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ARP Broadcast Storms with HP 1910 switches

Posted on 2014-11-19
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Last Modified: 2014-11-19
Hello,

We’ve started deploying HP 1910 8 port switches to isolated areas of our network, because they are reasonably priced. Our core devices are HP 28xx series switches and Cisco 29xx series switches.

We’ve noticed that the HP 1910 units aggressively broadcast ARP requests for everything in their ARP tables. We have about 30 of the 1910’s now, and they’re responsible for 90% of our internal network traffic—2,000-4,000 packets per second of nothing but ARP requests.

It does calm down every now and then—you might get 30 seconds while nothing is transmitting, then it starts up again. Watching an individual switch’s traffic, they seem to chatter every 2-3 minutes, which roughly matches the ARP ageing default. The problem is, for an ARP table with 100 entries, it might send 20k ARP requests!

Does anyone have any ideas on how to make these calm down, or at least make them act like our Cisco and 28xx series switches, that don’t have this kind of flooding issue?
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Question by:MarktheNerd
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by:Predrag
ID: 40453039
That's not switch issue. That's network design problem.
a) you need to reduce number of hosts per VLAN
b) maybe there's a network loop
c) you need to set ports for host to portfast to reduce broadcast (this is optional and short term solution)
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Author Comment

by:MarktheNerd
ID: 40453044
So even though only one specific switch model has the issue, it's a network design problem? Why wouldn't the other switches be displaying the same behavior, if it was a design issue?
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by:Predrag
Predrag earned 2000 total points
ID: 40453122
Switch by itself, without any reason don't produce such traffic (except broken ones - but broken is reason, isn't it?). If there is network loop that could explain that behavior. Or if ports for hosts are not in portfast mode.
First - network loop is self explanatory.
Second - every time someone turn on PC (if portfast is not issued to port) STP  start panicking  when receive TCN (topology change notification) - there's a change in network, and side effect of that is that switch reduces time for relearning MAC address in MAC address table from default 300 second to 15 seconds.
So, this can induct broadcast storms in larger network without any other design problem.
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Author Comment

by:MarktheNerd
ID: 40453300
I think the STP thing is probably on the right path. I haven't been able to figure out how to do portfast (Portfast is Cisco, this is HP, so I'm trying to find the equivalent), but if I disable STP on a given switch, the broadcasts stop immediately. I'll see if I can figure out the specific settings to keep it from happening now.
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Accepted Solution

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Predrag earned 2000 total points
ID: 40453313
HP paralel to portfast is edge-port, command is
Switch(config)#spanning-tree [portlist] edge-port
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Author Comment

by:MarktheNerd
ID: 40453861
It's still being a bit odd, but at least we know the root cause now. Disabling STP is the Band-Aid we need until we can figure out the specific STP configuration we need. Thanks, Predrag!!!
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