Virtualizing Untangle

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Untangle can be virtualized using several different virtualization applications. A few common uses for this are:

  • Demo: To ease testing and demonstration for prospective customers.
  • Testing: To make testing different settings or scenarios easier.
  • Production: For use in your production network.

While virtualization is a great option to solve many different problems, for Untangle we generally recommend against it if possible. More information is provided in the section below. While we have had reports of users using many different setups to virtualize Untangle, we recommend going with VMWare ESX or ESXi if you want to give it a shot.

Untangle Support and Virtualization

Untangle wants you to have a successful deployment, however our support staff doesn't have the expertise in virtualization to ensure that we can help you with installation and configuration. We will certainly help you with your Untangle configuration, provided it's running on ESX or ESXi. That being said, we'd like to make you aware that systems like Untangle that require a lot of real time processing aren't great candidates for virtualization. Virtualization works by "time-slicing" the physical CPUs in the host system. While the server is off processing other virtual machines, Untangle is unable to process traffic - which will continue to arrive the entire time. This traffic backs up and presents itself to Untangle's VM as "bursty," which will exacerbate any resource issues that may be present. The exact threshold of where it will be unsuitable is hard to say as it is a combination of traffic level, types of traffic, and user expectations.

In summary: We do not recommend virtualizing Untangle. If you choose to install Untangle in a virtual environment, the support team will assist you with any issues related to the Untangle and its applications, but they will not help with virtualization set up, connectivity issues related to virtual networking, or resource issues caused by virtualization, such as high load or slow speeds.

How to install on ESX or ESXi

The section below will explain how to install using VMWare ESX/ESXi.

Getting Started

Before setting up, make sure you meet the requirements:

  1. Installed and configured VMware ESX/ESXi server with one virtual NIC and vSwitch for each Untangle Interface.
  2. The Untangle Virtual Appliance (thanks Webfool!) here. Use the 64bit version if you plan on allocating more than 4GB RAM to the VM, otherwise use the 32bit version.

Deploy the OVA

Time to get the image deployed:

  1. Once the OVA file is downloaded, open your VMware vSphare Client and login to your server.
  2. Once you are logged in, click File > Deploy OVF Template.
  3. Select Deploy from file, then browse to the OVA and click Open, then Next.
  4. Read the Template Details and click Next. At the Name and Location screen, change the name if you wish, then click Next.
  5. If you use Resource Pools, select the appropriate pool for the Untangle VM and click Next. You can always change the pool after install.
  6. Select what datastore you want use, then click Next.
  7. Verify everything looks OK on the “Ready to Complete” screen, then click Finish.
  8. When the "Deploying" progress meter is done, click Close.

Configure the Virtual Machine for your Network

Just a few more things to configure:

  1. Confirm your vSwitch Settings - from the VMWare host, click Configuration, then Hardware > Networking. If possible, make sure that Untangle does not exist on the same vSwitch as the Management Interface.
  2. On all vSwitches that Untangle will connect to, click Properties and make sure Promiscuous Mode has a status of Accept. If not, click Edit and make the change on the Security. Save.
  3. Right click on your new virtual machine and select Edit Settings.
  4. Add new virtual NICs and connect them to the appropriate vSwitches. Warning! Bridging two interfaces to the same vSwitch will crash your ESX/ESXi server. Each Untangle NIC should be connected to its own vSwitch. Each vSwitch should be connected to its own Physical NIC, or at least be separated by VLAN tagging at the physical NIC level.
  5. Under Options > VMware Tools make sure Synchronize guest time with host is enabled.

You are now ready to power on your Untangle VM.

More Info and Troubleshooting

For information about using Untangle, see our User Guide. Happy virtual Untangling!