Guide: Building a Self-Contained Virtual Steelhead Lab – Part 4

Note: This post carries on from Part 3.

Testing & Reporting

Now that you’ve set up your lab, you can start working on the VSHs.

 Test #1 – TCP Options

Usually when telnetting between two routers (e.g PC-A-01 and PC-B-01), the MSS negotiated is 536 and no other options are specified. However, after configuring the VSHs to optimise telnet traffic, you can see the VSHs and Enhanced Auto discovery in action:

netw1

These enhanced settings won’t make much of a difference where Telnet traffic is concerned, but this sort of test can be useful for those who cannot run the Windows XP VMs due their PC’s performance.

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Guide: Building a Self-Contained Virtual Steelhead Lab – Part 3

Note: This post carries on from Part 2.

Virtual Steelhead

Installation

Now that the vSwitches are set up, the next thing you will need to do is install the VSHs.

1) Through the vSphere client, install the VSH by clicking on “File” > “Deploy OVF Template”.

2) When asked for the name of the VM, type “VSH-A”.

3) When configuring the NICs, match the “Source Networks” to their appropriate “Destination Networks”, as per the image below.

netw1

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Guide: Building a Self-Contained Virtual Steelhead Lab – Part 2

Note: This post carries on from Part 1.

VLANs

SW1 and SW2 have been used to allow multiple devices to connect to the VSH’s Primary, Auxiliary and lan0_0 subnets. You can either use trunk ports or access ports between the switches and R3 and R5. If using access ports, you’ll need a total of six ports per switch:

SW1

Switch Port #: VLAN: Connects to: Description:
1 VLAN 2 VSH-A Primary interface VSH-A Primary Interface VLAN
2 VLAN 2 R3, Fa0/0
3 VLAN 3 VSH-A Auxiliary interface VSH-A Auxiliary Interface VLAN
4 VLAN 3 R3, Fa0/1
5 VLAN 4 VSH-A lan0_0 interface VSH-A lan0_0 Interface VLAN
6 VLAN 4

R3, Fa1/0

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Guide: Building a Self-Contained Virtual Steelhead Lab – Part 1

A little while back I began looking into WAN optimisation, and in particular, Riverbed’s Steelheads. I really enjoyed all that I was reading so decided it was time to fire up a few Virtual Steelheads in my lab. As was the case in my Connecting the NetApp Simulator to your Virtual and Physical Labs and Trunking VLANs between the NetApp Simulator and GNS3 posts, GNS3 again plays an instrumental part in getting this lab up and running.

The reason why I have called this a “Self-Contained” lab is because, as you will soon see, it demonstrates you how can replicate a real-life setup using a single PC or laptop with the following applications:

  • GNS3 (installed on your PC)
  • VMWare Workstation (installed on your PC)
  • Two Windows VMs (running in Workstation)
  • Two ESXi hosts (running in Workstation)
  • Two Virtual Steelheads (one installed per ESXi host)

(With all of this virtualisation inside of virtualisation taking place, I can’t help but think about the movie Inception) :)

Background

Before jumping into the configuration details, I’ll run through a few things which you will need to know in order to complete the setup.

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Trunking VLANs between the NetApp Simulator and GNS3

In my previous post Connecting the NetApp Simulator to your Virtual and Physical Labs, I explained the steps you need to follow in order to connect the NetApp simulator to GNS3. By doing this you’re able to connect the simulator to Cisco routers, Virtual Steelheads, ASA firewalls, F5 load balancers… to put it simply, just about any physical or virtual piece of equipment you can think of! This entry builds on that post and demonstrates how, with just a few extra steps, you’re able trunk VLANs between the simulator and GNS3.

To demonstrate its capabilities, I’ll explain three different methods GNS3 is able to handle the VLANs which are passed to it by the simulator. (Note that additional methods become available when you integrating other appliances into GNS3. For example, you could have the simulator hand off the VLANs to a Palo Alto firewall).

Creating VLANs & LIFs on the Simulator

Let’s begin by configuring the simulator side. We’ll need to create the VLANs and LIFs which we plan to make accessible to the device(s) in GNS3. For this example I’ll configure them in the following way:

  • e0d-20 = 10.0.20.9 /24
  • e0d-30 = 10.0.30.9 /24
  • e0d-40 = 10.0.40.9 /24

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Virtual Equipment + Physical Equipment = Big Lab

I have posted a few entries covering GNS3 and how you can use it to help you with your studies. And, in the Connecting Your PC to Your Virtual GNS3 Routers I showed you how it was possible to break your GNS3 routers out of the Virtual world and bring them in to the Physical world. In this post, I am to show you how I used this technique in my lab to give me a rather nice setup.

Figure 1 shows the equipment I own at the time of writing. I don’t really use the 2610 as GNS3 fulfills all of my router needs. I do use the 2509 though as a console router for the rest of my equipment.

Figure 1

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