Friday, September 30, 2011

LLDP support on HP devices, versus my Cisco phones

This week is about LLDP making me sad...

I set out to test the compatibility of my Cisco 7911G phones with the HP switches on our network, as part of the network integration work. The HP documents (like this: say that it's almost plug'n'play, with minimal configuration required. Cool, I'd love that. Then came reality:

ProCurve 2524
Okay, I'm kinda unfair here, this is an ancient switch. It supports basic LLDP, and has 2 hardware priority queues. On the other hand, it doesn't support a "voice VLAN" feature, but trusts 802.1p markings. The best I can do with this is to set a voice vlan as tagged on the ports, and configure the phones by hand. Not nice.

ProCurve 2510G-24
Nice switch, not too old, should be fine. But, it's not: it doesn't support LLDP-MED. It has the "voice VLAN" feature, which provides auto-qos, but I still have to config my phones by hand for the voice vlan.

ProCurve 2610-48
Untested at the moment, as they are in an other location, but they support LLDP-MED, so they should be fine. These are our mainstay switches, if they work, I'm pretty happy.

And the nasty part came here. A lot of "HP and Cisco interop" documents posted by HP were published before the 3Com merger. And 3Com switches run ComWare, not Provision OS. Hence most HP documents won't help you, if you have 3Com/H3C heritage HP switches.

According to some existing docs, if you run ComWare v5, you should be fine. But I'm not.

HP E4210-48
This not-that-old box runs ComWare v3, and it supports both LLDP and LLDP-MED. So it should work. But it somehow lacks the support of a "voice VLAN", and I never managed to pass that vlan ID to the phone. If you config the phone by hand for the VLAN, it works in both hybrid and trunk port modes.

All switches run the latest possible firmware, and the phone runs the 8.5.3 image, with LLDP-MED support.
Stay tuned for updates on the 2610 and Comware line.

Turns out I was wrong: the 2610's are actually 2650's. Anyways, they work perfect with LLDP-MED.

I managed to grab a Huawei S2309, which is running VRP5, which is basically ComWare v5. More testing to come.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cisco HW repair, the CCT cert and the RPS

About a month ago, I bought some cheap Cisco gear on eBay: an ASA 5505, a 2970 series Gbit switch, a 1131 AP, and so on. Some of these devices worked, some were gutted, and some were failing. The items were sold was as-is, so it's not a problem, as I'll try to repair them, as my time allows. If I manage to solve anything, I'll post about it.

On a related note, Cisco released their hardware support certifications (called CCT), which is a great idea IMHO. I'm also a big fan of the HP APS and the CompTIA A+ certifications. Most likely I'll get a CCT R&S.

One of my side projects is to reverse-engineer the Catalyst RPS signals, and build a cheap RPS device from a standard 12V power brick, just for kicks. If anyone has data about the CTRL signals, or is interested otherwise, please leave a comment. Thanks!