SteelHead

6 Posts authored by: Kim Wall

Deploying a virtual SMC (Steelhead Mobile Controller) is quick and simple. Here, I provide screen shots for a step-by-step look at the process. At the time of this writing, the latest version of SMC software is 4.0.

 

To begin, you will need to download the latest virtual edition of SMC from the Riverbed Support site. The latest virtual edition will not necessarily be the latest and greatest. In this example, I will install vSMC v3.1.3d (latest on the Support site) and upgrade it to version 4.0. You will need an ESX host and vCenter or vSphere to deploy the .OVA package. I am using VSP resources on a Steelhead EX-760 as my ESX host.

 

From vSphere or vCenter, deploy the CMC .OVA file as you would with any .OVA:

 

vSMC4-1-OVA.png

 

Verify the template contents and select Next.

vSMC4-2-Next.png

 

Customize the virtual machine name or keep the default.

vSMC4-3-Name.png

 

Since this VM is for lab purposes, I will select "Thin" provisioning.

vSMC4-4-Thin.png

 

Make sure the interfaces are assigned properly. Primary should be mapped to rvbd_pri and Aux should be mapped to rvbd_hpn. You may have to switch these from their default assignments. If you cannot access the SMC virtual machine after deployment, check these assignments.

vSMC4-5-interface.png

 

Verify the configuration and begin the deployment.

vSMC4-6-Finish.png

 

Deployment should take just a few minutes.

vSMC4-7-deploying.png

 

After deployment, power ON the virtual SMC machine.

vSMC4-9-powerON.png

 

Open a console window to observe the boot process.

vSMC4-10-Console.png

 

When the machine is finished booting, enter the default credentials of admin / password. The configuration wizard will then start - select "yes" to use the wizard. There are 8 steps to the wizard. Note that this process is the same for both virtual and hardware-based SMC appliances.

vSMC4-11-Login-JumpStart.png

vSMC4-12-verifySettings.png

 

Upon completion of the wizard, you may now be able to browse to the virtual SMC in order to upgrade to the latest SMC release. Depending on the SMC version deployed, the location of the upgrade feature could be different than what I show here. For versions prior to SMC v4, click "Setup" on the top menu bar, then "Upgrade Software" on the left-hand selection pane.

vSMC4-13-upgrade1.png

 

I will be upgrading from 3.1.3d to 4.0 using a local file on my laptop.

vSMC4-14-upgrade-to-4.png

 

When the new software is copied to the virtual appliance, it will be selected as the target upon the next reboot.

vSMC4-15-reboot.png

 

When upgrading to SMC v4, you will notice the enhanced UI. It now closely resembles the UI of other Riverbed products such as Riverbed Steelheads.

 

vSMC4-16-New-4-screen.png

 

At this point you can add any required licenses.

Deploying a virtual CMC (Central Management Controller) is quick and simple. Here, I provide screen shots for a step-by-step look at the process. At the time of this writing, the latest version of CMC software is 8.0.

 

To begin, you will need to download the latest virtual edition of CMC from the Riverbed Support site. The latest virtual edition will not necessarily be the latest and greatest. In this example, I will install vCMC v6.5.3 (latest on the Support site) and upgrade it to version 8.0. You will need an ESX host and vCenter or vSphere to deploy the .OVA package. I am using VSP resources on a Steelhead EX-760 as my ESX host.

 

From vSphere or vCenter, deploy the CMC .OVA file as you would with any .OVA:

 

vCMC8-1-OVA-Deploy.png

 

Verify the template details. Note, you can change disk provisioning in a future step.

vCMC-8-2-Next.png

 

Keep the default name or create your own.

vCMC8-3-Name.png

 

I will change the disk provisioning to "Thin" since this is for a lab.

vCMC8-4-Thin.png

 

You may need to switch the interfaces. Make sure that "mgmt" is paired with rvbd_pri and "Aux" is paired with rvbd_hpn. If you cannot access the controller after the installation, check these assignments.

vCMC8-5-interfaces.png

 

When ready to deploy, select Finish.

vCMC8-6-Finish.png

 

The virtual CMC will begin to deploy. This will take just a few minutes to complete.

vCMC8-7-deploying.png

 

From vCenter / vSphere, power ON the CMC virtual machine.

 

vCMC8-9-powerON.png

 

Open a console session while the virtual machine is starting.

vCMC8-10-OpenConsole.png

 

After the virtual machine boots, enter the default credentials of admin / password. The configuration wizard will then begin - answer "yes" if you want to use the wizard. Note: this process is the same whether you are installing a virtual or hardware-based CMC.

vCMC8-11-Login-Jumpstart.png

 

There are 8 steps to the wizard.

vCMC8-12-jumpstart.png

 

Once the wizard completes, you can use a browser to access the CMC.

vCMC8-13-login.png

 

At this point, be sure to upgrade the CMC to the latest available version (i.e. version 8.0 at the time of this writing).

vCMC8-14-Upgrade_to_8.png

 

When the upgrade is completed, a reboot is required to boot to the new version.

 

vCMC8-15-upgrade-complete.png

 

At this point, you can add any required licenses.

 

For more information, see the virtual CMC installation guide by clicking here.

Steelhead Mobile v4.0 is now available for download here.

 

The available platforms and deployment options for SHM 4.0:

  • SMC for VSP (model 8552 / VSMC-VSP). This installs on EX model Steelheads utilizing VSP (built-in ESXi server)
  • Virtual SMC (model 8650 / V-SMC). This virtual image installs on a supported ESXi server of your choice that meets the hardware requirements.

Note that SMC for RSP is no longer supported as it has been superseded by the SMC for VSP.

 

Major features in v4.0 include:

  • SMC License Clustering. Multiple instances of SMC's can now be clustered supporting up to 120,000 simultaneous Steelhead Mobile users. Up to 30 nodes per cluster supported. Both appliances and virtual controllers can be a part of the same cluster.
  • Extended Microsoft Windows application support. SHM 4.0 now includes optimization support for SMB signing, encrypted MAPI, encrypted Outlook Anywhere, HTTP traffic for SharePoint, and end-to-end Kerberos authenticated applications.
  • New Windows client UI. A redesigned UI for provisioning large-scale deployments. Features include updated graphical time-based reports for networking, diagnostics, and optimization reports. Policy configuration has been simplified with interactive graphics. Hovering over a single point on a report provides additional details (such as time stamp, LAN and WAN bytes).
  • High availability management through SMC failover across Data Center.
  • SMBv2 for CIFS latency optimization
  • OSX Mountain / Mountain Lion support for CIFS

CMC v8.0 New Features

Posted by Kim Wall Jan 8, 2013

CMC release 8.0 is now available here. The main new feature is the support of devices running Riverbed RiOS v8.0.

 

Note: CMC 8000 series appliances cannot be upgraded to CMC v8 and therefore are not capable of fully managing Steelheads running v8.0 and greater. The CMC 8000 series have been end of availability since April 2010. Click here for more information on hardware end of availability.

 

To take advantage of CMC 8.0 you must install on hardware appliance model 8150 or the CMC-VE (ESXi virtual edition). Fast facts for these models:

  • CMC 8150 base appliance comes with 50 licenses (can manage up to 50 Steelheads with the base model)
  • CMC-VE does not include any licenses in the base model. A license pack must be purchased to begin Steelhead management.
  • Both models can take additional licenses in increments of 10 (max of 500 licenses supported)

 

One of the major differences between the 8000 series and the 8150 series is in how licenses are managed and purchased. The 8000 series were sold with management capacity by model. For example, the CMC-8003 model managed 50 devices, the CMC-8004 managed 100 devices etc. When additional licenses were needed the CMC appliance was enabled as a different model. 

 

The CMC-8150 appliance is sold as a base appliance with 50 licenses and take additional license packs for growth. When purchasing upgrades to the 8150, the appropriate management packs must be purchased that match the previous model's capacity. The following chart can be used for reference:

 

CMC8000TradeMap.png

 

Click here for CMC 8.0 software and release notes.

We should be able to optimize RDP traffic if compression is disabled on the RDP session itself (i.e. let Riverbed do the compression rather than the client/remote machines). Encryption level should be "low" on the RDP client as well. RDP sessions are pass-through by default (3389 is in the Interactive port label group). Be sure to either remove 3389 from the port label group or (better practice) create an optimization policy to optimize TCP 3389.

 

Here is a snippet of info from one of the links below:

 

By default, the Steelhead will pass-through the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) part of the Interactive port group, and some customers report performance improvements after optimizing it. There is no RDP-aware latency optimization available in the current RiOS releases, so the gains achieved are purely through reduced data transmission through Scalable Data Referencing (SDR).

  • Optimization of RDP connections requires the sessions be unencrypted and uncompressed.
  • Compression for RDP sessions can be disabled by configuring the client.

 

Here are a few Riverbed knowledge base articles that may be helpful:

https://supportkb.riverbed.com/support/index?page=content&id=S14534&actp=search&viewlocale=en_US&searchid=1351723565253

https://supportkb.riverbed.com/support/index?page=content&id=S14667&actp=search&viewlocale=en_US&searchid=1351723565253


When creating optimization rules for RDP (TCP 3389), consider the following:

RDP-ScreenShots.png

RiOS 8 - New Features

Posted by Kim Wall Jan 2, 2013

Here are the main (new) features that ship with RiOS v8.0.

 

  1. CIFS support on MAC OSX Lion / Mountain Lion
    1. Support for SMB v1 signing settings for MAC OSX Lion (10.7) and Mountain Lion (10.8)
  2. New UI Reports
    1. Time series reports have a new design that is interactive, and easy to navigate. The statistics presented in the improved report format are readily accessible and all updates to the report window appear in real time.
  3. QoS DPI: 600+ Apps
    1. Riverbed Application Flow Engine can recognize applications by using port-based classification, application signature matching, protocol dissection, future flow registration, behavioral classification, and others that may hop ports or may otherwise be hard to detect. The application flow engine in RiOS 8.0 can now identify and classify over 600 common Enterprise applications. The engine still allows for custom application definitions making it possible to identify thousands of applications.
  4. QoS: PCoIP
    1. PCoIP is a display compression technology used by VDI solutions such as VMWare View. Riverbed QoS for PCoIP in RiOS v8.0 delivers bandwidth control and latency prioritization for virtual channels within a PCoIP stream, enabling the fine-tuning of traffic including voice, video, and display rendering.
  5. 10Gig performance improvements
    1. An enhancement in RiOS provides up to a 50% performance boost in end to end throughput for 10GE based deployments.
  6. Account control, authenticated NTP, TACACS+
    1. RiOS 8.0 includes enhanced security features including a password manager that offers stronger protection against unauthorized access. Secure communications between Steelheads and NTP servers protect Steelheads from unauthorized NTP servers. With RiOS 8.0, enterprises now have additional deployment options with the addition of access to TACACS+ servers running on IPv6 networks.

RiOS 8.0 release notes can be found here.