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How do I configure two HP switches for a 10Gb connection?

Posted on 2014-09-26
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Last Modified: 2014-10-16
We have just installed two HP2920-24G (J9726A) switches in two offices that are about 100m apart and connected by a recently installed 4-pair fibre link.  The switches each have an expansion module (J9731A) installed that has two tranceivers (J9150A).  We intend to trunk the two connections between switches (I know how to do that - that's not the problem).

There is no connection, i.e. the LED for each port does not light, and no traffic flows - as if the cables were not connected.

There are no fault LEDs and the switch GUI shows ports A1 and A2 to be present (see image).

Switch port status
Here is the config for one of the switches (both are unchanged from default):

HP-2920-24G# sh run

Running configuration:

; J9726A Configuration Editor; Created on release #WB.15.11.0007
; Ver #03:12.15.0d:09

hostname "HP-2920-24G"
module 1 type j9726a
snmp-server community "public" unrestricted
oobm
   ip address dhcp-bootp
   exit
vlan 1
   name "DEFAULT_VLAN"
   untagged 1-24,A1-A2,B1-B2
   ip address dhcp-bootp
   exit

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The fibre patch leads are known good, as is the fibre connection between buildings (it's currently running a 1Gb connection using Netgear switches with SFP modules).

What do I need to configure in order to make the connection work (ideally at 10Gb, but 1Gb would be a start)?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Question by:David Haycox
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by:gheist
ID: 40347268
There is long and painful fight against low quality SFP modules. You neeed at least to upgrade firmwares on all devices involved. And even then cross your fingers in hope it works...
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40347301
But these are genuine HP modules. Are you saying these are low quality? Will check firmware versions.
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by:gheist
ID: 40347450
If thay are HP - upgrade firmwares in both ends.... Should work just fine.
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40347628
Unable to upgrade firmware remotely via GUI (similar to http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/470672-hp-2920-24g-will-not-update-firmware) so will try locally next week, and call HP if that doesn't work.  Will post back results, thanks!
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by:gheist
ID: 40347673
Also when in place try to find some friend and blink light through fibre to see if it works...
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eeRoot earned 500 total points
ID: 40347964
The SFP's and fiber types must match (multi mode or single mode).  Also, there are SFP's for 1 Gbps, and others for 10Gbps, you need to verify which ones you have and if your equipment supports 10 Gbps.  Can you verify that the send/receive strands are not being flipped when switching from the old Netgear connection to the new one?
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 40348733
What grade is the fiber between the offices?  You need to have at least OM3 for this - OM1 and OM2 just won't work for 10Gbps over that distance.

Similarly, check the patch cables.  They will (or should) say what grade they are.  If they're 62.5/125 they're not OM3 so you may need to upgrade the fiber between the offices.
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by:gheist
ID: 40348868
Not all fibre "barely meets specification". Once could get lucky and push 10GbE through cable span that did once 100Mbps...
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 40349039
No really, I see what you're saying, but right now 62.5 FDDI-grade may go up-to around 20m at 10G.  OM1 would push 10G up to around 30-35m tops... Ever.  OM2 may do around 80m.
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40359656
Sorry about the delay.  Just upgraded both switches successfully to firmware 15.15.008, and have confirmation from the installers that the fibre is OM3.  Still no connection on either port A1 or A2 though.

I tried to change the port mode from auto to auto-1000 or auto-10G, but this gives me "configuration failed" from the GUI.
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by:gheist
ID: 40360039
look in any cli at "SHow INTerfaces"
then add no-shut to those dark ones.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 40360234
You can't change the negotiation parameters for a fibre-optic SFP.

So you're using all the same patch leads as you were with the Netgear switch?  Are they OM3 also?
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40368008
gheist: "SH INT" displays port status ok, it's all zeroes for ports A1 and A2 though. "NO-SHUT" or "NO SHUT" is "invalid input" in config mode or otherwise.  Are you thinking of Cisco switches?

craigbeck: Patch leads are the same ones and are indeed OM3, model 200-054 from here:

http://www.mayflex.com/products/fibre-optic-cabling/fibre-patch-cords/om3-multimode-50125/excel-fibre-optic-duplex-patch-leads---multimode-om3-50-125-(mixed-connectors)/

My next step I think is to put both switches next to each other and connect just a patch lead, unless you have any other suggestions?  Thanks!
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by:gheist
ID: 40368013
Are switches next to eachother?
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40368017
No, they're about 100m apart (hence the fibre link) but one of them is not in use yet so I can easily move it temporarily to test it with an LC-LC OM3 patch lead.
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by:gheist
ID: 40368028
OK, then try it...
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40368041
Patch lead on order, will try it tomorrow and post the outcome.  Thanks again.
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40373547
Worked fine with the switches 2m apart on an LC-LC patch lead.  I then put the switches back (either side of the 110m fibre) and checked the cable - it is indeed OM3.

I fixed it by removing the ends of one of the patch leads from the bracket and swapping them around.  I then kicked myself for not trying this earlier!  I think it was the fact that the two connectors were joined together is what caught me out; if they'd been loose I would have tried it one way, then the other.

Having researched this further it looks like the patch leads are expecting the fibre link between buildings to be crossed over rather than straight through (as the patch leads are identical, so it doesn't matter whether these are straight or crossed).

http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?p=21180208
https://supportforums.cisco.com/discussion/11508951/lc-lc-connection-switch-switch-inbetween-patch-panels
http://www.thefoa.org/tech/ref/install/polarity.html
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 40373678
This is indeed correct... a fibre connection where duplex cables are used need to be crossed, so TX meets RX, and vice-versa.

However, usually ALL GBICs and SFPs use the same side of the transceiver to transmit - usually the left-hand receptacle as you look at the transceiver when it is inserted.  Now, this might seem like I'm going nowhere with this but...

If the Netgear transceivers did it the other way round (so RX on the left and TX on the right), and you had Netgear transceivers at each end, this would STILL result in the cable needing to be crossed, so when you changed the transceivers to the 10G ones the fibre would have been correctly polarized already and therefore crossed, just as before.  So, on that basis, I fail to see why you had to cross the fibres at one end unless you used a different patch lead at one end (or both) or used a different fibre-pair between the sites which was crossed already.

To add to this, eeRoot did ask if the fibres needed reversing in post ID: 40347964 so you should have checked this over 2 weeks ago :-)
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by:David Haycox
ID: 40373874
You're quite right; totally my bad. No idea how I missed that part of the comment from eeRoot. I was also mistaken when I stated the patch leads were the same; one end was but the loan Netgear we fitted had SC sockets so was different, and the ends weren't fixed together so I must have been lucky when connecting it.

The timescale wasn't a problem as the customer was happy with their 1Gb link temporarily (in fact I don't see how they can actually use the 20Gb, but they are planning ahead which is a good thing) and I've been busy on other projects (including dealing with a kidney stone; I don't expect any advice on that though!) so I confess I haven't given this my full attention, for which I apologise.

Thanks again to all - lesson learned.
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