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Vyatta: First Impressions

2009/10/08

I’ve known about Vyatta for a while, but whilst the premise has always seemed appealing I’ve not had a reason to dig deeper. Vyatta propose to be ‘The open source alternative to Cisco’, which appeals as a nice fit into a low-cost training and development lab so tonight I decided to take a closer look.

I started by downloading Vyatta’s prebuilt VMware image, which can be downloaded here along with a Xen image and an ISO file for physical install. The VMware image is designed for workstation applications, but a quick run through my new friend in VMware Converter I quickly had the image transfered across to my ESXi based environment and booting without issue.

Vyatta provide a wealth of information in the documentation section (which requires registration, although it did not require the usual ‘activation’ email so dummy values may be enough). I haven’t had a chance to delve fully into the documentation and functionality but starting out has so far been simple enough: Logging onto the Vyatta device at the command-line requires the default user credentials of vyatta/vyatta. Once logged in you can start the configuration by entering ‘configure’

Once in configuration mode setting up interfaces is simple enough:

vyatta@vyatta# set interfaces ethernet eth0 description “WAN”

vyatta@vyatta# set interfaces ethernet eth0 address 192.168.1.254/24

vyatta@vyatta# save

vyatta@vyatta# commit

vyatta@vyatta# exit

Configuring different parts of the system are similarly simple, and with a bit of experience theVyatta systems seems intuitive enough and from basic testing performance is more that adequate, at least for my requirements. The time I’ve spent getting to grips with a new system has paid of so far, and for the time being I have a nice new addition to my lab environment. I’m hoping this system can provide some seperation between between between target/test systems and provide additional realism t my lab.

Andrew Waite

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Categories: Lab, Tool-Kit, VMware
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