While it is possible to simply order a bare metal server and choose Brocade 5400 vRouter as the operating system (OS, it is important that you order Brocade 5400 vRouter through the Network > Gateway Appliances menu within the SoftLayer Web Portal (control.softlayer.com). Order Brocade 5400 vRouter through the Web Portal lets the SoftLayer platform "know" that you intend to replace some of the inbuilt platform routing and security functions with your own dedicated appliance.
From the Web Portal, select Network > Vyatta > Order Device. When you click the Vyatta link, you have a choice of single processor server or dual processor server. Select a dual processor server if you need 10 Gbps uplinks on your gateway; otherwise the single processor has more than enough power for most scenarios. 1 Your next choice is to deploy a single appliance or a high availability (HA) pair. If your requirements dictate HA, then it will be easiest to deploy an HA pair during the initial implementation. You can always upgrade to HA at a later date if you are unsure.
Your default configuration will work for most scenarios, but look at the uplink port speeds to make sure you have enough bandwidth and resilience on the public and private networks.2 Select an initial backend and frontend VLAN that you wish to associate with your device on the Order Summary screen. Your selection will assure the device(s) will be deployed in the correct PoD. Simply associating a VLAN does not change any of your current routing of networks on those VLANs, so you can proceed without worrying about anything breaking at networks on those VLANs, so you can proceed without worrying about anything breaking at this point. You may being configuration your new device after a few hours via the Network > Gateway Appliances menu in the Web Portal.
1 When determining resources for your device, base the configurations off what typo of workloads Brocade 5400 vRouter will be protecting. Simple firewalling and VLAN management is not very taxing; multiple data intensive VPN tunnels will require more resources on the Brocade 5400 vRouter appliance.
2 If you do not presently need a public network, but may require one in the future, it is suggested that you order a device with both networks and simply disable the public side. It is not possible to upgrade from a private-only device to public without re-provisioning the private device.