Vyatta Network OS Documentation

Learn how to install, configure and operate the Vyatta NOS, which helps drive our virtual networking & physical platforms portfolio.

GRE tunnel protected with IPsec

GRE, IP-in-IP, and SIT tunnels are not encrypted, and provide no security outside of a simple password-like key that is exchanged in clear text in each packet. This means that GRE, IP-in-IP, and SIT tunnels, on their own, do not provide adequate security for production environments.

At the same time, IPsec policy-based tunnels cannot directly route non-IP or multicast protocols, and IPsec also has limitations from an operations point of view. Using tunnel interfaces in conjunction with IPsec VPN provides secure, routable tunnel connections between gateways, that have some advantages over traditional IPsec policy-based tunnel mode connections:

  • Support for standard operational commands such as show interfaces and show route
  • Support for operational tools such as traceroute and SNMP
  • Dynamic tunnel failover using routing protocols
  • Simplified IPsec policies and troubleshooting

For secure routable tunnels, GRE, IP-in-IP, and SIT tunnel interfaces should be used in conjunction with an IPsec connection, so that the IP tunnel can be protected by the IPsec tunnel.

This set of examples configures a GRE tunnel between EAST to WEST and protects it within an IPsec tunnel between the same endpoints.

When you have finished, WEST and EAST will be configured as shown in the following figure.

Figure 1. GRE tunnel protected by an IPsec tunnel