Review: 6 slick open source routers

DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, M0n0wall, PfSense, and Vyatta suit a wide range of devices and networking needs

By Serdar Yegulalp, InfoWorld |  Networking, routers

Features: You name it, Vyatta probably has it. Among the most recent additions as of the March 2012 build of the product are a GUI and dashboard that displays graphical statistics (in the commercial edition only), RFC-compliant VRRP, an enhanced connection tracking and logging subsystem, and stateful inspection firewall -- professional features all. Vyatta also comes built for drop-in use in many virtualization environments, with support for VMware vSphere 5 templates just added too.

Limitations: The single biggest limitation of Vyatta, vis-à-vis the other products in this roundup, is that it's designed entirely for x86 devices. And not just any old x86 device, either, but one with a fairly large amount of storage (1GB minimum), especially by embedded-device standards. In short, Vyatta is best for full-blown PCs. Also, while a 64-bit edition does exist, it's still considered experimental at this time and shouldn't be used for production systems.

Finally, a number of key features, including the Web interface, are only available in the commercial edition. The command-line interface is designed for network admins and may pose a hurdle to more casual users. A free 30-day trial of the commercial edition is available, though.

Recommendation: Vyatta is a business-oriented product with routing and security features beyond the needs of most small offices and home offices. That said, those building a network appliance using full-fledged x86-based PC hardware -- especially for larger environments -- will find everything they need in Vyatta.

Vyatta's Web-based configuration panel is one of the big assets for its commercial edition, but its open source core version preserves all the under-the-hood functionality for this x86-based network OS.

This article, "Review: 6 slick open source routers," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in networking and open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about networking in InfoWorld's Networking Channel.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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