Zebra is open source TCP/IP routing software that is similar to Cisco’s Internetworking Operating System (IOS). Flexible and powerful, it can handle routing protocols such as Routing Information Protocol (RIP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and all of their various flavors. This article shows you how to set up Zebra and used it to manage routes dynamically in conjunction with real Cisco hardware.
Build a Network Router on Linux
Submitted by Frank 2003-10-11 Linux 12 Comments
We have been using zebra on our Linux router for more than a year with three connections to three different ISP’s. BGP is working like a piece of cake. Absolutely no glitches, no restarts no reboots at all.
Very happy with zebra. saved us thousands of dollars; cost Cisco thousands of dollars.
As we getting multihomed too soon, this is interesting. We saw some nice cheap junipers, but cheap is still 6500 euro. But if this will work as good, we will try this first! Ugur you only use one zebra machine?
that looks awesome..
Anybody know if this is good enough for ISP-level routing??
It is I think, BGP 4/RIP is fully implented so I don’t see much probs with it. With 2 transit lines, it’s doable with more you need a router. As a fact I know quiet some ISP who use Zebra as a cheap/good start to do some peering with other isps
It is good enough for a company (big one, I do not want to mention names here) to use it in the deployment of DWDM backbone (OS is LynxOS, an RTOS). First, the tests are done using Debian, and then, the deployment (compilation) is at the Network Elements which use the above-mentioned OS. Pretty powerful stuff.
Zebra is pretty cool. It’s been around for a while and is fairly stable. You can do some neat stuff.
There are guys who use it to put webservers at different points in their network, they all announce the same ip into BGP. So when traffic enters their network looking for that website, they go to the closest box on the network announcing that IP.
I also know guys who use it for looking glass box
But I wouldn’t have it as a backbone/peer router for ISPs..
If you have two T1s or T3s with 2 providers and full routing tables, ok… But stick that in a NAP and use it to conntect to other providers and I say.. Good luck.
Yea it can handle routing tables, but you get your first DoS and try and filter……………….
Also I don’t know of any PCI OC3-OC192 cards.
There are some good reasons why people buy Cisco/Juniper
yes. we use only one zebra machine since we need only one router which can talk BGP. We have an identical box sitting next to it as a spare.
Someone asked about the size of the net behind this. We have about 4500 hosts behind this zebra box.
This all looks very interesting, but it is a subject I know little about. I can set up a simple LAN with a mixture of OSes, but routers are the next level of complexity.
Can anyone recommend a good book (perhaps from O’Reilly) that will explain all those acronyms and how to use them in practice?
For people that want to run zebra on their backbone for ISP or larger buisnesses but do not want to use zebra due to support reasons or the like. ZebOS is the commercial alternative. They are the same guys that wrote Zebra. Its much more refined, and has a more features. Its a proven piece of software. I’ve used it extensively, and a customer of ours also deployed it on their backbone. They are an ISP. Good luck and have fun.
routerlinux, a linux router distro, also uses Zebra
They have a range of Linux-based routers, claiming connectivity up to OC12