Vyatta – Telecity Zuid-Oost Amsterdam Deployment

Steve and I recently popped over to the Netherlands to deploy Vyatta for a Dutch IT services company ‘Danego‘, Danego do a lot of managed hosting for their clients, and retained us to deploy Vyatta.

They are using Vyatta for:

  1. BGP Endpoints – one for each of their two upstream providers.
  2. External firewalling.
  3. Internal subnetting and routing ‘router on a stick’ style using VLANs.
  4. All clustered for failover and total routing and switch level resilience.

Router Hardware

Typically we deploy Vyatta on Dell R200s (what were 860s), Danego however managed to get a stunning deal out Dell on 2950s, so the deployment was to what we thought would be similiar hardware to the 860s, Dual Core processor, 4Gigs of ram, hardware sata raid.

Interestingly though Vyatta wouldn’t recognise a mirrored container on the SAS 6i controller in the 2950 despite working fine on the 6i controller found in the R200s which we have used many times before. Howevr it would recognise and deploy happily to a single drive not configured as RAID.

It of course transpires that Dell use completely different chip sets for the 6i on the R200 and the 2950…

Anyway, we tracked the problem down and discovered it was due to be fixed in the next release of Vyatta (at the time we were running 3.0.6), so a quick support call to Vyatta and they immediately sorted us out a pre-release of 3.1.3 in which the issue was resolved. This is why we love Vyatta 🙂

Switching 

Anyone who knows Steve and I will tell you we like good switches, and by good in our opinion there are only two choices; Cisco or HP Procurve (that doesn’t mean there aren’t others, just we like these!). Cisco are obviously a little more expensive, however the argument goes that you never get fired for buying Cisco, the thing with the HP Procurves is that while I would never consider using them at the upper end of the scale (say much above 4500 series), at the lower 2000 and 3000 series end of the market the HPs represent very good bang for buck, including:

  1.  Very full feature set, it starts to top out when you want to do exciting layer 3 stuff like BGP (but hey thats what a routers for!).
  2. Free updates for the life of the product, this represents a serious saving over Cisco in terms of Cost Of Ownership. Especially if you subscribe to our model of buy cheaper and more to deliver redundancy than relying on unreliable overpriced change-out support agreements.
  3. They are arguably easier to work with, especially once you get your head around adding ports to vlans, rather than the Cisco way of configuring a single port on a vlan.

Telecity South-East Amsterdam

It was the first time Steve and I had been to Telecity in Amsterdam, it allegedly carries more Internet traffic than any other Internet exchange in Europe (some say the world) and it is a very impressive setup and in some strange dutch way friendlier and nice than its London equivelents!

Photos

Telecity Zuid-Oost
Blue shoes
Steve Toiling Away
The two Dell 2950s and the HP switches.

Conclusion

Although this is not anything like the biggest Vyatta deployment we have done, I like it because it demonstrates how using HP and Vyatta you can very effectively deliver a relatively complex redundent solution for a fraction of the equivelent Cisco price.

Author: Ben King

My name is Ben King, I am a director of an Internet solutions company called bit10 ltd. My ultimate responsibility is to bring in the work that bit10 delivers. However I also do a myriad of other things, for example system design, and administration. Outside work I go out, I drink, I socialise, I cook, I have fun, oh and I play a little bit too much World of Warcraft!

1 thought on “Vyatta – Telecity Zuid-Oost Amsterdam Deployment”

  1. Hi,

    Would you be willing to share the config on your vyatta routers as far as router on a stick goes, I’d really like to set this scenario up for myself but am at a loss as to where to start.

    Much appreciated.

    Rich

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