I like to tinker with things, so when my old router at home was having trouble with my network volume, I decided that I’d try putting an enterprise grade router. Being cheap, I didn’t want to fork over for a CISCO ASA, so I began researching different options that could run as a Virtual Appliance.
I first settled on Untangle, but after a couple hours, gave up (looking back at my notes, I misconfigured the network adapters, so that was the problem). Untangle is a great platform and very stable, so I may some day revisit it.
After Untangle, I found Zentyal, which provided a very slick, all-in-one interface. Further, they were running the appliance on top of a newer version of Ubuntu, which has built in drivers for Hyper-V (very important for making your life much easier!).
Here are my notes on getting things to work:
- Hyper-V 2012 (may work with 2008 but your mileage may vary)
- At least two ethernet ports (preferably on separate NICs)
- At least two GB of memory free (yes, Zentyal uses all 2gb)
- About 12gb of drive space
I have Zentyal running on a Windows 8 Hyper-V setup. One of the Virtual cards is dedicated to Zentyal and that’s the one that is going directly into the cable modem (WAN). The other is shared with the host and is connected to a regular switch/Wireless AP.
Let’s Get Started
- Get the latest stable version of Zentyal on an ISO
- Before we do anything, if you’re connecting this directly to a cable modem, you’ll need the real hardware MAC address of the port that will be for WAN (Hyper-V does some goofy things that I don’t fully understand, including how it handles MAC addresses).
- Go to Virtual Switch Manager and make sure the WAN switch is dedicated to the VM (uncheck shared with host)
- Create a new VM with 2gb of memory and a fixed 12gb vhdx
- Point to the ISO for Zentyal
- Add the WAN switch to Zentyal and change the MAC address to static and enter the MAC address from above.
- All other adapters added can be External type (in Virtual Switch Manager) and can be shared with host, if you prefer.
- Install Zentyal and follow the prompts.
As a side note, I was having difficulty with my modem and connecting to the internet, so you may find it best to unplug the modem for a minute or so to clear its memory of its last MAC address.
All in all, Zentyal is humming along as a virtual appliance in Windows Hyper-V. Zentyal itself seems to be having some teething issues (I can’t get Samba to work and have encountered a few other issues like firewall logging not working) that hopefully will some day be resolved.