Fig 1

How to Turn Your Admin’s Desktop PC Into a WAN Op Appliance

Offices of just a few users often need WAN optimization, but they lack the budget for specialized appliances, or even a commercial server.  When budgets are that tight we’ve been able to develop an alternative solution: run Silver Peak WAN optimization on a user’s PC. The admin, in our case, never noticed that the PC was doubling as a WANOp platform, and the users got all the performance bang you’d expect.

Yes, the user has to learn not to turn off the computer, but since when is that a problem? Usually, getting users to reboot their systems is our challenge. In practical terms, a piece of tape or Post-It was about all we needed to keep the system running.

Anyway,  here’s how we did it with a VirtualBox appliance. A similar approach would work with other desktop environments, such as VMware Workstation. Keep in mind, a separate appliance must be configured to run the user’s desktop and applications.

Prepare the Virtual Environment

 

1. Check Hardware Specs

First you have to make sure that minimum requirements are satisfied to run VirtualBox. i5 or similar processor, 4GB of RAM, 100GB free space, x64 operating system and Intel VT or AMD-V should be enabled in BIOS.

2. Download VirtualBox software from www.virtualbox.org and install it.

Fig 1Please consider checking the VX requirements from the “Velocity Replication Accelerator (VRX) Host System Requirements” document which can be found on the Silver Peak user documentation page.

3. Set RAM Requirements for the VM

Step 3

4. Do Not Add a Virtual Hard Drive

Step 4

Without adding a virtual hard drive press Create

5. Configure CPU Properties

Step 5

6. Define Storage Requirements

Go to Properties > System > Storage and create two disks:

  • Disk 1: 30GB (Silver Peak OS)
  • Disk 2: 70GB or More “Max 2TB” (Silver Peak Network Memory)

Step 6-1

Step 6-2

  Step 6-3

Step 6-4

For the second disk (Network Memory) follow the same steps that you did to create the first disk. Remember that Network Memory must be at least 70 GB (Max 2TB)

Step 6-5

7. Install the VX Software

Mount the Silver Peak ISO to CD-Rom. The ISO may be downloaded from the Silver Peak Marketplace (please note that you have to select KVM, Hyper-V, or Citrix to be able to download the ISO file).

For 20Mbps:

Step 7

8. Map the ISO to a drive after the download is complete.

Step 8

Configure the Network

 

9. Select the Network Adapter

Select properties > Network > Adapter 1

10. Choose Bridge Mode and press Okay

Step 10

11. Configure the Correct Network to Bridge

If you have more than one network in your computer you have to configure the correct network to bridge. Select VirtualBox Bridged Networking Driver.

Step 11

12. Start the Virtual Machine for Deployment

13. Follow the Instructions on the Screen:

Step 13-1

Step 13-2

14. Press Any Key and Wait to Start the Silver Peak Software After Reboot.

Configure the Silver Peak Appliance

15. Edit the grub file

Step 15

16. After Silver Peak boots up log in with User: admin Pass: admin.

17. Define the IP Address for the Silver Peak Appliance

If you have DHCP it should get the IP automatically, otherwise you may assign an IP address manually.

Step 19

18. Connect to the Silver Peak Appliance

  • Type the IP address in your desired browser to reach the Silver Peak web configuration and monitoring page.
  • Enter the username and password (default for both is: admin)

19. To configure mgmt0 manually, enter the following command sequence:

[vx name] # config t [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # interface mgmt0 shutdown [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # no interface mgmt0 dhcp [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # interface mgmt0 ip address 10.10.10.10 / 24 [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # no interface mgmt0 shutdown [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # show interfaces mgmt0 [ENTER]

To configure the default gateway, enter the following command sequence:

[vx name] (config) # ip default-gateway 10.0.41.193 [ENTER]
[vx name] (config) # show ip default-gateway [ENTER]

[img]

Prepare Virtual Box Silver Peak for Auto-Start

 

20. Download the WinSCP tool (alternate link)

21. Connect to Silver Peak using WinSCP

File protocol: SFTP

IP: The IP Address of the Silver Peak Management Interface

User: admin (Default)

Pass: admin (Default)

Login

Step 21

22. Go to /bootmgr/boot/grub , select grub.conf and download it to your own computer.

Step 22

23. Open grub.conf with Wordpad on your computer and remove the following line:

Step 23

Save the file.

24. Copy the file to the same location we downloaded it (select modified grub.conf and select upload)

Step 24

25. Restart Silver Peak

26. Download the VBoxVmService autostart tool (alternate link) and install it.

27. Open the file C:\vms\VBoxVmService.ini

Step 27

You have to follow the same order in your VirtualBox as Vm0, Vm1 etc.

VmName= [this must be exactly the same name as your VirtualBox virtual machine name]

ShutdownMethod=[Choose between ‘savestate’ and ‘acpipowerbutton’. This is the action that will be taken in case the computer shuts down. Recommended: acpipowerbutton.]

AutoStart=[any VMs with ‘yes’ will be autostarted]

After editing this file you may restart your computer to test the actions. If the tests succeed,  you are ready to configure your tunnel and route policy and to start optimization. See this video for help with Silver Peak Tunnel and Route Policy configuration. If you have questions you may contact silver-peak@vitel.com.tr

This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Behreng Nami, Sr. System Engineer with Vitel A.S. , a leading distributor in the Turkish IT market specializing in the development and deployment of network and communication solutions.

About the author
Behreng Nami