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HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

Jonathan_Bekker
Occasional Collector

HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

Hi guys,

Very (very) new to HPE switches. Deploying my first HP DC switches for a small customer I have who can't afford the typical Cisco switches we deploy. I'm just trying to validate a few things as the HP User Guide for the switch is decidely vague on details.

I have a "downtime sensitive" device (i.e. Nutanix) that needs to have predictable downtime/etc to avoid split brains. Happy enough with iRF to provide stacking and it's base resiliency (i.e. 2x uplinks between cores/etc) but I need to smartly trigger interface down on the second core if a split-brain iRF occurs.

Googling around it sounds like MAD BFD was a feature that is meant to support this (which sounds very similar to vPC keepalive on Nexus switches)? Does anyone know if MAD is supported on the HP 1950?

4 REPLIES
parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

Interesting question your one.

Probably the right answer is: No.

If I recall correctly, latest HPE OfficeConnect 1950 Switch series Release Notes (see "Software features" section at the end) doesn't report explicitly any of the MAD mechanisms typically featured by other Comware 5/7 based Switches (I'm referring to MAD features: LACP MAD, ARP MAD, ND MAD and BFD MAD) as can be seen on mid/higher-end FlexNetwork Switch series (check, as example, the HPE FlexNetwork 5130 EI IRF Configuration Guide "Configuring BDF MAD" section and Release Notes "Software features" section).

So, probably, no MAD mechanism is supported actually (will ever?)...another way to verify if that is true is trying to understand if such feature is only hidden (not exposed) to the Web GUI but very available via CLI...or if it definitely absent...so checking the availability of commands related to BFD MAD configuration seen on FlexNetworks switches like:

  • mad bfd enable (to enable BDF MAD, which is disabled by default on Switches supporting it)
  • mad ip address ip-address { mask | mask-lenght } member  member-id (to configure a MAD IP Address for a member device on the - MAD dedicated - VLAN interface)

would be a good idea.

My take is that HPE OfficeConnect 1950 documentation tends to be obscure describing the IRF simply as Stacking without explicitly calling it with the name it deserves and that it really is..."IRF"...probably because this OfficeConnect series implements a very limited set of features (so a subset, and not only related to IRF) in comparison with other, more expensive, Comware based - like FlexNetwork - series and the intent is to make very little (positive) noise around this feature since it is not rounded with all other IRF related mechanism one would expect (MAD, as example).

Edit: this whole thread should be moved to "Comware based" category (HPE OfficeConnect 1950 Switch series runs on Comware 7 based OS, not ProVision OS now renamed ArubaOS-Switch of the legacy HP ProCurve products now rebranded Aruba).

Jonathan_Bekker
Occasional Collector

Re: HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

Awesome and very detailed response. Thank you. I am very concious of how "cheap" these switches are and would not be surprised to find features missing/etc. These are an entry level DC switch afterall. It looks like I'll have to unbox them and jump in the CLI to find out for sure.

I will try find some time for this task next week and report back and "mark as solution" etc. Thanks again.

PS: No idea how to change category of this post. Can't seem to find the option.

parnassus
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

It's great if you will be able to share your findings!

I think that HPE OfficeConnect 1950 Switch series is pretty misunderstood (or just simply overlooked in favour of more expensive Comware based Switch series) despite its hidden potential especially when we consider that it runs on Comware 7 (so, in the end, the IRF, even if MAD mechanism is not implemented, remains a great technology for this class of hardware).

Will eventually notify the HPE Community (Networking category) moderator to move this thread to Comware based sub-Category.

RedX
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP 1950 OfficeConnect - iRF & MAD Support/Question

did you ever find out if MAD commands worked in the CLI?