Im currently creating a lab for internal testing purposes and proof of concepts for Riverbed WAN optimizations. A few years ago, I did install quite some Riverbed Steelhead Appliances (Hardware) and the installation (not configuration) was quite straight forward ( if you dont mess up the cabling :)). But its a bit different now with virtual Appliances, we got licenses (amongst others) for two virtual Steelhead Appliance for the lab. Installing the Appliance itself is not too hard (if you know vSphere and I dont, but I got a nice coleague which did give me a little Howto). Choose the .ova file from the Riverbed page and put it into the ESX/vSphere and start the Appliance, go to the console and use the startup wizard to configure the basic settings for the system. The virtual Appliance can now be accessed over the GUI.
What got me was the licensing and the assigned hardware for the appliance ( I dont like to read installation manuals ;)).
There are currently two different virtual Steelhead appliances:
Virtual Steelhead xx50 Models
Virtual Steelhead CX xx55 Models
The former line is now end of life and the CX xx55 models are now new available since about a month or two. Both lines do have only one installation file, the specifications of the different models within the line are activated over the corresponding license key. Crossupgrading between the two lines does not work.
The license I got is one for a VCX1555H, the virtuall appliance with the highest throughput and concurrent connections but the base installation is the one for a VCX555M (smallest appliance) and thats what the installation file does request from vSphere. To be able to use the virtual Appliance as a VCX1555H vSphere has to assign more CPUs, RAM and Disk Space for the Datastore. The corresponding values can be taken from the table below:
The license for a 1555H can be installed even if the appliance does not have enough hardware, but it cannot be activated.