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Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

zwavoo
Aspirant

Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

We have severe problems, I believe with someone in the office crossing network ports, and causing a loop somewhere. This has happened a few times now, and on most occasions, after a few hours Ive managed to track the culprit down. On other occasions, the problem lasts all day, then seems to be OK the next.

 

Im reasonably confident that we need STP configured to help us, but there is quite a lot of conflict on the best ways to do this. I find myself turning to the community for assistance, as Netgear's documentation is not all that good on this topic..

 

Our network comprises two halves of an office with a single GSM7328Sv2 in each, linked by 2 x 10GB Fibre connections in a LAG. Connected directly to each of these switches are a number of GS724 / 48, FS728TP, and a few servers / Wireless APs (Meraki). The GS switches are all on VLAN 1 as they are just for staff network access. the FS728TP switches are all in VLAN5 since these are for our phones, that really is the only isolation we have. There should not be any other switches on the network, so essentially our "tree" is only one level deep.

 

Each time we have had a problem, and I have been able to find it, I discover a cable connecting one switch to another, simple fix. I understood though, that STP or RSTP would discover this problem, and block the ports, thereby isolating the errant switch. What I see however, is both of the GSM switches "go dark" - effectively they reboot, so the logs are useless. our SNMP logging server doesnt seem to show a lot either.

 

If anyone has any advise on how I go about setting up RSTP in our environment, I would be grateful for the assistance.

Model: GSM7328Sv2|ProSAFE 24-port Managed L3 Gigabit Stackable Switch
Message 1 of 12
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Spanning tree is fairly simple to implement in terms of overall topology but preventing certain activity in the network depends entirely on your overall network implementation.

 

From the basic information given so far, you seems to have top down topology.  Here are few ideas to get you started at addressing this.  Beyond this, it would be helpful to post your text configuration (remove the password lines) and your network topology diagram.

 

  1. If you have basic downstream implementation as most network, enforce specific rules to prevent root changes which has much larger negative impact.  Change the top switch to lower Bridge priority value.  Default is 32768 or 16384.  Make one the GSM at top be 0 and other 16384

 

  1. Since you are using multiple VLAN, I will make a assumption here and ask that you make sure to use MSTP here when possible for now if the switch offers this option, otherwise stick with RSTP setting.  By default MSTP configuration is just like RSTP since there is only 1 instance running tied to all the VLANs.  

 

  1. If the issues is someone is creating a loop, there are few things you can do to help isolate them.  If you running into broadcast flood affecting the network, then I suggest taking a basic action on broadcast control under "Storm control" under security.    Implement a more strict broadcast setting then default.  If given a choice of PPS or %, choose PPS on edge port (user port) and limit it to 100 pps/sec.  For the uplink ports on switch which connect switches together, stick with % but limit it to 1-2% at most.  Your topology is flat based on what was stated, so consider segmenting the network further if possible.   This change has a negative impact on users which will get port shutdown so make sure to implement some kind of trap SNMP server to get alerts of ports being shut down.  If you have spare virtual machine or server, install NMS200 which is free for 200 devices and spend a day or two configure it for alerts, monitoring, and notification.

 

  1. Each of model depending of datasheet has specific features to address certain behavior dealing with BPDU.  I could elaborate those, but I suggest posting the 2 items I suggest before we start a discussion on those.  

 

  1. Any port that is edge (meaning expected to have users’ desktop connected) should be set to   "spanning-tree edgeport"

 

  1. To debug spanning tree quickly, when the issue occurs, connect via serial to one of top switches,  enable debug for spanning-tree bpdu via command

debug spanning-tree bpdu

You can now look at debug level buffer logging (you may need to enable that as well.  "logging console 7" to see any output.  Should give you more useful insight into what is going on instead of you flying blind.  Make sure undo the debug after you are done fixing it.

"no debug spanning-tree"

 

  1. Quickly dealing with flooding.  There are few ways to do it.  Here are some example
  2. Review the broadcast rate on the port.  If needed, clear the stats on the port, and check them quickly.  You can identify the source ports with most in order to track down to the next uplink and all the way to source port quickly to find the culprit.
  3. It bit harder so I am not going to explain how to do it but how mostimplement it, using pcap to understand the culprit. Implement a port at the top level switch which will act as your eyes on the network.  Most people set aside a spare port to act as monitor destination on their top switch and typically set the source to uplink port going to the firewall or edge router.  Useful to snoop traffic going in/out of network to determine bad activity if needed. Snoop the traffic and determine the possible endpoint and track the endpoint across the network port map.

 

Hope this is helpful, I apologize for spelling mistakes.

 

 

 

Message 2 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Wow. This is a wealth of information, and Ive spent days searching the internet. Ive not managed to find nearly half as much as youve offered here, and IM grateful for the assistance.

 

Our Topology is fairly basic, as the attached diagram shows.GFNetwork.png

The office is made up of two buildings, physically joined, and networked with 2 x 10GB Fiber connections (shown above in blue). The Green lines represent gigabit uplinks from all of the switches to the two "Core" devices. connected to all of the switches are the users PCs, printers, and Phones (on the FS728TP).

 

Im not sure what config files you need (from which devices) but Im happy to provide those.. ?

Message 3 of 12
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

The topology seems simple enough.

 

For Building Wing A.  Change the Bridge priority value on GSM7328Sv2 to 0 under the spanning tree configuration.

For Building Wing B.  Change the Bridge priority value on GSM7328Sv2 to 16384 under the spanning tree configuration. 

That should take care of root changes immediately.  make sure to do this during off production hours.  Make sure all other switches are defaulted to 32768 for bridge value (This is default value)

Make sure all switches are switched to MSTP or fallback to RSTP for switches taht do not have it. 

 

1. Make sure the uplink between the 2 core switches is ethernet and not stacking.  Stacking in this specific circumstance will be ok if you want to make it unified switch setup but LAG would be preferred to prevent split brain routing since all routing will end up terminating on building A.

 

2. Log into the switch via telnet or SSH or serial console.  At enable prompt type "show tech-support" command to generate the support file.  PM this file to me for both core switches

 

 

Message 4 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Thanks again for this update. I will be applying the priority changes this evening after everyone has gone home.

 

Id like to mention what would be my ideal scenario. If a user were to connect both ends of a cat5 cable to floor ports, thus causing a loop, I would like the switch to disable that port, and let the user come and find me, or indeed let me spot this in our monitoring station when that switch sends a trap.

 

Previous incidents of this nature have been down to this very act, but Ive only actually traced it on a handful of occasions. we patch the FS728TP ports to odd numbered ports, and the GS724T ports to Even numbered. That way I can tell users to use odd for their phones, and even for network connections. Hasnt really helped though 🙂

 

if you have an idea how I can make the switches disable the ports, then I think Ill have all the tools I need to find the [expletive removed]  that is costing us so much downtime.

 

Thanks again

Message 5 of 12
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

 

Well in the statement below, if users connects port x to port y on the wall where port x is connected to FS728TP and port y is connected to GS724T which are also connected to rest of network via uplink, that problem can be easily solved as port should go into blocking state if you mark the port cost of uplink port to be lower and mark the 2 user ports as edge ports.  

 

If you are trying to protect the network from unidirection issues where example a user connect wall port to a unmanaged switch and loops that switch, that will be different problem all together.

 

PM me  the configuration of your FS728TP and GS724T as text configuration files and I can take a look and make suggestion.

 

Message 6 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Hello again, Ive added the additional switch configs to the link I sent you privately ...

Message 7 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Hello,

 

This afternoon we suffered another outage, and I watched the secondary GSM switch reset itself again (from my syslogs, I think the ROOT did the same, but I wasnt in that room). At the time of the problem, I had only configured the 2 GSM switches as per your recommendation, and had yet to get round to setting all the others to MSTP (They were all on RSTP with priority at 32768). The problem did not seem to last as long this time, after about 30 mins, everything settled down, and I couldnt see anything in the syslogs suggesting a cause of the outage. Slightly irritated by this, I have now connected to all of the LAN switches (not the FS728TP just yet), and set them to MSTP, 32768 priority, enabled broadcast storm, and set it to disable any of the ports at 1% threshold, EXCEPT for the uplink ports, which Ive left the storm control disabled. As of right now, nothing has happened, so Ill put the same settings on the 728TP switches. If Ive understood any of your suggestions, this should then disable any port that starts flooding topolgy updates, except for the uplink ports.

 

Your thoughts are of course very welcome.

Message 8 of 12
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Broadcast storm won't really cause an outage as you described especially if you network recovered short while later.  I suggest pulling the tech support file from both the managed switches and sending it to me so I can take a look.

 

Also as per my PM reply,  The port won't shutdown unless the switch offers such option.  On the switches where you have this option and you have selected to shutdown when threshold is met, then yes it will shutdown.  Otherwise it will just rate limit it.

 

Most switches typically do rate limit (not shutdown) when it comes to smart switches.  Managed switches will always allow both option types.  For smart switches, it varies based on capability of the switch.

Message 9 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

Hello Jedi_Exile. I have now completed the suggestions you made. My network now has the following settings...

 

All switches (GSM7328S, GS724/48, FS728TP) are set to MSTP, edge switches bridge priority set to 32768, except for ...

Core Switch (building A) which has its BP set to 0, and Building B which is 16384.

All Non Core switches have Storm control set. the GS724/48 switches are set to disable the port if the 3500 threshold is reached, and the FS728TP are set to Rate Limit at 1% since they dont have a port disable option. These options have been set on ALL BUT the last port, which is used to Uplink to the Building Core switch. These have the storm control disabled.

on the FS728TPs, I have the POE ports (1-24) set to FastLink. Ive not YET set this option on all of the LAN switches since I need to check how this might affect users with VMWare/VirtualBox etc on their machines?

 

I noticed on the CST Port Configs, that there is a "STP Status" option that can be enabled / disabled. How should I have this set?

Message 10 of 12
Jedi_Exile
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

STP setting should be on by default if STP is turned on.  You can turn it off on per port basis if you want but not sure why you would need to do that.

 

Have you had the chance to collect tech support log so I can take a look into the reboot situation you mentioned in your previous post.

Message 11 of 12
zwavoo
Aspirant

Re: Configuration of RSTP to stop my network frequently Dying.

The battle moves ahead... Last weeks catastrophe appears to be caused by the Meraki wireless equipment somehow. At one stage, we only had the two core switches and our 6 APs connected, and the STP problem still occurred, Since then, we removed the Aps, and the problem stopped.

 

Ive reconnected all but one of these because I believe the problem is caused by one of them losing its LAN connection, so it bridges itself from one of the other APs - that happens to be connected to the other Core switch in the other building. The net result of this is that all of those clients suddenly appear to be in the other half of the building. Not sure if thats the cause, but without that AP, we havent (yet) had a repeat of the problem... One other thing to note, the port on the GSM7328s for one of the remaining APs seems to drop from time to time, come back up 3 seconds later, forcing a topology change. This doesnt appear to have any adverse effects, but the symptoms appear to be very much the same as when there is a problem. Syslogs for this event are :

 

Today 11:23:53
 
USER
 
NOTICE
 
10.0.0.184-1
 
TRAPMGR[67399060]:
 
 
Syslog
traputil.c(739) 4322 %% Spanning Tree Topology Change Received: MSTID: 0 g24 ...
Today 12:23:29
 
USER
 
NOTICE
 
10.0.0.195-1
 
TRAPMGR[36249300]:
 
 
Syslog
traputil.c(739) 2100 %% Spanning Tree Topology Change Received: MSTID: 0 g24 ...
Today 11:23:53
 
USER
 
NOTICE
 
10.0.0.112-1
 
TRAPMGR[106528848]:
 
 
Syslog
traputil.c(625) 72570 %% Spanning Tree Topology Change Sending: 0, Interface(u/ ...
Today 11:23:53
 
USER
 
WARNING
 
10.0.0.112-1
 
DOT1S[121284880]:
 
 
Syslog
dot1s_sm.c(6553) 72569 %% port 24 is going to forwarding state.
Today 11:23:30
 
USER
 
NOTICE
 
10.0.0.112-1
 
TRAPMGR[143640832]:
 
 
Syslog
traputil.c(625) 72556 %% Link Up: 1/0/24
Today 11:23:27
 
USER
 
NOTICE
 
10.0.0.112-1
 
TRAPMGR[143640832]:
 
 
Syslog
traputil.c(625) 72555 %% Link Down: 1/0/24
Message 12 of 12
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