Deploying Silver Peak on Cisco SRE

cisco-sre-900The Cisco Service Ready Engine (SRE) modules are high-performance router blades for Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR). Each module has its own processors, storage, network interfaces and memory that operate independently of the host router resources. These modules are great for running virtual WAN optimization software.

Running the Silver Peak WAN optimization software on an SRE module is a great fit for those customers with an ISR G2 supported environment who need to optimize links between geographically disperse locations without expanding the physical footprint in each location. The growing popularity of Silver Peak’s high performance, highly-flexible software-based WAN optimization is leading to more deployments on Cisco SRE modules.

The basic workflow for deploying Silver Peak software on a Cisco SRE module involves 1) installing the Cisco SRE Service Module into the ISR, 2) using the Cisco IOS commands to configure the Cisco SRE module interfaces, 3) if working with a blank Cisco SRE module, installing the Cisco SRE-V software and activating the license, 4) [optionally] using the Cisco SRE-V commands to create users and roles, and then assigning permissions to those users, 5) configuring the hypervisor default gateway, and 6) installing the vSphere client, and then using the vSphere Client GUI to deploy the Silver Peak software.

Here are some helpful tips and instructions:

1. Choose the correct SRE blade

Silver Peak recommends the SRE900 blade. This has 4G RAM minimum spec and comes with a dual core CPU. The Cisco part number is SM-SRE-900-K9.

  • Feature = Cisco SRE 900 (910) SM
  • Product SKU = SM-SRE-900-K9
  • Form factor = SM
  • CPU = Intel® Core™2 Duo 1.86 GHz
  • DRAM = 4 GB (default) or 8 GB
  • Compact Flash memory = 2-GB internal USB flash-memory module
  • Hard Disk = 2 x 500 GB (1 TB non-RAID), 5400 rpm (SRE   900) or 7200 rpm (SRE 910)
  • Hot-swappable HDD = Yes
  • RAID support = RAID 0 or 1
  • Internal network interfaces = Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to router backplane
  • External network interfaces = 1 USB connector, 1 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet connector
  • Router platforms = Cisco 2911, 2921, 2951, 3925, 3925E, 3945, and 3945E
  • Cisco IOS® Software = Release 15.1(4)
  • HW Crypto Accel = Yes

2. Install the SRE module

For help see the following:

3. Register and download a supported Silver Peak VX

The Silver Peak VX-1000, VX-2000, VX-3000, and VX-5000 software solutions are supported. You can register and download any of these for a free 30-day trial here:

4. Deploy the VMware vSphere hypervisor

Once you have the blade, you’ll need to deploy the VMware vSphere hypervisor. The Cisco part number for their VMware Hypervisor package is:

  • SW-SM-SRE-V-1.0-K9

For the router, you’ll need the VSEC package. The part number for that is:

  • C3945-VSEC/K9

Note: Be sure to set up the hypervisor default gateway. This is very important and not obvious.

5. Install the Silver Peak VX software

Once the hypervisor is installed, the Silver Peak software deployment is very similar to other platforms. ™Watch out for interface assignments (e.g which vmnic goes with which interface is non-negotiable). Experimenting in this area can create problems. The MGF interface does not allow for trunking, and the SMslot/1 is reserved. ™Standard router mode configuration is recommended.

Version 4.2 or later of the Silver Peak VX software is required. Begin by setting the reservation for the CPU to zero: Deploying Silver Peak on Cisco SRE: CPU setting

Also set the  CPU requirement from 4 down to 2:

Deploying Silver Peak on Cisco SRE: CPU requirement

Otherwise, follow the directions given in the Quick Start Guide for VMware vSphere.

6. Configure WCCP on the ISR router to redirect WAN traffic through the Silver Peak VX

cisco-sre-silver-peak-interface-connectivityThe SRE900 module needs to be connected to the 3945 router. Connect the NIC interface on the SRE 900 module to one of the ports on the 3945 router.

7. Configure the Silver Peak optimization features as normal

Complete Silver Peak user documentation can be found on the Silver Peak website here: You may also control multiple Silver Peak VX instances via Silver Peak’s Global Management System (GMS).

Here’s a sample configuration of ISR interfaces:

™Router# conf t
™Router(config)# interface sm 1/0
™Router(config-if)# ip unnumbered GigabitEthernet0/0
™Router(config-if)# service-module ip address
™Router(config-if)# service-module ip default-gateway
™Router(config-if)# service-module mgf ip address
™Router(config-if)# service-module mgf ip default-gateway
™Router(config-if)# exit
™Router(config)# interface sm 1/1
™Router(config-if)# switchport mode trunk
™Router(config-if)# exit
™Router(config)# interface vlan 1
™Router(config-if)# ip address
™Router(config-if)# no shut
™Router(config-if)# end

Router# wr


About the author
Damon Ennis
Damon is senior vice president of products for Silver Peak. He has more than 15 years experience building enterprise and service-provider networking equipment. Most recently, he served as senior director of systems engineering and chief technologist at CIENA. Prior to CIENA, Damon was in senior management and technical roles at FORE Systems. He grew up in Northern Ireland, Germany, Iran, Switzerland, England, Wales, and East and West Coasts in the US. He’s the father of one boy and twin girls.