Mikrotik RouterOS is an extremely versatile routing platform used from very low-end home routers all the way to carrier grade core and peering routers. Apart from Routerboard hardware, the official hardware running Mikrotik RouterOS, you can also install ROS as a virtual machine on your platform of choice. If you’re already down the virtualization road, give this a try to see what you can get out of it. By default you’ll get a free trial license but paid licenses are extremely affordable and don’t even register compared to the big “C”. For example, a perpetual license for 10Gbit upload per interface is $95!!
Let’s do it!
Download ROS as VMDK from Mikrotik under the Cloud Hosted Router section. I typically go for Current.
- Create a new folder on your datastore and upload the CHR-VMDK file
- Create a new VM on the ESXi host, use Linux and Other Linux (64-bit) as guest OS options
- Select your datasore you want to install on
- Select number of CPU cores and RAM, delete hard disk and CD/DVD options
- Manually add a new hard disk and select the CHR-VMDK file you uploaded
- By default SCSI is selected as controller which will not work. Change to IDE controller
- Finish your VM setup and start your new Mikrotik virtual router!
There you go – 64-bit RouterOS on Intel hardware!