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Video of HP ProCurve “anomaly”

by Jeremy L. Gaddis on June 3, 2009 · 0 comments

in Networking

Several months ago, I wrote about discovering an “anomaly” in ProCurve firmware version K.13.45. Because I apparently already have some folks at HP pissed off, I thought I’d take a look and see if anything had changed.

Although the case hasn’t been updated since January 5th and still hasn’t been resolved, it is still listed as “in progress”.

Since simply copy/pasting the output doesn’t really show the true nature of the “anomaly”, I thought I’d go ahead and put together a video. What I didn’t mention originally (and, perhaps, should have) is that CPU utilization skyrockets to 99% while these “show” commands are running (running very slowly, that is). Originally, and in this video, I used “show ip igmp config” to demonstrate, but there are other show commands that have the same effect on CPU.

In the video, I have two SSH sessions open to an HP ProCurve 5406zl switch running version K.13.60 firmware (yes, I know it’s not the latest — read this to find out why I’m not running K.13.63). In the top session, you see me execute these commands:

HP5406# sh system
HP5406# repeat delay 1

The first command runs “show system-information”. The second causes it to be repeatedly executed, in one second intervals. (I would’ve preferred “sh system | in CPU” since HP *FINALLY* gave us that feature, but apparently the piping isn’t taken into account when the “repeat” command is used.) I let this run for maybe ten seconds, to give a good “baseline” of what the CPU utilization of the switch is. It hovers mostly around 3-4%.

In the bottom session, you see me execute:

HP5406# show ip igmp config

Immediately after executing this show command, notice how SLOOOOOOW the output to the terminals become. It takes two or three iterations of the “sh system” command, but the switch quickly hits 99% CPU utilization. This, of course, is why the output is being taking so long to display. I’m not sure what’s happening behind the scenes, but apparently the ProCurve doesn’t like it. I cut the video off just a bit too quickly, but it should be noted that CPU utilization returns to normal immediately after the “show” command has finished executing.

Anyway, here’s the video:

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