developerWorks: Build a Network Router on Linux
Oct 17, 2003, 07:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dominique Cimafranca, Rex Young)
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"Dynamic and robust routing is so essential to the workings of
the Internet that any fledgling internetworking engineer must not
only understand its concepts but also be able put it into practice
in real situations. At the same time, this part of the routing
scene is dominated by products from high-end network equipment
providers such as Cisco, well outside the means of most
individuals: learning would otherwise be limited to school or
laboratory environments, with time and availability of the
resources as perennial adversaries.
"We were faced with such a dilemma when organizing a class on
TCP/IP routing. Working with a small test network, we wanted to
demonstrate various load-balancing scenarios with Routing
Information Protocol (RIP) and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF).
However, we were limited by the number of Cisco routers on hand. We
did have some PCs available, so we began looking for alternative
means to simulate Cisco routers using Linux.
"Initially, we attempted to set up our test network using the
traditional routed and gated daemons, but we quickly realized that
their awkward configuration and limited capabilities created more
hindrance than value. We decided to look for more modern means of
completing our network and fortunately came upon Zebra..."