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LAN & WAN Reviews

EdgeMAX EdgeRouter Pro
At a glance
ProductUbiquiti ERPro-8 EdgeMAX EdgeRouter Pro   [Website]
SummaryVery fast Gigabit Ethernet router based on Vyatta code running on dual-core Cavium CPU
Pros• Wire-speed Gigabit routing
• Highly configurable
• Advanced routing features
Cons• Limited GUI configuration. Mostly CLI
• Does not come plug-and-play out of box
• Documentation requires lots of reading between lines and Forum consultation

Typical Price: $340  Shop Amazon

Introduction

Our review of Ubiquiti's $99 EdgeRouter Lite over a year ago has left fans of the company's high-performance, but reasonably priced routers hungering for more. So when someone from the Ubiquiti engineering team answering questions about the Lite in the Forums offered to line up an EdgeRouter Pro for review, we said sure.

There are currently four routers in the EdgeMAX lineup: the EdgeRouter Pro; 8-Port EdgeRouter; EdgeRouter PoE; and EdgeRouter Lite.

The Pro and 8-Port routers are high speed routers capable of up to 8 Gbps of throughput. The EdgeRouter Pro and 8-Port EdgeRouter are both rack mountable routers with eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports. The EdgeRouter Pro has a faster CPU and two ports on the EdgeRouter Pro are combo RJ45/SFP ports, providing fiber connectivity. The PoE and Lite models are desktop routers, with fewer ports and peak throughput of up to 3 Gbps. This review will cover the EdgeRouter Pro.

Inside

The EdgeRouter Pro is designed to be a data center router. The chassis has permanent rack mount brackets and you probably wouldn't want to use it as a desktop router as the noise from the two cooling fans is quite audible.

The router measures 19.06"W x 6.46"D x 1.73"H. The front of the device has the indicator lights and network ports. There is also a console port for local admin access, as well as a USB port which is not functional but according to Ubiquiti's quick start guide, is "reserved for future use." The power supply is internal, with a power cable connecting to the back side. The fans exhaust hot air out the back of the device. Below is a shot of the front and back views of the EdgeRouter Pro.

Front and Rear View

Front and Rear View

Inside the EdgeRouter Pro is a dual core, 64-bit, 1 GHz Cavium Octeon II CPU, 2 GB DDR3 RAM, and 4 GB Flash. A shot of the internal components is below.

board

Main Board

Features

Here's a quick rundown of the ERP's key features extracted from its data sheet:

  • 2,400,000 pps routing throughput (64 Byte packets)
  • 8 Gbps routing throughput (512 Byte packets)

System and Services

  • Basic: CLI, Configs, Sys Mgt, Connection management (connection tracking and flow accounting), Logging, SNMP
  • Services: ssh, telnet, web GUI, DHCP v4/v6, DNS, web cache, LLDP, NTP, UBNT discovery, logging
  • NAT: NAT masquerade, NAT rules

Interfaces

    • (1) console, (6) 10/100/1000 RJ45, (2) 10/100/1000 RJ45/SFP Combo ports
    • LAN = Ethernet, Pseudo Ethernet, Loopback, VLAN (802.1q), Bridging, Bonding (802.3ad)
    • Encapsulations = HDLC, FR, iPoA, Bridged Ethernet
    • PPP = PPP, PPPoE, PPPoA, multilink
    • Tunnels: GRE, IP-in-IP, SIT

Networking

    • IPv4, IPv6
    • 802.1q VLANs
    • DHCP Client and Server
    • PPPoE client and server, bridging, bonding, GRE, VRRP
    • Dynamic DNS, DNS forwarding, DHCP relay

Routing

    • Basic = Forwarding, Static Routing
    • Protocols = RIP, RIPng, OSPF, BGP, Policy Based Routing, IGMP Proxy

Security

    • Firewall = Packet based IPv4/IPv6 (ACLs), Zone based, NAT
    • Other = IPS, web filtering
    • VPN = IPsec- S2S and remote client, OpenVPN - SIS and remote client, PPTP server for remote access and client, L2TP server for remote access

QoS

    • FIFO, Stochastic Fairness Queuing, Random Early Detection (RED), Token Bucket (Hierarchical and Filter), Deficit Round Robin, Ingress Policing

High Availability

    • WAN Load Balancing, VRRP, Clustering, Stateful NAT and Firewall Failover, RAID1, config sync

Operating System

Ubiquiti's EdgeRouter EdgeOS is based on Vyatta, an open source network operating system. Vyatta is based on Debian Linux. (Note, in November 2012, Brocade announced it was acquiring Vyatta.)

You can familiarize yourself with Vyatta, and thus EdgeOS, by downloading a free Vyatta Virtual Machine (version 6.6) and running it in VMWare's free VMWare Player software. There are some differences between Vyatta and EdgeOS (Ubiquiti forked Vyatta at version VC6.3), but they are more similar than different. Familiarizing yourself with Vyatta might be a good (and free) means to determine if the EdgeRouter is for you.

Vyatta Virual Machine

Vyatta Virtual Machine

We tested the EdgeRouter Pro with firmware version 1.4.0. Version 1.4.1 is now available, which Ubiquiti says is a maintenance release to fix some security vulnerabilities and critical bug fixes. Version 1.4.1 has no new features, with the exception of UDP fragmentation.

All functionality of the EdgeOS is configurable via the CLI (Command Line Interface). If you're familiar with Juniper's JunOS, the learning curve will probably be shorter. Familiarity with Cisco's IOS also helps.

The Edge routers are also configurable via a GUI. Not all aspects of the Edge can be configured via GUI, although Ubiquiti is rolling out updated firmware versions with increasing GUI functionality. Presently, the GUI provides a useful dashboard and supports routing, security, services, and user configuration. There are also several wizards, such as the "WAN+2LAN" wizard, which I'll discuss shortly.

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