs VMware tools and can be deployed easily via template. Its configuration can also be manged with tools like SaltStack, Puppet and Chef without the use of a proxy agent.
These attributes make it a great candidate for deployment via VMware vCloud Automation Center. While this can be done with other SDN and virtual network appliances, the ease of which this can be done with the 5400 make it an attractive offering. Not to mention the plethora of services this appliance can provide.
The 5400 is available as a 60 day trail download on Brocade’s website. As you can see below, the installation is straightforward and not complicated. If you are in the market for a virtual router I suggest you give it a try.
How to Install the Vyatta 5400
1. Download the Brocade Vyatta 5400 ISO from the Brocade website (requires registration).
2. Upload the ISO to a DataStore.
3. Create a Debian GNU/Linux 6 64-bit Virtual Machine in vCenter with the following settings and attach the ISO:
4. Power on the Virtual Machine.
5. Open the Console.
6. Log into the Console with user: “vyatta” and password: “vyatta”.
7. Enter the command
8. Type Yes to continue. 9. Select
Auto Partition. 10. Select the drive
sda. 11. Select Yes to start the partitioning. 12. Type the maximum drive size, in this example 4294. 13. Name the Router. 14. Copy
sda. 15. Enter a password for the
vyatta account. 16. Select the drive for GRUB,
sda in this example. 17. Once GRUB is installed the setup is complete. Shutdown the Virtual Machine with poweroff. Disconnect the ISO image and start the Virtual Machine. 18. Login to the router with
vyatta account. 19. Run show version and verify that the “Boot via:” is set to “image”. 20. Enter Configuration mode.
21. Set the ip address of the
set interfaces ethernet eth0 address x.x.x.x/xx.
set service ssh
23. Commit the changes.
24. Exit Configuration mode.
25. Verify the changes.
26. Exit the console and reconnect via ssh. Continue to configure the Router as needed.