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Procurve Switches losing parts of Configuration

Posted on 2013-12-05
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Last Modified: 2014-09-07
I have a bunch of Procurve Switches; it's a complex multiple-VLAN network. Had an issue today with two switches that I have never seen before, and has me perplexed.
Our VLAN 30 runs from our core switch, a 5406zl, to the "uplink" switch at the location that is VLAN 30. The "uplink" switch is a 2824. From it, VLAN 30 is extended to two more switches, a 2848 ("clubhouse") and a 2626 ("maintenance"). VLAN 30 is tagged on each of the link ports; D1 on the 5406zl, 22-24 on the "uplink" to receive from the 5406zl (24) and send to the "clubhouse" (22) and "maintenance" (23). And to complete the design, VLAN 30 is then tagged on port 48 of "clubhouse" and port 26 of "maintenance" to receive the VLAN on those switches. The rest of the ports on "uplink", "clubhouse", and "maintenance" are untagged in VLAN 30, taking client connections. There are other VLANs at play here, but are not relevant to the discussion.

So here's where it gets weird. Going into today, the configurations were tested, fully working, and committed to memory (wr mem). These switches are all in production, everything was working fine. Late morning, with no explainable cause, many devices were inaccessible on VLAN 30. Ultimately, it was found that "clubhouse" port 48 was no longer tagged in VLAN 30. It was still tagged on port 26 of "maintenance" and ports 22-24 of "uplink", and D1 of the 5406zl.
In testing, we moved the "clubhouse" switch physically closer to the "uplink" switch, and also used copper instead of fiber to cross-connect (easier when they're two feet apart). I repaired the configuration by tagging 48 into VLAN 30 again, and wrote the configuration. When the switch was powered off and moved back to its production location, fiber cables and GBICs reconnected, VLAN 30 was no longer tagged on port 48!!!

I have tagged it again there and wrote the configuration, and things are working, but I fully expect a power outage to undo the change.
The "clubhouse" 2848 switch is running version I.08.98, if this is perhaps part of the problem.

Thanks for any assistance.
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Question by:LingerLonger
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by:giltjr
ID: 39700009
You state it is complex multiple VLAN environment.  How many VLAN's?

Do any of the switch have a limit to the number of VLAN's they support?

If you looked at the config, was it configured correctly or did the config actually loose something?
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Author Comment

by:LingerLonger
ID: 39700016
31 VLANs in the core switch, configured for up to 50.
The "uplink", "clubhouse", and "maintenance" switches have 3-5 VLANs configured on them, and there isn't a 'max-vlans' statement specified on these switches.
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 39700044
Some switches only support "X" number of VLAN's.  Example:  Some older Cisco switches only support up to 8 active VLAN's.     You try to use more than 8 and they start "disappearing".

Just checked and the 2824 supports up to 4096 active VLAN's and  256 active VLAN's.  You are way under that.  The 5406lz supports up to 2,048 active VLANs, way way under than.

Could not find any thing about 2626 and VLAN limits.  

When the VLAN was not being tagged, was the config correct or did the config "loose" the part that said to tag the VLAN on that port.
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Author Comment

by:LingerLonger
ID: 39700112
The "tagged 48" statement in VLAN 30 simply disappears, nothing else is changed/missing.
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Expert Comment

by:giltjr
ID: 39701264
What I would suggest is that you do the configuration again.
Do a "show" to make sure it is there.
Do a "wr mem"
Then do another show to make sure it is still there.
Re-boot the switch
Do another show.

If it is missing at any point in time, you will need to open a support call with HP.  That would obviously be a bug.
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jburgaard earned 500 total points
ID: 39702401
For the ".....also used copper instead of fiber...." part, I have seen something like that before:
When I have to replace a defect switch I sometimes protect the fiber-ends with the GBIC taken from the failed switch.
If I get a replacement switch with factory defaults and copy the saved config to the refurbished at the office, then I must remember to put a GBIC in the dual-personality-port and check vlan settings.
If you configure a dual-personality-port with vlan-tagging, then that config will only work when you use the Cu-port, but if you take the switch to the closet and put in the GBIC with fiber, it seems the fiber-port will revert to untagged default vlan1
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Author Comment

by:LingerLonger
ID: 39704893
Interesting perspective @jburgaard. I am going to follow up with Procurve Support this week as suggested by @giltjr, and will bounce this phenomenon off of them during that call.
It's going to be Thursday or Friday before I can call them, as the beginning half of the week is already booked up.
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Author Closing Comment

by:LingerLonger
ID: 40308667
Copper/Fiber jumping appears to be what was causing the issue. Setup on copper before deploying to field and connecting fiber.
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