Building/Buying a box for VyOS router in a home lab

Posted here as well

So, first, my budget is capped at exactly $300 for the router. Second, I’d like to future-proof my build/purchase. Third, I live in India, this is an important factor as it has to do with high import taxes.

Ideal requirements:

  • 10G Ethernet (4-6 ports)
  • SFP+/QSFP+ (whichever is more suited towards the budget)
  • Decent CPU to be able to route 3G WAN bandwidth

Realistic Requirements:

  • 1G Ethernet (6 ports)
  • Decent CPU to be able to route 3G WAN bandwidth

My planned futureproof setup for the above router:
3 WANs, each 1G (or 2 WANs 1G, one WAN 100-500M) - All load-balanced (similar to PCC or Nth on RouterOS)
If we have 10G ethernet and/or SFP+/QSFP+, then I’d simply use those to connect to a 10G switch.
If we don’t have 10G ethernet and/or SFP+/QSFP+, then I’d use three 1G ethernet each for each WAN, then simply Channel bond the remaining 3 ethernet ports to give 3G link rate and hook those up to three bonded ports on a 10G switch

There are lots of boxes out there for sure, but most are some Chinese brands where I can’t get service for in my country, so the best box (with assured service/warranty) that I found is this

Of course, if I build from scratch, then the servicing issue would be different/solved.

Have a look at the devices available here.

They won’t meet your ideal requirements but you won’t get close to that for $300.

Do your switching on a switch and trunk to the router if needed. Assuming you are using this from home/personal use.

What’s the topology? Wanting Fiber/DAC/AOC but will settle for 1G copper is a pretty big swing.

If you are looking to just build labs, it might be worth looking at the second hand server market and installing something like GNS3/EVE-NG to make virtual networks.

Hi, yeah, Protectli, similar to the ASRock box I linked above for my budget.

Yes, will have a separately managed switch.

Topology, two ISPs. One is GPON, the other is EPON, both are copper handoff from the ONT/ONU, 1G ethernet. So a router with ethernet ports is a must.

The switch, of course, can be some 10G fibre if required, it’s the router that’s the issue.

The second-Hand server market is almost null in my country man.

That’s unfortunate. Virtualization will get you the best bang for your buck for a lab.

I’d do a topology with the switch acting as a router-on-a-stick for your lan/vlan traffic and make a transit route to your router[s].

Yeah, that’s what I originally thought of as well, but the issue remains, getting a $300 router with my requirements (with the fact that second-hand server-market is poor in my country).

I’m afraid I’m not much help; it’s been a long time since I’ve done a DIY because my requirements are simple and my pc-engines apu2 does everything I ask of it. It would probably be hard to beat the asrock you found or the protectli @phillipmcmahon linked earlier. If any of them have QAT in your price range, that would be even better.

Alternatively, if you wanted to experiment with high availability and are willing to sacrifice some cpu performance, you might be able to get two apu2s. They’re a small purpose-built amd gx-412tc quad core at 1ghz. I’m not sure on their availability in India.

Thanks anyway. I guess I’ll likely end up with the ASRock.

Budget permitting, I would recommend taking another look at the protectli box.

With it’s support for more memory and a quick processor it allows me to run esxi 6.7 and a bunch of hosts including a virtual instance of Vyos.

All right, case close, I will look into ProtectLi boxes then, no other options exist for the said budget with my situation.

Hello I would recommend you to build a pc router like I did using amd athlon 200GE, 3x tplink 1G NICs, 4GB DDR4 RAM and 16 pendrive for VYOS. I have 300mbps load works easy. However you can get better hardware at $300 maybe a Ryzen 3/5. used 10G SPF+ cards are available for $25 at . I am also from India.