HP Virtual Connect : Mapped or Tunnelled VLANs

HP Virtual Connect : Mapped or Tunnelled VLANs

By no means is this conclusive, but based upon experience and testing of a set of c-Class chassis using Flex-10 Ethernet Virtual Connect Modules.



No limit on VLAN numbers, no need to define individual VLANs on Virtual Connect.


When tunnelling VLANs you lose the ability to be selective about the VLANs passed to an interface. This is likely to increase the number of required  uplinks to a blade chassis; Tunnelling is ALL or NOTHING.

Anything that uses the trunk will have ALL VLAN traffic passed through to the server NIC, therefore VLAN’s must be configured on the servers NIC within the OS.



You can take a single defined VLAN and pass it untagged to a server NIC.

You can also pass some or all VLANs to the server, you can be as specific as we like, mapped is very flexiable.


Limitation on VLAN numbers… 320.


From reading through the HP docs I get the impression that mapped is the preffered option.I’ve configured this on 6 chassis with a variety of different servers from ESXi hosts to Ecommerce Web Servers and Clusters, mapped VLANs gives me the flexibility I need to limit the number of uplinks whilst providing as many connections from the VC modules to the blades.

Regardless of Configuration

Switches should be configured to have trunked interfaces using 802.1Q Trunk and 802.3ad LAG protocols, this will allow grouped uplink sets which are active active.

To verify Virtual Connect has formed an LACP LAG, navigate to Interconnect Bays and select the I/O bay where the uplink ports are linked. Locate the LAG ID column, and that the assigned uplink ports share the same LAG ID.

C7000 Blade Chassis : Virtual Connect ‘Unknown’

C7000 Blade Chassis : Virtual Connect Ethernet ‘Unknown’

It would appear that my share of HP firmware issues was not satisfied with the recent BL465c G7 issues….


We have six chassis’, two are C7000 G2 and 4 are C7000 G1 – spread across two datacenters. On logging on to the Virtual Connect for one of the G2 chassis I discovered that all ethernet links, shared uplinks and VLAN’s were showing as ‘Unknown‘. All the server profiles were degraded and the Internconnect Modules wereshowing a Communication Status ‘Failed’ warning.

The chassis contains 2x  Flex10 Virtual Connect Modules, 2x 8GB/20-port FC Virtual Connect Modules. The chassis firmware was already running the latest version for both FC and Ethernet, see here.

This started with a single chassis in the morning and affected all by the evening. All of the chassis are running the firmwae version above, although the G1 chassis have HP 1/10Gb VC-Enet and 4Gb FC modules.


******** Read this section in full before following the HP suggested fix! *********

HP support advised this was a known issue as per here.

The suggested fix is to remove the DNS server IP address from the Enclosure Bay IP Addressing configuration for the Interconnect Ethernet Modules.

I implemented the suggested fix on a chassis with no production systems, after 10 minutes there had been no impact as you can see from teh OA logs:

Mar  1 16:46:06  OA: admin logged into the Onboard Administrator from
Mar  1 16:51:55  OA: EBIPA Interconnect first DNS IP for bay 1 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 16:51:55  OA: EBIPA Interconnect second DNS IP for bay 1 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 16:51:55  OA: EBIPA Interconnect first DNS IP for bay 2 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 16:51:55  OA: EBIPA Interconnect second DNS IP for bay 2 set to  by user admin

This was then implemnted on a further chassis, the remaining G2 chassis with the Flex-10/8GB FC modules:

Mar  1 17:03:09  OA: EBIPA Interconnect first DNS IP for bay 1 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 17:03:09  OA: EBIPA Interconnect second DNS IP for bay 1 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 17:03:09  OA: EBIPA Interconnect first DNS IP for bay 2 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 17:03:09  OA: EBIPA Interconnect second DNS IP for bay 2 set to  by user admin
Mar  1 17:04:39  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to Unknown
Mar  1 17:05:08  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to OK
Mar  1 17:05:14  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to Unknown
Mar  1 17:05:50  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to OK
Mar  1 17:06:17  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to Unknown
Mar  1 17:06:47  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to OK


As you can see the VC modules became unresponsive and reset, causing the chassis to lose all connectvity to the network.

On the chassis that did not reset I encountered a further issue today whilst checking a Shared Uplink set, the VC modules reset!

Mar  3 09:39:21  OA: admin logged into the Onboard Administrator from
Mar  3 09:44:00  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to Unknown
Mar  3 09:44:40  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to OK
Mar  3 09:45:00  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to Unknown
Mar  3 09:45:27  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 1 changed to OK
Mar  3 09:45:34  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to Unknown
Mar  3 09:46:13  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to OK
Mar  3 09:46:37  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to Unknown
Mar  3 09:47:05  OA: Internal health status of interconnect in bay 2 changed to OK

No changes were made and these modules reset….

We’re arranging a EBIPA/VC reset of the 4 remaining chassis this weekend, out of hours!

You’ve been warned!

Checkpoint : Troubleshooting Checkpoint ClusterXL

Troubleshooting Checkpoint ClusterXL

I recently came across an issue where SmartView Monitor showed an error for ClusterXL on a freshly rebuilt Checkpoint IP565 firewall. Both Synchronization and Filter were stuck in an initilizing state, we tried the following troubleshooting steps initially to no avail:

  1. cphastop followed by cphastart
  2. cpstop followed by cpstart
  3. reboot of the affected firewall

On digging deeper we noticed that one of the firewall devices was configured to use multicast and one for broadcast cluster communications, this was identified using the following command ‘cphaprob -a if‘ which presents the following output:

  eth-s1p3c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s4p3c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s4p4c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s1p1c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s1p4c0      sync(secured), multicast
  eth-s1p2c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s4p1c0      non sync(non secured)
  eth-s4p2c0      non sync(non secured)

  Virtual cluster interfaces: 7

  eth-s1p3c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s4p3c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s4p4c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s1p1c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s1p2c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s4p1c0      xx.xx.xx.xx
  eth-s4p2c0      xx.xx.xx.xx

Both firewalls must be configured to use the same method of communication, which can be changed using the following command ‘cphaconf set_ccp multicast‘ or ‘cphaconf set_ccp broadcast‘. Providing your switching infrastructure supports multicast you should use this mode due to the performance overhead of broadcast communication. This command failed to change the method of communication and left us with no other option than to perform the following steps:

  1. Set Checkpoint Packages as in-active, then delete them ensuring that the Connectra package is removed first.
  2. Re-install the Checkpoint R65 IPSO Wrapper
  3. Re-install HFA 70
  4. Re-establish SIC via CPConfig and SmartDashboard
  5. Unassign and re-assign license via SmartUpdate
  6. Push policy from the SmartDashboard

After performing thse steps the cluster CCP was back to multicast (bizare really…). We had to perform a reboot of the second device once this was completed, at which point both nodes of the cluster reported no ClusterXL errors, ‘cphaprob list‘ showed the following output:

# cphaprob list

Registered Devices:

Device Name: Synchronization
Registration number: 0
Timeout: none
Current state: OK
Time since last report: 213003 sec

Device Name: Filter
Registration number: 1
Timeout: none
Current state: OK
Time since last report: 213003 sec

Device Name: cphad
Registration number: 2
Timeout: 5 sec
Current state: OK
Time since last report: 0.7 sec

Device Name: fwd
Registration number: 3
Timeout: 5 sec
Current state: OK
Time since last report: 0.5 sec

fw ctl pstat‘ should also list the Synch as ‘Able to Send/Receive sync packets’ :

# fw ctl pstat

Machine Capacity Summary:
  Memory used: 14% (90MB out of 637MB) – below low watermark
  Concurrent Connections: 26% (17876 out of 67900) – below low watermark
  Aggressive Aging is in monitor only

Hash kernel memory (hmem) statistics:
  Total memory allocated: 200278016 bytes in 48894 4KB blocks using 2 pools
  Initial memory allocated: 20971520 bytes (Hash memory extended by 179306496 bytes)
  Memory allocation  limit: 536870912 bytes using 10 pools
  Total memory bytes  used: 23487660   unused: 176790356 (88.27%)   peak: 34170776
  Total memory blocks used:     7126   unused:    41768 (85%)   peak:     9164
  Allocations: 1183931215 alloc, 0 failed alloc, 1183678473 free

System kernel memory (smem) statistics:
  Total memory  bytes  used: 250335916   peak: 300842432
    Blocking  memory  bytes   used:  1865892   peak:  2596156
    Non-Blocking memory bytes used: 248470024   peak: 298246276
  Allocations: 160033475 alloc, 0 failed alloc, 160032829 free, 0 failed free

Kernel memory (kmem) statistics:
  Total memory  bytes  used: 73389696   peak: 101169940
        Allocations: 1184023246 alloc, 0 failed alloc, 1183769860 free, 0 failed free
        External Allocations: 0 for packets, 0 for SXL

Kernel stacks:
        0 bytes total, 0 bytes stack size, 0 stacks,
        0 peak used, 0 max stack bytes used, 0 min stack bytes used,
        0 failed stack calls

        1029526467 packets, -2128289516 operations, 373013811 lookups,
        2035 record, 183665476 extract

        -1649393933 total, 0 alloc, 0 free,
        4607 dup, -1525329462 get, 138972711 put,
        -1565092568 len, 217535 cached len, 0 chain alloc,
        0 chain free

        54513276 total, 52537755 TCP, 1898998 UDP, 76506 ICMP,
        17 other, 49485065 anticipated, 1 recovered, 17882 concurrent,
        24286 peak concurrent

        213594 fragments, 105472 packets, 389 expired, 0 short,
        0 large, 0 duplicates, 0 failures

        23444077/0 forw, 29804768/0 bckw, 53234829 tcpudp,
        14016 icmp, 702040-723136 alloc

        Version: new
        Status: Able to Send/Receive sync packets
        Sync packets sent:
         total : 78286072,  retransmitted : 16171, retrans reqs : 20,  acks : 3
        Sync packets received:
         total : 17030603,  were queued : 16591, dropped by net : 15
         retrans reqs : 8840, received 3 acks
         retrans reqs for illegal seq : 0
         dropped updates as a result of sync overload: 0

Cisco : CCNA Wireless Cram Sheet

CCNA Wireless Cram Sheet


Types of WLAN technology


Narrowband (unlicensed bands)

·         900 MHz – used by old cordless phones

·         2.4 GHz – used by cordless phones, WLAN, Bluetooth and microwaves

·         5G GHz – used by WLAN, new cordless phones

·         Uses spread spectrum – signalling over multiple frequencies.

·         Limited range



·         Lower bandwidth than narrow band

·         Wider coverage.

·         Personal Communication Services (PCS) – Sprint PCS is an example supplier of this technology.


Circuit and Packet Data

·         Lower data rate than both of the above.

·         Wider coverage (national).

·         High fee per megabit – although flat-rate contracts are common nowadays

·         3G is an example of this technology.


Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)

WLAN devices cannot send and receive at the same time. Devices use RTS (ready-to-send) and CTS (clear-to-send) signals.


Wireless AP’s are similar in function to Ethernet Hubs; each AP has a finite bandwidth therefore the more devices attached to the AP, the less bandwidth each device has available to it.


Signal Strength Issues

·         Absorption – walls, ceilings and floors absorb signals.

·         Scattering – rough walls and carpets scatter signals.

·         Reflection – metal and glass reflect signals.

·         (Interference – Microwaves, rouge AP’s and cordless phones can interfere)


Standards Bodies

·         FCC – Federal Communications Commission

·         ETSI – European Telecommunications Standards Institute

·         ITU-R – International Telecommunications Union-Radio Communications Sector

·         IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – defines mechanical process of how WLAN is implemented in 802.11

·         WiFi Alliance – Cisco is a founding member of this organisation. Ensures interoperability between manufacturers.


Wireless Standards















2.4/5 GHz




OFDM – Octagonal Frequency Division Multiplexing; uses spread spectrum.

DSSS – Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum; One channel to send data across all frequencies in the channel

MIMO – Multiple Input Multiple Output; uses DSSS and OFD across 14 overlapping channels at 5MHz intervals.




·         802.11b and 802.11g can interpolate, 802.11g is backwards compatible.

·         802.11a is not compatible with 802.11b or 802.11g.

·         802.11n is compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g however is will be slower in interoperability mode. Also 802.11n has not been ratified, so there may be interoperability issues between vendor hardware. 802.11n requires multiple antennae for MIMO.




Potential Threats

·         War Driving – a potential hacker uses a laptop to find a wireless network and tries to break in.


Connection Process

·         Service Set Identifier (SSID) used to identify network to clients, this is broadcast.

·         Client Send AP MAC Address and required security information


802.11 Defined Security

The 802.11 standard defines two security methods, both of which are weak by today’s standards:

·         Open Authentication (no security!)

·         Shared Key Authentication – static encryption using WEP


A well-secured WLAN has the following security configurations:

·         Encryption

·         Authentication

·         IPS


SSID Cloaking and MAC Address Filtering


SSID Cloaking –Administrator would disable SSID broadcast. However, client can send AP a null string SSID value. Therefore MAC Address filtering was often enabled. Unfortunately it is also possible to spoof a MAC address.


Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP)


Uses RC4 encryption and a static 64-bit key can easily be broken as only 40-bits are encrypted and 24 bits are clear-text IV(Initialization Vector). It was later upgraded to 128-bit, but the IV was still clear text meaning it took slightly longer (minutes) to break-in.


TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)


Initially Cisco hardware specific, later became and open standard – beware no interop between Cisco original and now open TKIP. Per-packet keying and hashing using CMIC (Cisco Message Integrity Check) – each packet is digitally signed.


802.1 EAP


Extensible Authentication Protocol is a 2-layer process with 2 varieties:

·         EAP (WLAN)

·         EAPoLAN


EAP defines a standard way of encapsulating authentication information such as certificates/usernames/passwords that an AP can use for authentication.


EAP is an extension of PPP and has several extensions:

·         EAP-MD5 – CHAP authentication with static password

·         EAP-TCS – X.509v3 certificates

·         LEAP – Lightweight EAP, password and per-session WEP keys

·         PEAP – One Time Password OTP SSL secures communications and MS-CHAP used to encrypt username and password. Digital certificate required on server.

·         EAP-FAST – Shared secret key used to encrypt authentication information.

·         EAP-GTC – authentication by Generic Card Token.


802.1x and RADIUS defines how to packetize the EAP information and move it across the network. In the RADIUS model:

·         Client is the Supplicant

·         AP is the Authenticator

·         RADIUS Server is the Authentication Server


WiFi Protected Access (WPA)

Designed as an interim solution, until 802.11i (WPA2) was ratified, for wireless security by the WiFi Alliance.

Authentication handled by 802.1x and TKIP used with WEP. The TKIP flavour used by WPA is non-proprietary and is NOT compatible with the Cisco TKIP implementation.


Personal Mode – Pre-shared Key (PSK) used to authenticate, key stored on client and server -designed for SOHO use.


Enterprise Mode – allows for large organisations to have a centralised credential server. Uses 802.1x for authentication.


WPA2 (802.11i)


Doesn’t use WEP, using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) alongside CBC-MAC protocol (CCMP)


AES-CCMP incorporates AES 128-bit encryption with 2 cryptographic technologies:

·         Counter mode makes eavesdropping more difficult by stopping patterns in WLAN traffic

·         CBC-MAC ensures frames have not been tampered


WLAN Access Modes


Ad-Hoc (IBSS – Independent Basic Service Set) – peer-to-peer – presents security and scalability issues

Infrastructure (BSSBasic Service Set or ESSExtended Service Set) – via an AP


Infrastructure modes:

·         BSS – Basic Service Set – provides per-device BSSID. Used for non-roaming devices.

·         ESS – Extended Service Set – provides a single SSID for all devices. Only each AP has its own BSSID.



·         BSA – Basic Service Area – single AP (cell)

·         ESA – Extended Service Area – multi-APs (cells) on different channels, but the same frequency (i.e 2.4GHz/5GHz) on non-VOIP networks overlap should be 10-15%, on VOIP it should be 15-50%.


An AP is a layer 3 device and in larger organisations ‘IP helper’/DHCP forwarding may be required on the AP.


Configuring APs/Troubleshooting WLAN


Cisco recommends using the SDM (Security Device Manager) to configure APs.


Common troubleshooting tasks:

·         Check signal strength, check device placement and either adjust aerial or replace it with a more powerful one

·         Check encryption settings, do the device and AP support the same encryption standards

·         WLAN NIC firmware update may resolve connectivity issues.

Cisco Enabling & Disabling SSH

Enabling SSH on Cisco Devices

Firstly, why enable SSH? By default, all Cisco devices will use telnet for network access (once a password has been configured.) Telnet is a cleartext protocol, all credentials are passed in clear text and can easily be ‘snooped.’ SSH is an encrypted protocol, therefore usenames and passwords cannot be snooped. Please note that SSH support requires an IPSEC (3DES/DES) IOS image to be installed on your Cisco device.

Step 1: Set Hostname and Domain Name for RSA generation:
(config)# hostname 3620-1
(config)# ip domain-name test.local

NOTE: Replace 3620-1 with the hostname of your router, and test.local with the correct domain name for your environment.

Step 2: Generate the RSA key pair for your routerand enable SSH support using the following commands:
(config)# crypto key generate rsa

Step 3: Set vty protocol to allow SSH only:
(config)# line vty 0 4
(config-line)# transport input ssh

Step 4: Set an SSH session timeout of 120 seconds:
(config)# ip ssh time-out 120

Step 5: Set the number of authentication attempts before the vty is reset to 3:
(config) ip ssh authentication-retries 3

Step 6: Save your configuration!
# copy run start


Disabling SSH Access

Step 1: Delete the RSA key:
(config)# crypto key zeroise rsa

Step 2: Reset VTY’s to use telnet:
(config)# line vty 0 4
(config-line)# transport input telnet

Step 3: Save your configuration!
# copy run start

CCNA – Cisco Router Cram Sheet

2500 Routers

Layer 2 is MAC Address Based; data is in frames.

Layer 3 is IP Based; data is in packets.


NAT; three versions:

·         1:1 NAT – SNAT

·         Many: Several – Queue based  for several Links

·         Many:1 – Port based


NAT changes source MAC address on NAT’d traffic.


Sometimes called ‘PAT’.


Data flow:

·         Host > ARP >  MAC Address > Finds router’s MAC as dest. is out of subnet.

·         Router stores Source IP, Source Port, Destination IP and Destination Port in NAT Table and removes MAC Addressing.

·         Router  > ARP > MAC Address destination

·         Frame is delivered with source MAC address set as router, but IP set as the original source.


Source port is random number generated by host.



Routes & Routing Protocols

You can use either Static Routes or Dynamic Routes.


To add a static route:

# ip route

(The last address is the next hop)

To set the default gateway:

# ip route

(The last address is the next hop)

Routing Protocols; three types:


·         Distance Vector Algorithm – both the distance (hops) and direction to take is given to other routers. RIP, IGRP

·         Links State – provides information about the topology of the network in its immediate vicinity. Link State Advertisements. Other routers decide the best route. OSPF

·         Hybrid EIGRP


Linkstate has a much greater overhead as routers have to work out the best route. It is faster in the event of a failure because they work out the SPF, but also the next shortest path. Passes only updates when changes are made. Metric is the path cost.


Distance Vector protocols like RIP send out the entire routing table at regular intervals, even if no changes have taken place. Metric is the number of hops. RIP is broadcast.


Path cost is established upon manually set bandwidth variables on the interfaces.

Routing Protocols Continued – RIP / EIGRP

Autonomous Systems (AS)- groups of routers used with EIGRP and OSPF to define where updates are sent to. This way updates are multicast not broadcast.


Administrative distance: trustworthiness of a routing table entry:

·         EIGRP – 90

·         IGRP – 100

·         OSPF – 110

·         RIP – 120

·         Static – 1



RIP – Count to Infinity



Separate Horizons – advertised on the interface from where it was received.

Poison Reverse – Set infinity to a low variable, i.e. 16


To enable RIP:

# router rip

# network only class full portion of network


To enable EIGRP:

# router eigrp 100 – 100 is  AS group

# network – again only class full portion of network


For classless addressing:

# network mask

Routing Protocols

RIP – Metric is number of hops.


OSPF is a Link State Routing Protocol that is cross-vendor compliant. Uses AS.


EIGRP – Cisco Proprietary, fast in large network environments. Replaces IGRP. Uses multicast, only sends updates when things change. Based on configured bandwidth value. Also supports AppleTalk and IP IPX. Uses AS.


Passive interfaces can be setup in order to prevent routing protocol data being sent out.


RIP does not support Variable Length Subnet Masks (VLSM) – EIGRP / OSPF / RIPv2 do.


Use sh ip protocols to view metric calc. for EIGRP.

ISDN – In the UK the ISDN switch type is basic-net3

Two types of ISDN:

BRI – Basic Rate Interface – 64K B Channel, 16K D Channel

PRI – Primary Rate Interface – Multiple B Channels, 64K D Channel


NO modulation / demodulation needed – digital connection from end-to-end.


Call setup is almost instant, expensive to run but cheap to own. A good backup line.


Line is divided into channels, a signalling channel known as ‘D’ and a data channel known as ‘B.’


PRI uses 30 ‘B’ channels in the UK and 23 in the US.


ACL’s are used to define ‘interesting traffic’ so that traffic such as RIP packets will not active a costly dial-up interface such as ISDN. This type of ACL is called a dialer-list.

ISDN Continued

ISDN Configuration:

Direct Interface Mapping:

#isdn switch-type basic-net3

#interface bri0/0:

#ip address

#encapsulation ppp

#ppp auth chap

#dialer remote-name router2

#dialer string 222

#dialer idle-timeout 30

#dialer group 1

#no shut


#dialer-list 1 protocol ip permit


Dialler Profile:

#isdn switch-type basic-net3

#interface bri0/0

#encaps ppp

#ppp auth chap

#dialer pool-member 1


#interface dialer1

#ip address

#encaps ppp

#ppp auth chap

#dialer remote-name router2

#dialer pool 1

# dialer string 222

#dialer group 1


# dialer list 1 protocol ip permit


Access Lists

Two types:

·         Standard1 – 99. Uses only Source IP Address For Filtering

·         Extended100 – 199. Uses Source or Destination IP and Port


Used to:

·         Filtering and Security

·         Define interesting traffic for use in dialup connections.

·         Used for QOS


A single interface can have two ACL’s, one inbound and one outbound.


Inbound: the ACL is processed prior to inspection of the routing table. If a match is found it is either dropped if deny is in use, or sent to be routed.


Outbound: the ACL is processed after the packet has been routed and is passed out of an interface.


Implicit Deny All exists at the end of all ACL’s and is not visible when viewed on the device.


Keywords such as ‘any’ and ‘telnet’ can be used in extended ACl’s

Access Lists cont.

As well as numbered ACL’s it is possible to have named ACL’s.


Two approaches:

·         Permit with Implicit Deny All

·         Deny with Permit All


Numbered ACL’s cannot be modified, named ACL’s can be modified. In order to modify a numbered ACL it must be recreated from scratch.


A standard ACL:

# access-list 10 permit

(implicit deny all)


An extended ACL:

# access-list 101  permit tcp any eq 23

# access-lists 101 permit tcp any any eq 80

(implicit deny all)


It is possible to assign ACL’s to VTY’s:


# access-list 12 permit

# line vty 0 4

# access-class 12 in


To view an ACL:

# show access-lists 101 – will display hits on ACL


Telnet – Try to telnet device and view configuration.


Ping – See if the device is active and functioning.


Trace – Find where traffic is stopping.


Debug – Very usefully, heavy overhead if too much debug is enabled.

# debug dialer – will debug dialler-events

# debug ppp authentication – debug ppp-authentication issues

# debug ppp negotiation – debug ppp encapsulation negotation

# debug idsn q921 – debug layer2 ISDN

# debug isdn q931 – debug layer3 ISDN


To enable correct vty output of debug use terminal monitor


Inband / outband access


UP / UP – Interface is working

UP / DOWN – Interface is up but the other end is not connected / no clock pulse / no helo pulse

DOWN / DOWN – Not connected / configured

Administratively Down – Shut by ADMIN

IP Addressing / Subnetting

IP Address Range Class:

·         Class A: –

·         Class B: –

·         Class C: –


An IP Address is comprised of 32 Bits, or 4 octets.




Notes of conversion form HEX > DEC, DEC > BIN, BIN > HEX


Cisco Discovery Protocol; will Find any directly attached Cisco Devices and tell you

·         IP

·         Device Model

·         Connecting Port


NOT routed, will only see directly attached devices.


Both devices need CDP to be running:


To enable CDP:

# run cdp


To view connected devices:

# show cdp neigbors



Serial Links & WAN Protocols

Three types of WAN:

·         Point to Point Leased Line

·         Dialup / Switched

·         Packet Switching


One end is DCE end, the other is DTE. AT the DCE end there is a clock rate, at the DTE end no clock is set.


To see which end is DCE / DTE end:

# show controllers s0


Supports multiple encapsulation:

·         PPP – Industry Standard, all manufacturers

·         HDLC – Cisco Proprietary

·         Framerelay – Used in packet switching



WAN Protocols

PPP has two elements:

·         LCP – Link Control Protocol – establishes connection – ie authentication, compression.

·         NCP – Network Control Protocol – establishes protocol and physical connection.


LCP allows for Authentication, Compression and Multilink (the use of multiple lines as a single virtual line)



!Clear text passwords

!No Challenge

!One time only authentication



Encrypted Passwords

Challenge Response

Regular Authentication

Password challenge varies each time (uses random number)

PPP Configuration

PPP is commonly used on WAN connections and is manufacturer wide compatible whereas hdlc is Cisco proprietary.


To enable ppp:

# encapsulation ppp


To enable PAP authentication:

# ppp authentication pap


To enable CHAP authentication:

# ppp authentication chap


It is necessary to set usernames and passwords within global configuration like so:

(config)#  username router2 password cisco


Where ‘router2’ is the remote router to which you want to connect to.


Uses Virtual Connections (VC) to link sites, therefore low cost. FR uses Packet Switching for data transmission.


Two Types of VC:

Permanent (PVC) – fixed cost

Switched (SWC) – Pay As You Go


Committed Information Rate (CIR) – user purchases a guaranteed bandwidth level but can transfer data at higher speed if capacity exists within FR network. If the network is under heavy load this data is discarded. Data sent over the CIR is marked Discharge Eligible (DE)


Router is connected to a frame switch which uses LMI Protocol:

·         Used to send configuration data and status information

·         LMI is local. It only runs between the local router and FR Switch, it does not traverse the cloud.


LMI is used for reverse ARP to find the DLCI number of the next hop.


Data is encapsulated over the FR network.


Three speeds in FR:

Delivery to cloud

Time to cross cloud

Delivery to destination


Frame Relay – Contd.

DLCI – data-link connection identifiersAddressing system is given to source for delivery to destination, the destination address is not associated with the destination itself rather the connection used to reach the destination.


Congestion-Control Mechanisms:

·         Forward-explicit congestion notification (FECN)

·         Backward-explicit congestion notification (BECN)





Data flow:

Local router only knows DLCI of remote router:

DLCI is used to find IP using LMI reverse ARP




To use an ACL to filter access to the router via telnet use the following commands:

# access-list 12 permit

(config)#line vty 0 4

(config)#access-class 12 in


To set a password for enable mode:


To set an encrypted password for enable mode:


CCNA – Cisco Switch Cram Sheet

2900 Switches

Separate machines into separate collision domains that would exist if they were connected via a hub / directly. This means multiple machines can transmit / receive.


Contain MAC table which is filled when data is sent from a new host. If a switch does not know the destination it sends data out of all ports.


Switches are transparent bridges; do not modify frames. Switches use Application Specific Integrated Circuits ASIC  (hardware) whereas bridges use software.


MAC table stored in Content Addressable Memory (CAM) which is a piece of hardware.


Auto at both ends will not work properly, unless a desirable mode is set. Default on switch is Auto. It is best to set 100MB F/d if that is what is needed.


A Switch only ever has a single IP in the native VLAN.


All ports are disabled by default; use no shutdown to enable them and shutdown to disable.

Spanning Tree

Used to eliminate loops and provide redundancy; without it:

·         Broadcast Storm

·         Unstable MAC Table Entries

·         Duplicate packets


Four rules:

·         Only one root bridge per network

·         All ports on root bridge are designated

·         Non-root bridges have a root port

·         Each Segment (collision domain) has a designated port


Each bridge has an ID, the switch with the lowest ID is root.


STP is running By Default on all switches


Spanning-tree blocks all ports by default.


RSTP is much faster, and if f/d assumes that port is an edge-port.

Spanning Tree cont.

Default switch priority is 8000, thus the switch with the lowest MAC address will be root.


Based on path cost:

·         10 Gb – 2

·         1 Gb – 4

·         100Mb – 19

·         10 Mb – 100


Bridge Protocol Data Units – BPDU’s:

Root bridge sends BPDU’s every 2 seconds. If 10 are missed spanning-tree re-evaluates the network; this can take 30-50 seconds.


BPDU data is sent on the default VLAN.


Contain ID of Root, ID of Source, Path Cost


Port cycle:

Blocking > Listening > Learning > Forwarding


It is possible to block different ports on different VLAN’s; spreading the load across switches.

Spanning Tree config.

To view current spanning-tree info:

# show spanning tree


This will display if the switch is the root bridge and what the spanning-tree status is for the active ports.


To view spanning-tree info per VLAN:

# show spanning-tree vlan 101


To show spanning-tree info per interface:

# show spanning-tree interface eth 0/1


To set a port as an edge-port:

(config)# int fastethernet 0/1

(config-if)# spanning-tree portfast


Port speed can be set for path cost using:

(config-if)# speed 100

(config-if)# duplex full


To view interface configuration:

# show interface fastethernet 0/1


Two types:

·         Static – assigned per port. One VLAN only per port.

·         Dynamic – sever controls membership database consisting of every MAC Address.


Cisco switches support two types of VLAN:

·         802.1q – industry standard, tags frames. Up to 4096 VLAN’s.

·         ISL – Cisco proprietary, encapsulates frame. Up to 1024 VLAN’s.


Default Native VLAN on Cisco hardware = 1


With ISAL all VLAN’s are tagged, with 802.1q the native VLAN is not tagged.


The native VLAN must be configured to be the same on all switches within a network.


Dynamic VLAN’s not commonly used due to administrative nightmare involved.

VLAN’s cont.

To create a VLAN:

# vlan database

# vlan 101


Will only apply VLAN’s when you exit VLAN d/b.


To assign a VLAN an IP:

# int vlan 101

# ip address


To assign a port to a vlan:

(config)# int fastethernet 0/1

# switchport access vlan 101


View VLAN information:

# show vlans / show vlan 100

# show ip interface brief


On newer switches it is possible to configure VLANS using:

(config)# vlan 100


The Configuration register specifies start-up mode:

·         2142 – Ignore startup-config

·         2102 – Boot normally

·         2101 – Boot ROM OS


Switches have several types of memory

·         Flash – where IOS / IOS Image is stored

·         ROM – where bootstrap / mini IOS is stored.

·         NVRAM – where startup-config is stored.



VTY’s will only work when a password is set:

# line vty 0 4 – sets p/w for first 4 vty’s

# login

# password password_here


Console – from global config:

# enable secret – encrypted

# enable password – clear text


Boot process: – Interrupt using Ctrl-C / Break

POST > Boot Strap > Config Register > IOS > NVRAM

Trunks – VLAN Trunking Protocol

VTP Modes:

·         Server – can edit VLAN d/b, will send / receive adverts.

·         Client – cannot edit d/b, will receive adverts.

·         Transparent – will not send / receive adverts, can edit d/b.


All switches by default are Servers. This must be changed!


Requires a trunk to be setup between switches. Trunk carries all VTP data.


# vtp domain name_here

# vtp password pass_here

# vtp mode server / client etc


(config)# interface fastethernet 0/24

(config-if)# switchport mode trunk


HP Procurve Security Features Configuration


HP Procurve Security Configuration

This article discusses simple yet effective methods to secure your HP Procurve Network enviroment.’,

These days I cannot stress the importance of a secure Network Enviroment. The number of potential threats that exist is more than concerning for Network Administrators.This article details effective means for securing your HP ProCurve Network Hardware; from simple password authentiction to Access List setup and SSH Inband Access.


To me this is common sense; lockdown your configuration so that only those with a username and password can modify your network. Configuration of Manager / Privalege Mode passwords should, in my opinion, be mandatory; without them it is only a matter of time before someone finds a way in and destroys your configuration. Remember it is the configuration that makes your network function, not simply the cables between devices.To enabel a password for ‘enabled’ mode enter the command:password manager my_passwordThis will create a login name of ‘manager’ with a password of my_password’

Authorised Managers

It is very easy to allow only certain IP Addresses / Ranges access to the configuration methods available on Procurve Hardware.This is very simple to configure, just modify and enter the following commands:ip authorized-managers authorized-managers access OperatorThe subnet /24 will, with password authentication, be able to modify the configuration of the Procurve hardware.The subnet /24 will, with password authentication, be able to read the configuration details of the Procurve Hardware.Any other Subnet will not be able to access the configuration console available under a web browser.

SSH Inband Access

You may be using telnet to remotely configure your switches but would you still want to use it if I told you that all of the information you enter, including usernames and passwords, is sent in clear text? With the right tools an attacker could simply view the packets sent to and from the switch and pick out your ‘enabled’ mode username and password.This is easy to overcome and functionality exists in the 5308xl units as standard. Rather than telnet we will enable SSH access. If you’re a windows user you’ll need to download an SSH terminal program such as Putty (link.) For those running Linkx / Unix functionality exists as standard in many distributions via the x-terminal; simply execute the command:ssh [email protected] -p 191Admin is the name of the user you define in the command below, 191 is the port which SSH is configured to listen on the Hp Procurve Hardware.Windows users need only double-click putty.exe and enter the IP, Port and authentication settings necessary for your connection.To enable SSH Access on the 5308xl Units enter the following commands:ip ssh version 2ip ssh port 191ip sshThis will enable SSH version 2 support on port 191 – we change the port number so that it is not obvious to those who may be looking for a way in.

SNMP Configuration

SNMP is a very useful tool for Network Administrators, it is also very dangerous in the wrong hands.If you are not going to use any SNMP tools, such as Procurve Manager, to manage your equipment then simply disabling SNMP will eliminate this threat. However, more practially, you can increase security authentication requirements before configuration changes can be made.This article will focus upon setting up a new privelaged manager user using snmpv3.First we must enable snmpv3 using the command: snmpv3 enableWe will then be prompted for an auth password and a priv password, enter passwords to you liking and continue. IYou will then be asked whether you want to create a user that has SHA; this is not essential. You will then be asked if you wish to enable snmpv3 restrictive-access. If you are only going to use Procurve Manager or an snmpv3 compatible client then enable this as it will stop pre snmpv3 clients modifying settings; they will be given read-only access.Now we will create a new user and assign this user to the managerpriv group:snmpv3 user NetworkAdmin auth md5 new_password priv new_password2snmpv3 group managerpriv user NetworkAdmin sec-model ver3You will now be able to use the credentials:NetworkAdminAuth MD5: new_passwordPriv DES: new_password2To gain read/write access in Procurve Manager or any other snmpv3 program.’,

HP ProCure Network Configuration Guide (5308xl / 2650)

HP Procurve Network Hardware Configuration Guide, Part One


1. General Switch Information
2. Software Update HOWTO
3. VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation
4. VLAN Configuration – HP 5308 XL Switches
5. VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches

General Switch Information

As part of a complete redeisgn of the company network I have had to setup and deploy two HP 5308xl core-switches and 10 2650 48 port edge-switches.
The aims of the project were simple:

  • Increase manageability of network resources.
  • Division of the network into VLAN’s.
  • Provide fault tolerance in the event of a core switch failure.
  • Increase security of network resources.
  • Increase speed / data throughput.

In my first article for the site I thought I would share my experiences of setting up this hardware, and provide a refernce so that if you’re planning to upgrade your network at least you can find some in-depth information on these products and how to configure them.

This article covers the setup of RSTP, XRRP, Routing, VLANS, ACL’s and TRUNKS on these switches, and tries to shed light on what exactly each of these functions has to offer for your network.

Firstly the switches themselves. We recieved two HP5308xl J4819A 8 module core switches:

We have 5 low-contention xl Mini-GBIC Modules (J4878B), each with 4 hot-swap connectors (these can be 1000T / 1000SX / 1000LX / 1000 LH connectors) and 3 ProCurve Switch xl 16-port 10/100/1000 Modules (J4907A) (as shown in the picture above) installed in both of our 5308xl’s.

Also in the shipment were 10 2650 J4899A edge-switches:

The switches came with all the usual attire; serial cables for console based configuration, AC power cable, and documentation on CD, note, there was no printed documentation with the 2650 switches, and the 5308xl’s came with a quick setup guide, all other documentation in on the CD’s that are in the pack. This was as expected though as the complete manual for the products is well over 500 pages!

First of all I’d like to take a look at the 5308xl switches, these will be at the very core of our network and thus are mission critical. They need to be feature rich and fast.
Device Specifications for 5308xl Switch as supplied by HP:

8 open module slots.
Supports a maximum of 192 10/100 ports or 128 Gigabit ports.
Physical Characteristics
– Dimensions

– Weight

15.3 x 17.4 x 8.75 in. (38.86 x 44.2 x 22.23 cm) 5U height
26.65 lb (11.99 kg) fully loaded
Memory And Processor
– Fabric module:

– Flash ROM’s:
– Packet Buffer Size:

Motorola PowerPC @ 200 MHz 12 MB flash 32 MB SDRAM
Dual Flash
– Latency
– Throughput
– Switch Fabric Speed
– Routing Table Size
<6 µs (FIFO)
up to 48 million pps
76.8 Gbps
10000 entries
– Operating Temperature:
– Operating Relative Humidity:
– Non-Operating/Storage
– Non-Operating/Storage
Relative Humidty:
– Altitude:
32 °F to 104 °F (0 °C to 40 °C)
15 % to 95 % at 104 °F (40 °C), noncondensing
-40 °F to 158 °F (-40 °C to 70 °C)
15 % to 95 % at 149 °F (65 °C), noncondensing
Up to 15091 ft (4.6 km)
Electrical Characteristics
– Maximum BTUs:
– Voltage:
– Current:
– Power:
– Frequency:

2152 BTU/hr
100-127 VAC/200-240 VAC
8.2 A /3.8 A
630 W
50/60 Hz

There is an incredible list of features and protocols that the 5308xl switches support, making them exteremly good value for money, and an excellent choice for your network.

  • Layer 3 IP routing
  • Router redundancy protocol XRRP
  • IP multicast routing (PIM dense)
  • IP multicast (data-driven IGMPv3)
  • Virus throttling
  • ICMP Throttleing
  • Mesh configuration
  • 802.1s Multiple Spanning Tree
  • 802.1w RSTP
  • VLAN support and tagging
  • 802.3ad LACP
  • Access control lists (ACLs)
  • Identity-driven per-port ACL
  • Multiple authentication methods:

IEEE 802.1X
MAC address based

  • Authentication flexibility:

Multiple 802.1X users per port
Concurrent 802.1X Authentication

  • Traffic prioritization (802.1p)
  • 802.1v protocol VLANs
  • GVRP
  • Port security
  • MAC address lockout
  • Source port filtering
  • Secure Shell (SSHv2)
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Secure FTP
  • Switch management logon security
  • Layer 4 prioritization
  • Bandwidth shaping:

Rate limiting
Guaranteed minimums

  • RMON, XRMON, sFlow, and SMON
  • UDP helper function (IP Helper)
  • Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)
  • LLDP-MED (Media Endpoint Discovery)
  • Friendly port names
  • ProCurve/IEEE Auto-MDIX
  • Hot-swappable modules
  • Dual flash images

All in all not a bad setup at all! A theoretical maximum of 76.8Gb/sec is quick, certainly a lot faster than what we had in place previously.

I also like the ‘xl modules’ as they provide a great deal of flexibility for network infastructure. The 5308xl can house up to 8 XL modules, the 5304xl can house up to 4. The modules come in several different flavours, providing Power Over Ethernet, Hot-Swap Mini-GBIC Modules for 1000SX / 1000T / 1000LX / 1000LH and even an Access Control Module, for more details on XL modules see the links below:

            ProCurve Switch xl Access Controller Module (J8162A)

            ProCurve Switch xl 10/100-TX PoE Module (J8161A )

            ProCurve Switch xl 16-port 10/100/1000 Module (J4907A)

            ProCurve Switch xl Mini-GBIC Module (J4878B)

            ProCurve Switch xl 100-FX MTRJ Module (J4852A)

            ProCurve Switch xl 100/1000-T Module (J4821B)

            ProCurve Switch xl 10/100-TX Module (J4820B)

Now I’ll take a look at the features of our edge-switches, the 2650 switches.
Device specifications for 2650 switch as suppiled by HP:


48 RJ-45 10/100 ports
(IEEE 802.3 Type 10Base-T, IEEE 802.3u Type 100Base-T)

1 RS-232C DB-9 console port

2 Dual Personality Ports
each port can be used as either an RJ-45 10/100/1000 port
(IEEE 802.3 Type 10Base-T; 802.3u Type 100Base-TX;
802.3ab 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet) or an open mini-GBIC
slot (for use with mini-GBIC transceivers)

Physical Characteristics
– Dimensions

– Weight

12.8 x 17.32 x 1.75 in. (32.51 x 43.99 x 4.45 cm) 1U height
9.78 lb (4.4 kg) fully loaded
Memory And Processor
– Processor:
– Flash Capacity:

Motorola PowerPC MPC8245, 266 MHz
– Latency
– Throughput
– Switch Fabric Speed
– Routing Table Size
< 13.3 µs (LIFO)(FIFO)
up to 10.1 million pps
13.6 Gbps
8000 entries
– Operating Temperature:
– Operating Relative Humidity:
– Non-Operating/Storage
– Non-Operating/Storage
Relative Humidty:
– Altitude:
32 °F to 131 °F (0 °C to 55 °C)
15 % to 95 % at 104 °F (40 °C), noncondensing
-40 °F to 158 °F (-40 °C to 70 °C)
15 % to 95 % at 149 °F (65 °C), noncondensing
Up to 15091 ft (4.6 km)
Electrical Characteristics
– Maximum BTUs:
– Voltage:
– Current:
– Power:
– Frequency:

341 BTU/hr
100-120 VAC/200-240 VAC
100 W
50/60 Hz

The flexibility provided by the dual-personality ports is very useful; we have made use of this feature in our network with 2 of these switches having fitted 1000SX Gbic modules to these ports. This versatility means that these switches can go into virtually any pre-setup enviroment. The modules couldn’t be any simpler to fit, and can be done when the switch is on or off: Simply take off the dust cover and slide the module into place firmly. The light on the port will change from ‘T’ to ‘M.’ Examples of these modules can be seen below:

There’s a long list of features for an edge-switch, making them excellent vlaue for money, and a sound investment for your network.

  • 13.6 Gbps Backplane
  • Dual-personality ports; 100/1000T/LX/LH/SX
  • Basic IP routing
  • IP multicast (IGMPv3 snooping)
  • 802.3ad LACP
  • Remote Monitoring
  • 802.1X and RADIUS network login
  • TACACS+:
  • Secure Shell (SSHv2)
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • VLAN support and tagging
  • Group VLAN Registration Protocol (GVRP)
  • 802.1w RSTP
  • 802.1s Multiple Spanning Tree
  • VLAN support and tagging
  • Group VLAN Registration Protocol (GVRP)
  • VLAN support and tagging
  • Group VLAN Registration Protocol (GVRP)
  • 802.1w RSTP
  • 802.1s Multiple Spanning Tree
  • ProCurve/IEEE Auto-MDIX
  • Friendly port names
  • Dual flash images
  • Source port filtering
  • Web-based authenticationv
  • MAC address lockout
  • Secure FTP
  • Port security
  • IP Lockdown
  • Layer 4 prioritization
  • Class of Service (CoS)
  • Traffic prioritization (802.1p)
  • Troubleshooting
  • Stacking capability

Now you’re a least fairly familiar with the switches and what they can do, so we’ll start to configure them



1. General Switch Information
2. Software Update HOWTO
3. VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation
4. VLAN Configuration – HP 5308 XL Switches
5. VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches

Software Update HOWTO.

The first job was to check that all software was up-to-date on the switches. The 5308xl’s weren’t up to date, and neither were the 2650’s. A few things you’ll need if you have to do this, we’ll start with the 5308xl first.

We need to check that the BOOT ROM on your switch is recent enough to take the software update, it needs to be version 5.04 or newer for the current software release 10.04.

To check your BOOT ROM version you’ll need to connect your switch to your PC / Laptop with a serial cable and turn the switch on. Next you’ll need to load HyperTerminal, (under Start>Programs>Accessories>Communications) select the COM port you attached the camble to and the proceed to setup a new connection called ‘HP,’ you’ll be using this a lot so be sure to save it. Connection settings are as follows:

Bits per sec: 9600
Data bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop bits: 1
Flow control: None

Once this is done press enter twice and you should see the HP welcome screen:

HP J4819A ProCurve Switch 5308xl
Firmware revision E.10.04
Copyright (C) 1991-2005 Hewlett-Packard Co. All Rights Reserved.


Use, duplication, or disclosure by the Government is subject to restrictions
as set forth in subdivision (b) (3) (ii) of the Rights in Technical Data and
Computer Software clause at 52.227-7013.

HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, 3000 Hanover St., Palo Alto, CA 94303

We’d like to keep you up to date about:

* Software feature updates
* New product announcements
* Special events

Please register your products now at: www.ProCurve.com

Press any key to continue

Press Enter, then type ‘sh system-information‘ – this will disply current switch and software version information. You’re looking for ROM Version, and Firmware Version. ROM Version is your BOOT ROM, if it’s 5.04 you’re good to update to software version 10.04.

If its not you’ll need to update your software to version 7.40 first as this version includes the BOOT ROM upgrade. Then you’ll be able to upgrade to version 10.04. Check what the most recent version is on the HP site!

The next thing you want to do is set an temporary IP up so you can update the software. If you type the command ‘config‘ then hit enter you’ll be in admin mode for the switch.

Type ‘vlan 1‘ and hit enter. Then type ‘IP address‘ and hit enter again. The switch now has a temprorary IP which we can use to upload the new software. If you then type ‘untag A1‘ this will enable you to connect a computer to port A1 in the same IP range (ie and communicate with the switch.

The command ‘untag‘ makes the port that you untag a part of the vlan in which you run the command; so if you type vlan 2, and then untag B1, port B1 becomes part of vlan 2. Any machine you connect to the untagged port must be in the same IP range as the vlan IP address you set. The switch can have one IP per vlan.

I will discuss VLAN’s shortly, so don’t worry about what they are if you don’t know.

The next thing you’ll need is a TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) server, which will enable you to upload files to or from the switch from a computer.

             Click Here to download Solar Winds TFTP server (external site will load in another window.)

When this has been downloaded install the application. Connect your computer up to the switch in the port you ‘untagged’ and set the IP address to, subnet to (/24) and set the gateway as Don’t worry about DNS settings Once this is done you should be able to ping the switch.

Now load the SolarWinds TFTP server application. Click on file on the menu, and go to configure. Select the security tab and then click the ‘Transmit and Recieve Files‘ option. Your TFTP server is ready to go.

You’ll find in the root of your system drive (normally c:\\) there is a new folder called TFTP-Root. Extract the contents of the zip files downloaded from this site and place the files into this folder. You’ll now be able to transfer them to the switch.

Go back to the hyperterminal window you have open and ping the IP address of your machine from the switch. So long as this is successful, which it should be, you’ll be able to transfer files. Note: If your BOOT ROM is not version 5.04 you should install sowftare version 7.40 first, and then 10.04.

Type ‘copy tftp flash E_10_04.swi‘ the press ‘y’ to continue, and enter. is the IP address of the machine running the TFTP server software, E_10_04.swi is the name of the file on the server. When this processes has finished you’ll need to reboot the switch. Type ‘boot and ‘y’ to continue.

When the unit comes back up, you’ll have to press ‘Enter’ twice to bring up the main screen again, and then, to check the update worked, enter the command ‘show system-information‘ your firmware version should read 10.04 (or 7.40 if you’ve upgraded your BOOT ROM first, if so, now you should repaet the process with the 10.04 software.)

Now we move on to the configuration of the switch, click here for the next page.


1. General Switch Information
2. Software Update HOWTO
3. VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation
4. VLAN Configuration – HP 5308 XL Switches
5. VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches

VLAN information and VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation

What is a VLAN?

Virtual LAN’s (VLAN) are a means for you to break down your network into smaller manageable chunks. Each VLAN is an independent broadcast domain defined within a set of switches, even though they all connect into the same switch. This is very useful in larger network enviroments, where network useage has reached around 200 or more nodes. At this level network speed will decrease, unless the load on the network is reduced. This is where VLAN’s come in.

The image above depicts a simple VLAN setup. Using the hardware reviewed in this article all machines in the network can communicate, despite the fact they are in seperate broadcast domains. This is explained later on this page.
How you divide your network is down to you. You can seperate it by physical location, ie Ground Floor, First Floor etc., by department, application or by building. They key to deploying a successful VLAN infastructure is that you don’t over-complicate things. If there are 5 departments on one floor, but only 50 machines, there is simply no point in making 5 VLAN’s, you may as well have just a single VLAN. This makes managing the network easier, and configuration of the switches easier too. Remeber simplicity is key, this way other members of the IT team will understand your setup.

The network infastructure I deployed was divided by physical location, and the by device type. I deployed 6 VLANS:

  • VLAN100: Server VLAN
  • VLAN132: Apple Macintosh VLAN
  • VLAN133: Downstairs M2
  • VLAN134: Upstairs M2
  • VLAN135: IT Management VLAN
  • VLAN136: M1

I placed the apple nodes in a seperate VLAN due to their useage of appletalk protocol. This protocol is a broadcast protocol, which, in large quantities can hinder network performance for all devices. By seperating the apple nodes into a seperate VLAN the broadcast packets are restricted to that VLAN alone. Broadcast packets are NOT routed by the switches to other VLAN’s.
M1 and M2 are seperate buildings linked by fibre pairs. The distance between them is roughly 250 Meters. The number of machines in the M1 building is fewer than 50, therefore I have created a single VLAN, despite there being several departments. This single VLAN has plenty of scope to accomodate any future growth of the IT infastructure in this building.

VLAN Names / Numbers
The switches refer to each VLAN by a number or name. It is important that from the number you can make the link as to what the VLAN is in place for. My VLAN’s are named 100, 132, 133, 134, 135 and 136 because of the IP range they cover:

  • VLAN 100: Covers IP range – (IP Range starts with 10.0 – hence 100)
  • VLAN132: Covers IP Range – (IP Range starts 10.0.32 – hence 132)
  • VLAN133: Covers IP Range – (IP Range starts 10.0.33 – hence 133)
  • VLAN134: Covers IP Range – (IP Range starts 10.0.34 – hence 134)
  • VLAN135: Covers IP Range – (IP Range starts 10.0.35 – hence 135)
  • VLAN136: Covers IP Range – (IP Range starts 10.0.36 – hence 136)

Using this naming structure I can easily make the connection to the IP range from the VLAN number. I suggest you use a similar naming routine, but keep your numbers below 1000.

Types of VLAN available on the 5308xl and 2650 switches

In the case of these switches there are three type of VLAN that can be deployed:

  • Port Based – individual ports on switches are assigned to VLAN’s.
  • MAC Address Based – Nodes are granted VLAN membership based upon MAC address.
  • Protocol Based – This is however limited to a few select protocols.

This guide will cover the setup of port based VLAN’s.

Why setup VLAN’s?


  • VLAN’s allow Network administrator to control traffic flow and reduce uneccesary broadcast traffic.
  • VLAN’s allow for nodes to be moved with ease as indiciudal ports on switches, therefore nodes, can be assigned to VLAN’s.
  • VLAN’s allow for increased security as access between them can be limited through Access Control Lists.

It is easy to see why VLAN’s are now industry standard in large network infastructures, the level of control and security over resources attainable is unlike any flat network.

At this point you should have an idea as to how you’re going to divide your network up. If this is not the case, work this out before continuing. VLAN’s are reffered to by number in the switches. You should have an idea as to what you’re going to call each of the VLANS.

VLAN Inter-Communication

As mentioned above, it is possible for machines or devices in one VLAN to communicate with machines or devices in another, as long as there is a router in place. The switches discussed in this article include IP Routing features that enable VLANS to communicate with one another. With IP Routing disabled VLAN’s are treuly seperate networks, no traffic will pass between them. With IP routing turned on machines on one VLAN will communicate with machines on another as if they were on the same network. The setup of IP Routing is discussed in the 5308xl VLAN configuration guide.

CIDR Subnet Mask Notation

Before we continue to configure the units I would reccomend you familiarise yourself with CIDR subnet mask notation. No doubt you are familiar with subnets being written as ‘’ or similar, however this is not the standard used in the networking industry. A mask of can be written as ‘/24’ in CIDR notation. Why? Well this is becuase an IP address is made up of four octets, or four groups of eight bits. In a mask, 24 bits are set to ‘1’. In a only 8 bits are set to one, thus /8 represents a mask.

CIDR notation is very simple, the table below explains how the CIDR notation works, and what it represents. If you’re still lost I reccomend you look up ‘bits,’IP addresses and subnet masks on google!

Subnet Mask CIDR Prefix Total IP’s Usable IP’s Number of Class C networks /32 1 1 1/256th /31 2 0 1/128th /30 4 2 1/64th /29 8 6 1/32nd /28 16 14 1/16th /27 32 30 1/8th /26 64 62 1/4th /25 128 126 1 half /24 256 254 1 /23 512 510 2 /22 1024 1022 4 /21 2048 2046 8 /20 4096 4094 16 /19 8192 8190 32 /18 16,384 16,382 64 /17 32,768 32,766 128 /16 65,536 65,534 256 /15 131,072 131,070 512 /14 262,144 262,142 1024 /13 524,288 524,286 2048 /12 1,048,576 1,048,574 4096 /11 2,097,152 2,097,150 8192 /10 4,194,304 4,194,302 16,384 /9 8,388,608 8,388,606 32,768 /8 16,777,216 16,777,214 65,536 /7 33,554,432 33,554,430 131,072 /6 67,108,864 67,108,862 262,144 /5 134,217,728 134,217,726 1,048,576 /4 268,435,456 268,435,454 2,097,152 /3 536,870,912 536,870,910 4,194,304 /2 1,073,741,824 1,073,741,822 8,388,608 /1 2,147,483,648 2,147,483,646 16,777,216 /0 4,294,967,296 4,294,967,294 33,554,432

The table is provided for refernce, you may wish to print it for future reference for when we come to setup our VLAN’s on the switches.

With that said we can now move on to configuring the 5308XL switches.



1. General Switch Information
2. Software Update HOWTO
3. VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation
4. VLAN Configuration – HP 5308 XL Switches
5. VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches

VLAN Configuration – HP5308xl Switches

Use this section to configure the 5308xl switches ONLY.

An important note: VLAN 1, or the default VLAN should not be used for anything at all. All ports you use should be assigned to a VLAN which you have created.The only ports which remain a member of this VLAN are TRUNKS, which will be discussed later on in this article.
You can configure VLAN’s on these switches through both the command line interface (CLI), or by the web-interface. Throughout this guide I will focus on using the CLI. This interface offers more control, and access to several features unavailable in the web-interface. I tend to think of the web-interface as a monitoring-tool rather than a configuration utility.

You’ll need your serial cable again, hook it up and start the hyperterminal connection as discussed here.
Ensure that the only cables connected at this time are the power cables and serial cable. No network cables should be attached to the switches at this point.

Once in, enter the command ‘config

The, to check that no current IP addresses are assign to any of the VLAN in the switch we’ll erase the startup-config. Type the command ‘erase startup config‘ agree to the reboot and wait until the switch comes back on-line.

Once the switch has come back on-line and you’re in the CLI, enter the ‘config‘ command.

To setup a new VLAN from this point simply enter the command ‘VLAN XXX‘ where ‘XXX’ is the number for your VLAN. Lets say we’ve used the command ‘VLAN 100.’ You will then enter the context menu for this VLAN, and will be able to set an IP address for this VLAN as well as configure many other features such as XRRP which are covered later on in this guide. This context menu is donated by ‘(vlan-100)’ after the name of the switch, as shown in the image below:
Having setup VLAN 100 we’ll assign an IP address to it and then make some of the ports on the switch members of this VLAN.

To assign an IP address use the command ‘ip address x.x.x.x /x

For VLAN100, if I wanted to assign the IP address /24 I would use the command ‘ip address /24

Not familiar with the terminology ‘/24’ then have a look at the table below, this should shed some light on the matter. This is a way of writing the subnet mask, referred to as CIDR Subnet Mask Notation. The ’24’ means 24 bits used in the subnet, 24 is equivalent to ‘’. You can also use a standard subnet mask (i.e after the IP address, the command would look like this ‘ip address

Lets set another VLAN. Firstly we need to come out of the context menu for VLAN100. Type ‘exit‘ and hit enter. This will take you back into the ‘config‘ menu.

From here type the comand ‘VLAN‘ followed by the number of the next VLAN you want to setup. I will use ‘VLAN 132.’ Once this command is enetered you will again enter the context menu for this VLAN, denoted by (vlan-132) after the name of the switch. Through this you can once again set an IP address for this VLAN. Obviously this must be within the IP range you have selected, I would reccomend using the first or last IP in the range. So for my VLAN, I enetered the command ip address /24.’
Hopefully by this point you’ll get the idea, do the same for all the other VLAN’s you want to setup, then we need to look at the second 5308xl. When you think you’re done you can check what VLAN’s are configured on the switch and which IP’s are assigned to the switch by using the commands ‘show vlans‘ and ‘show ip.’
Show VLAN’s will produce the following information on screen:

Show IP will produce the following output:

From the above we can determin that I have sucessfully setup all VLAN’s on the switch and assigned the correct IP addresses and subnet masks.
The configuration process for the second switch is identicle, however ensure that the IP address you set for the VLAN’s is different from the address set in the first switch. For example, in setting up VLAN132 in my configuration I would use the settings: for switch one, then for switch 2. For VLAN133 I would use for switch one and for switch two and so on…

IP Routing Setup

This is the simplist part of this setup, simply type the command ‘ip routing.’ This will turn on routing between VLAN’s. Without this machines on VLAN 100 wouldn’t be able to see machines on VLAN132 or VLAN133, or any of the other VLAN’s. This is becuase VLAN’s are seperate subnets, or independent networks. Routing needs to take place in order for two or more VLAN’s to inter-communicate. Both the 5308xl and 2650 switches are capable of IP routing. However, we will only turn IP routing ‘on’ on the 5308xl switches.

Naming your switch

One final note, it’s worth naming the switches at this stage so that when you are connected to them it is obvious which one you are configuring. In order to do this type config and press enter, then type hostname followed by the name which you intend to give the switch, then hit enter. For example:

hostname HP5308XLSwitch1

Now we can move on to configuring the HP 2650 Switches to ensure they are compatible with the VLAN configuartion we have setup on the 5308xl units. Click here to continue.



1. General Switch Information
2. Software Update HOWTO
3. VLAN Information & CIDR Subnet Mask Notation
4. VLAN Configuration – HP 5308 XL Switches
5. VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches

VLAN Configuration – HP 2650 Switches
VLAN configuration on the 2650 units is much the same as before with the 5308xl Switches, but with a few important differences.
IP routing is not enabled on the switches. All traffic is sent back to the switch for routing. The reason for this is that the 5308xl core switch is far more effective at routing these packets, as you’ll have seen from the specifiactions on the first page of this article.
Each switch has only a single IP address on your management VLAN. So in the case of our network all of the 2650 units have an IP address on VLAN135 but no IP addresses on any other VLAN. This ensures security of the switch configuration as end-users outside of VLAN135 are literally unaware of the 2650 units as they cannot ping or gain access to the switches on their set IP addresses.
VLAN’s are setup as before, by enetring the switches configuration context menu. But rather than declare an IP for all VLAN’s we simply enter the command ‘VLAN XXX’ where XXX is the number for your VLAN and then enter the next ‘VLAN XXX’ command until all VLAN’s have been assigned.
For example, to setup VLAN100 and 132 on a 2650 switch I would enter the commands:

That is all that is needed. For VLAN 135 in my network I would enter the command:
VLAN 135
ip address 10.0.35.X /24

This is because VLAN 135 is the management VLAN, and all 2650 units have a single IP address on this VLAN only.
The end product as seen with show vlans:

And with show ip:

Having configured the switches for basic VLAN networking we now move on to the more technical confguration of these units.

Part Two (Now in-line)


1. VLAN Membership, Linking Switches and Trunks
2. XL Router Redundancy Protocol (XRRP) Configuration
3. Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol (RSTP) Configuration
4. Access Control List (ACL) configuration

Firstly welcome back to the second part of this guide. This part of this guide explores the more technical features of these units and explains what benifits they offer for your network aswell as how to confgure them step by step.

1. VLAN Membership, Linking Switches and Trunks VLAN Membership

Machine VLAN membership can be based upon one three different factors as discussed in the previous chapter:

(i) port based
(ii) MAC address based
(iii) protocol based.
In this capter I will focus upon port based membership; as this type of VLAN is extremely easy to setup. I will use the command line throughout this section to configure the VLAN’s onboth the 2650 and 5308xl switches, although it is possible to use the web interface. We have already setup our VLAN’s on the switches, now we need to assign ports to them. Until this is done all ports are by default a member of VLAN1, the ‘default VLAN’, which means our VLAN’s will not function.
When making a port a member of a particular VLAN we can use one of two commands; ‘tag‘ or ‘untag.‘ These commands are executed under the context menu for the VLAN you wish to add the port to.Explanations of these commands are below:

    • Untag‘: An ‘untagged’ port is a member of the VLAN to which it is untagged. A port can only be ‘untagged’ on a single VLAN, but can be ‘tagged’ on several VLAN’s. This is the command used for edge-ports (ports your machines / servers plug into.)
    • Tag‘: Tagged ports are primariliy used to make trunks or links between switches. They are also used with servers and workstations that have VLAN aware network cards. ‘Tagged’ ports are discussed further down this page.

Adding ports to a VLAN

Once a port has become a member, or has been ‘untagged‘ in a particluar VLAN any device you plug into this port is automatically a member of this same VLAN. So if I make port ‘G1’ on my switch a member of ‘VLAN 100,’ and then I plug a server into this port, the server will then be a part of VLAN 100. If its IP is not DHCP it will need to be configured so that it is an IP compatible with this VLAN – in the caseof VLAN 100, / 24.

This also applies if I plug in a non-VLAN aware switch. Every port on the switch would be a part of the VLANthat the switch has its uplink cable plugged into.
The commands below illustrate how to untag ports g1-g4 to make them part of VLAN 100:
vlan 100
untag g1-g4
write mem

You can untag multiple ports by simply using a hyphen; ie ‘ untag G1-G14‘. This commandwould untag all foutrteen ports.

And if you want to configure multiple modules in your 5308xl’s you can use a comma to seperate groups; ie untag A1-A4, B1-B4, C1-C4‘. You can also use this to group sets of numbered ports, ie ‘untag 1-4, 8-12, 16-20‘.This should make port configuration on your edge-switches, and core switches very simple and quick. If departments move, rather than change patch cables round you can simply re-assign patch cables to different VLAN’s in the switch configuration.

I used the 16 port XL modules (J4907A) in the 5308xl switches for direct connectivity of servers. Therefore all the ports in thesemodules were ‘untagged‘ to VLAN 100 – my server VLAN. This is simple to remember, and requires no configuration at a later dateif another server is plugged into a vacant port. This is very simple for others in you department to understand. Remember simplicity is key.

For the 2650 edge-switches configuration varied depending on location.

Once you’re done you can check that you have configured your ports correctly by using the command ‘show vlan xxx‘ where ‘xxx’ is the VLAN number you want to check the port configurationfor. This command will produce a similar output as illustrated in the image below:

Linking Switches

This can be done one of two ways. You can use trunks, groups of multiple ports acting as a single, high-speed connection between switches,or you can use a single 1000T (or equivalent) uplink port. Your selection will vary depending on the speed and redundancy requirements of your network. Either method requires VLAN’s to be ‘tagged‘ on the uplink port / trunk. If you opt for the higher bandwith option you can skip this section and go to the heading ‘Trunk Information and Configuration.’ There are further considerations to take into account if you chose the high-bandwidth route which are discussed below.

I opted for the single-port gigabit-link between the edge-switches and core-switches. There are actually two uplink cables for the 2650 units:one going to the primary 5308xl switch one, the other to the secondary. However the secondary link is setup as failover only; all traffic is blocked accross this cable, unless the primary link fails. This was done using ‘spanning-tree‘ which is discussed here.

Why have I done this? Well I wanted a completely redundant system. By having one switch do all the work, if it fails the second switch can easily take overall switching duties. The second point to consider is that there is little point in having a slow link accross the two 5308xl switches. Even if you were to setup an 8Gb link it is still 70gb/sec slower!

Therefore I opted for a single switch enviroment, with the second switch as backup. A single HP 5308xl switch is more than fast enough for most networks.
As a reliable failover-link I created a four port trunk between the two 5308xl units. This link is trunked with multiple cablesso that if xrrp (discussed here.) is enablesthe switches will not failover in the event of a cable being taken out by mistake. Trunks are discuessed in detail after this section.

I used the four port XL modules (J4878B) in the 5308xl switches for uplink cables to the 2650 edge-switches, and to create the trunk between the two 5308switches. These have a lower contention ratio in comparison to the 16 port modules, meaning they are more effective as uplink ports.These modules are in slots A, B, C, D and E on both units.

With this in mind the setup for my system looks like this:
trunk A1-A4 trk1
vlan 100
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4
vlan 132
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4
vlan 133
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4
vlan 134
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4
vlan 135
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4
vlan 136
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

write mem

Both of the 5308xl switches were configured in the same manor. This meant that any of these ports could be used as an uplink to the 2650 switches, or any spare ports could be used in the future for further expansion of the network infastructure.
The essential thing to remember when setting up any link between switches is that the ports in the switches at the both ends are setupexactly the same:
Image © HP – Taken From Advanced Traffic Management Guide

As you can see in the above image, Switch ‘1’ has port X and port Y configured with VLAN 1 untagged and VLAN 132 tagged. Switch ‘2’ has port A and port Bconfigured in exactly the same manor. It does not matter that they are different ports, just that they are setup with thesame VLAN configuration. Therefore you would need to ‘tag’ the VLAN’s in the same fashion on the 2650 switches as you did on the 5308xl switches.

NOTE: At this point only one uplink cable should be connected to your 2650 units. If both are connected before spanning-tree is configured and enabled a network loop will exist and the switches will fail to respond.

Trunk Information and Configuration

A Trunk is a group of ‘tagged‘ ports used in linking switches together.You can use up to 8 ports in a single trunk with the 5308xl switches, and up to 4 ports on the 2650 switches. These ‘trunked’ ports will act as a single, high speed connection, thus increasing available bandwidth substantially. This is particlullay useful when linking your edge-switches to your core-switches, or if you have to link core-switches together.

It is important to note cross-switch bandwidth restrictions at this point. The 5308xl units have an internal bandwidth of up to 76.8Gb/sec,it is not possible for us to create a link that is as fast as this between two of them. The fastest ‘trunk’ we can create is 8 Gb/sec.Therefore when you plan your network you must ensure that servers are placed on the same core-switch as the client devices that will be usingthem. There would be little point in plugging a server into one of the 5308xl switches and having the edge-switch that serves all of the client devicesconnected up to the second 5308xl unit. This would create a bottle-neck in between the switches. If you plan your network properly there will be littleneed for cross core-switch traffic, thus eliminating any bottle-necks.
When creating a VLAN trunk, ports need not be sequential. What this means is you can use ports G1, G4 and H16 to create a single trunk,you don’t have to use G1-G3. This is illustrated in the image below:

Image © HP – Taken From Advanced Traffic Management Guide

VLAN aware hardware adds an VLAN ID to each packet sent, this ID will be the number you use for your VLAN’s. By tagging ports on VLAN’s you allow the tagged VLAN’s to send traffic accross the port, the only way this can be identified from other VLAN traffic is this VLAN ID. Note that a trunk connecting two switchesmust have the same VLAN ‘tagging’ configuration on both switches in order for the trunk to work.

VLAN traffic can also be spread accross different trunks. For instance you could create trunk1 (trk1) and set it up so that traffic from VLAN 100,132 and 133 only travel across it. You could then setup trunk2 (trk2) and set it up so that traffic from VLAN 134, 135 and 136 only travel accross it. There is great scope for flexibilty with trunks.

For instance, if you know a particular VLAN needs a high-bandwidth link between switches then you could potentially create up to a 8 Gb/sec link for that individual VLAN. Whilst all the other, slower VLAN’s could travel across a 1 Gb/sec link
I used a single trunk in my design to link the two 5308xl units. This link was a failover link, all VLAN’s were tagged on this trunk. The commands below illustrate how to create a trunk and tag VLAN’s to it:

trunk A1-A4 trk1

vlan 100
tag trk1

vlan 132
tag trk1

vlan 133
tag trk1

vlan 134
tag trk1

vlan 135
tag trk1

vlan 136
tag trk1

write mem

This would create a trunk named ‘trk1’ consisting of ports A1-A4. All VLAN’s are tagged on this trunk. I would configure both 5308xl siwtchesin the same way. After doing so, 4 cables can be connected from ports A1-A4 on switch 1 to A1-A4 on switch 2 without causing any looping problems.

The commands I used to configure the switches in my network for this section are as follows:

HP 5308xl Primary:
trunk A1-A4 trk1
vlan 100
untag G1-G16, H1-H16
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 132
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 133
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 134
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 135
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 136
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

write mem

  HP 5308xl Secondary:


trunk A1-A4 trk1

vlan 100
untag G1-G16, H1-H16
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 132
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 133
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 134
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 135
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

vlan 136
tag trk1, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D4, E1-E4

write mem

  HP 2650 Switches:

vlan 100
tag 49-50

vlan 132
tag 49-50

vlan 133
tag 49-50

vlan 134
tag 49-50

vlan 135
tag 49-50

vlan 136
tag 49-50

Having configured the switches for VLAN’s its not time to setup XRRP, or XL Router Redundancy Protocol in order to providerouting failover in the event of a core-switch failure.



1. VLAN Membership, Linking Switches and Trunks
2. XL Router Redundancy Protocol (XRRP) Configuration
3. Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol (RSTP) Configuration
4. Access Control List (ACL) configuration

XL Redundant Routing Protocol (XRRP) Overview & Configuration XRRP Overview

XRRP, or XL Router Redundancy Protocol allows for failover in the event of a router failing and is similar in function to Cisco’s VRRP. It is worth noting at this point that the 2650 units do not support XRRP. This section of the configuration is for the 5308xl units only.
Pairs of switches are configured to behave as backup routers for one-another, each pair is referred to as a “Protection Domain.” If a router fails in a Protection Domain the other router takes over all routing duties of the failed router. Most importantly, the transfer of these duties is transparent to end users.
Each switch in a \”Protection Domain\” functions as a \”Virtual Router\” interface. A Virtual Interface exists for each router on every VLAN. If a switch fails, the remaining switch uses these Virtual Router interfaces to take control of the routing duties for the failed switch.
A protection domain is monitored using \”Advertisement Intervals\” – a time interval at which XRRP packets are sent out on each virtual router interface. These packets are used to confirm that the switch is functioning correctly. If a switch in a Protection Domain fails to receive the Advertisement packets from its paired switch it will take over the routing duties until the Advertisement packets are detected again.
Certain perquisites exists in order for XRRP to function correctly:
Both routers must have identical network access; they must have access to the same VLAN subnets and client nodes without having to pass through each other.
A good example of this configuration is illustrated below:
Image © HP Advanced Traffic Management Guide
As you can see each switch has access to the servers and layer 2 switch independently. This means that XRRP will function correctly, because in the event of a switch failure the remaining switch has access to all areas of the network.

XRRP Configuration

Before we begin, let me recap on my current setup.I have 6 VLAN’s;
VLAN 100 – IP Range
VLAN 132 – IP Range
VLAN 133 – IP Range
VLAN 134 – IP Range
VLAN 135 – IP Range
VLAN 136 – IP Range

5308xl Switch One is configured with the following IP addresses:
VLAN 100 –
VLAN 132 –
VLAN 133 –
VLAN 134 –
VLAN 135 –
VLAN 136 –

5308xl Switch Two is configured with the following IP addresses:
VLAN 100 –
VLAN 132 –
VLAN 133 –
VLAN 134 –
VLAN 135 –
VLAN 136 –

All of the 2650 Units have an IP address on VLAN 135 ONLY. This is for the sole purpose of management and configuration. These range from to It is not necessary however for these switches to have any IP address, but without an IP remote management is not possible.

Configuration of XRRP on the 5308xl units is quite simple. As our network consists of only two 5308xl Core Switches I will create only a single XRRP Protection Domain. I have bi-cabled all of our servers, a cable runs form each of the 5308xl units into dual-port, giga-bit network cards on each server. Each edge-switch has been cabled so that it has a direct link to both core-switches. In both cases, the second link is not always active and is controlled by Spanning Tree Protocol, which is discussed in depth later on in this article.

I have configured 6 VLAN’s on these switches, and I will ensure that XRRP is configured to server each of these in the event of a switch / router failure.
We’ll start with the primary switch; start a telnet session with this switch. Next, enter the “config” command.

Firstly we create the XRRP protection domain using the command “XRRP Domain 1

Now we establish this switch as the first, or primary, router in the protection domain, using the command “XRRP Router 1
For each VLAN we must establish a physical router and a virtual router interface. The primary router interface will be the current switch address, the virtual router address will be the address of the secondary switch so that the primary switch can identify which packets need to be routed in the event of the second switch failing, or vice versa.

Lets begin with VLAN 100.

First we establish the physical, primary, router interface; “XRRP instance 1 100” The “1” indicates that it is the primary instance. “100” represents the VLAN number to which this XRRP rule is to be applied.

Now we must establish the virtual router interface; “XRRP instance 2 100 IP” The “2” indicates that it is the secondary, or virtual, interface. \”100\” represents the VLAN number to which the rule is applied to. “IP” represents the second core-switch IP address on VLAN 100.
With that done, the configuration for VLAN 100 on 5308xl Switch One is complete. Now, the same steps must be completed for the remaining five VLANS on this switch. The commands to complete this configuration are listed below:

XRRP instance 1 132
XRRP instance 2 132 IP
XRRP instance 1 133 XRRP instance 2 133 IP
XRRP instance 1 134XRRP instance 2 134 IP
XRRP instance 1 135XRRP instance 2 135 IP
XRRP instance 1 136XRRP instance 2 136 IP

This completes the XRRP Configuration on 5308xl Switch One.

Lets move on to configuring the secondary 5308xl switch in our XRRP Protection Domain.
First, establish a telnet session with the second switch and enter the “config” command.
Now we declare this switch a member of the same XRRP Protection Domain as the first switch; “XRRP domain 1.”
Next we need to declare this router as the second router in the protection domain; “XRRP Router 2.”
We can now configure the XRRP Rules on this unit. The primary switch we be the first instance on all VLAN’s, this switch will be the secondary instance.

XRRP instance 1 100 IP instance 2 100
XRRP instance 1 132 IP instance 2 132
XRRP instance 1 133 IP instance 2 133
XRRP instance 1 134 IP instance 2 134
XRRP instance 1 135 IP instance 2 135
XRRP instance 1 136 IP instance 2 136

With this configured we are now ready to test that XRRP failover is working!

XRRP Testing

The simplest way to check whether XRRP is working at this stage is as follows. First, ensure both 5308xl units are connected and switched on. Next, connect a client workstation to the primary 5308xl unit. Ensure the client TCP/IP gateway address is set as the IP of the second 5308xl switch on the VLAN to which the port it is connected to is assigned. For testing purposes my client workstation is connected to VLAN 100 with an IP of Its gateway is set as


1. VLAN Membership, Linking Switches and Trunks
2. XL Router Redundancy Protocol (XRRP) Configuration
3. Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol (RSTP) Configuration
4. Access Control List (ACL) configuration

Rapid Reconfiguration Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) Configuration Howto

What is Rapid Reconfiguration Spanning Tree Protocol?

Spanning Tree Protocol is a means of maintaining redundant loops or connections in your network. When enabled, STP treats your mesh network as a single link. It scans your network for loops and maintains and monitors a single active link across all switches whilst preserving a database of standby links, which are automatically brought up in preferential order in the event of the active link failing.
This means you can have two (or more) identical connections between switches, one is active, the other standby. In the even of the port or module failing that connects the primary or active link the backup link, or standby link is automatically brought up.
The active / standby status of a port is determined upon the data path cost to the root switch. Each data path has a cost, the ‘cheaper’ the cost the higher the link priority. For example, if a switch had two links to the core switch a direct link with a cost of 200, and a secondary link which went via another switch with a cost of 400 then active link would be the link with a cost of 200. The standby link would be the secondary link, which in the event of the primary link failing, would be made active. An example configuration can be seen below:

HP uses default path costs for RSTP as illustrated in the table below:

Port Path Speed Path Cost
10 Mbps 2,000,000
100 Mbps 200,000
1000 Mbps 20,000

There is only ever a single active link when spanning tree is enabled.

Improvements over Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)?

The original 802.1D STP can take a long time to scan all data paths and determine the most efficient. The 802.1w RSTP standard significantly reduces this time, thus reducing downtime and increasing network robustness when a new path needs to be configured due to failure.
RSTP also offers increased configuration range for path costs and supports higher connection speeds in comparison to STP.
RSTP is, by design, compatible with STP and as a result it is the HP recommended protocol for deployment.

Implementation / Configuration

Spanning-tree, unlike the other protocols we have setup, is enabled on the switch as a whole rather than on individual VLAN’s. This makes configuration fairly quick and easy.
First, on your designated primary switch set a spanning-tree priority that will make this switch the ‘root’ switch (thus the highest priority on your network):

spanning-tree priority 2

Then we must force RSTP to be used over STP:

spanning-tree protocol-version rstp

Next, as per HP’s instructions we must ensure RSTP is enabled on all ports that are used as up-links to other switches, hubs or bridges; this is because the detect

This is only necessary when running RSTP. This is done using the command:

no spanning-tree A1 edge-port

Note: Change A1 to the port number, or range (use A1-A10 for a range) that you have setup to act as up-link ports.

The primary switch is now ready to have RSTP enabled, but first we will configure all the remaining switches in your network in order to avoid problems with some switches having RSTP configured and others not.
Next, login to your secondary core switch. For this unit we must set a lower priority so that RSTP knows that this switch is not the root switch. This is done by setting a higher value than we used for the primary switch:

spanning-tree priority 4

Again, we must now force RSTP operation on this unit:

spanning-tree protocol-version rstp

Finally on this unit we must ensure spanning-tree is enabled on all ports that are used as up-links to other switches and trunks.

no spanning-tree A1 edge-port

Lastly we must configure RSTP on your edge switches. In this example I have used configuration commands for the HP Procurve 2650 switches. These commands are pretty much universal across the Procurve range.

The first thing we need to do is set the RSTP priority on these units so that it is lower than noth the primary and secondary switches:

spanning-tree priority 6

Next, we must configure RSTP so that it is enabled on the up-link ports to the core switches:

no spanning-tree 49-50 edge-port

Finally we set the protocol version to RSTP:

spanning-tree protocol-version rstp

With the configuration of all the switches complete we can now enable spanning tree on these units commencing with the 5308xl primary unit, followed by the 5308xl secondary unit and then the 2650 switches. The commands that should be executed are as follows:

spanning-treewrite mem

RSTP will now scan every path on your network and setup active and standby paths. This can cause a short disconnection in your network, so do not run this at a mission critical time.

Your configuration is saved by the ‘write mem’ command.

NOTES: The reason for me leaving a free number in between spanning-tree priorities is so that if I add an extra core switch to my network or another device that needs a higher priority than the 2650 or 5308xl units I can configure this unit without having to reconfigure all of my RSTP settings for my network. I would recommend you do the same thing!

It is possible to manually assign a cost to a path. Thus if you would prefer your data to take a path that differs from the default it is possible to do this using the command:

Switch command cheat sheet

To set the STP protocol version to RSTP:spanning-tree protocol-version rstp
To set spanning-tree priority on a switch:spanning-tree priority 2
To disable spanning-tree operation on a trunk / switch uplink port:no spanning-tree A1 edge-port
To enable spanning-tree:spanning-tree
To view the current, detailed spanning-tree configuration:sh spanning-tree config




1. VLAN Membership, Linking Switches and Trunks
2. XL Router Redundancy Protocol (XRRP) Configuration
3. Rapid Spanning-Tree Protocol (RSTP) Configuration
4. Access Control List (ACL) configuration

HP Access Control List Howto:

A quick lesson:

First things first I recommend you read this brief tutorial on subnetting:
Subnet Turotial

With that out the way you should have a reasonable understanding of a subnet. This will be important in your quest to setup ACL’s on your 5308xl (or any other HP Procurve product) units.

What is an Access Control List?

ACL’s are a means to further secure you’re LAN / VLAN’s. A single ACL consist of a group of Access Control Entry’s – ACE’s – which are rules.Think of them like firewalls almost. You can block traffic to certain areas of your network, or to certain ports on certain IP addresses.

How do they work?

For a given ACE an IP address and corresponding mask is compared to the IP address and mask carried by the packet. The ACE mask will, like a subnet, be comprised of 1’s and / or 0’s. However an ACE mask need not be sequential like a subnet mask.
In an ACE a mask-bit setting of ‘0’ or off requires the corresponding bit in the packets IP address and the ACE’s IP address to be identicle.
A mask-bit setting of ‘1’ or on means the corresponding bit in the IP address and ACE do not have to be the same.
This is better described in the table below:

Therefore an ACE mask of all ones means ANY IP address is a match, and a mask of all zeros means that a SINGLE IP as defined in the ACE is a match.it
In my test enviroment lets say I have 3 VLANS: / – VLAN100 / – VLAN101 / – VLAN102 – IT Admin VLAN

For instance on our network here, the main firewall configuration menu can be viewed from the following address:
If I setup an ACL to block traffic to port 81 from all VLAN’s other than the IT Admin network then no -one other than administrators will be able to view the configuration / settings of the firewall. Infact they will not even know the web server running on the firewall exists, which is one step better.
For this I would setup the following ACE’s (don’t worry this is explained later on):

deny tcp eq 81
deny tcp eq 81
allow ip

The top two rules block access from VLAN 100 and 101 but allow all other traffic, thus wouldn’t affect the ITAdmin VLAN. The last rule allows all other traffic to pass.
The order in which rules appear is essential. This is because the switches use Sequential Comparison and Action. This means that when the switch interrogates a packet it works its way down the IP access list until it finds a match. It will act upon the first match that fits the packet.

For example:

deny ip
permit ip

The above rules would block access from a particular VLAN to the IP range, however if I were to write the rules in this order:

permit ip
deny ip

The traffic would not be blocked because the first rule declares that any traffic can go to any IP address.

Types of Access Control List and Examples

There are two types of access control list:

1. Standard ACL’s – which use numbers 1-99
Allowing for simple IP based access-control and restriction.
An example of a standard ACL:
permit ip

This rule set would block ALL traffic from to but would allow all other traffic to pass.
This type of rule is ideal if you want to stop traffic from passing to a particular IP address or set of IP addresses from certain VLAN’s or IP addresses.

2. Extended ACL’s – which use numbers from 100-199
Allows for simple IP based access control as well as TCP / UDP port restriction.
This type of ACL can also configure access on TCP/IP ports, as mentioned above.
An example of an extended access-list:
deny tcp eq 81
deny tcp eq 445
permit ip

The above rules would block access to port 81 and 445 at IP address and allow all other traffic top go anywhere from the network.
This type of rule is useful for blocking telnet access to a switch, or ssh access to a firewall. Therefore this type of rule can add an extra layer of security to your network.

Switch command cheat sheet for ACL’s:

To view an existing access list:

sh access-list access_list_number_here

To setup a new access list:

ip access-list standard new_access-list_number_here
ip access-list extended new_access-list_number_here

To remove an access list:

no ip access-list standard access_list_number_here
no ip access-list extended access_list_number_here

It is far simpler how ever to use remote command-lists as ACL’s can become very long, very quickly.If I wanted to setup an access-list on VLAN 136 called ‘136’ then I could make the following command -list:

no ip access-list extended 136
ip access-list extended 136
deny tcp eq 81
deny tcp eq 445
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
deny tcp eq 23
deny tcp eq 80
deny tcp eq 22
permit ip
deny ip
deny ip
deny ip
permit ip
permit ip
permit ip

*note how I issue the command ‘no ip access-list extended 136’ first to ensure that the existing access-list is removed and that my changes are written in the correct order.

I would then save the file to my tftp server’s root. In this example I have a tftp server running on IP address
This can be executed form the switch using the command-line interface using the following command:

copy tftp command-list file_name_with_commands_in

Assign an ACL to a VLAN

This process is very simple, and there are two ways in which an ACL can be set to a particular VLAN.
The key is the direction in which traffic is to flow. When a packet leaves your machine it enters the switch. Therefore if you want to filter the traffic at this stage you would assign it to the ‘in‘ ACL filter for that particular VLAN.
Once processed by the switch the traffic then leaves the switch, headed for its destination. An ACL can be assigned at this point instead, or aswell. In this case you would assign the ACL to the ‘out‘ ACL filter for that VLAN.
A point worth considering is that it is far more economical to filter at the point where the traffic enters the switch, as this way the switch does not process the packet to simply drop it as it leaves. In a normal VLAN enviroment this type of filtering is ideal, and is what I use on the 6 VLAN’s we have at the office.
To assign an ACL to a VLAN use the following commands. In the example below I am assigning an ACL named 136 to VLAN136.

vlan 136
ip acces-group 136 in

We have now successfully assigned the extended ACL ‘136’ to VLAN 136.

Finally save your configuration to memory so that in the event of a reboot the configuration is restored. This can be done using the command: write mem