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Cisco Switch, Broadcom NICs, Random Network Semi-dropping.

 
 
Teros
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-30-2005
'ello folks...

So here's the situation. I'm in a company where roughly 100
workstations, 15 printers, and 8 servers all drain into one closet in
which we have a series of 3 Cisco 3500 XL switches (I forget exact
model at the moment). The switches are chained together via GBICs with
copper firewire. The workstations in the building are almost all using
Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet cards (HP machines). At completely
random intervals, a machine will drop part way off the network - for
example, it will be able to ping servers A, B, and C, but not D, E, F.
All servers are running fine and everyone else is doing beautifully.
If I go to the switches and change the port the workstation is
connected on, it can then see all the servers. If I plug a different
machine into the original "problem" port, the new machine can access
everything just fine.

Any ideas? The ports on the switch are all auto-negotiate. The NICs
are all auto-negotiate. The network cables shouldn't be the issue - it
happens with new and old cords.

We never had this problem until we moved to the Cisco switches. Before
this, we had the same network setup, but with 3Com switches.

I'm at a loss to what this could be. Any suggestions would be great!

Cheers,
- Teros

 
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Chad Mahoney
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-15-2005


Teros wrote:
> 'ello folks...
>
> So here's the situation. I'm in a company where roughly 100
> workstations, 15 printers, and 8 servers all drain into one closet in
> which we have a series of 3 Cisco 3500 XL switches (I forget exact
> model at the moment). The switches are chained together via GBICs with
> copper firewire. The workstations in the building are almost all using
> Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet cards (HP machines). At completely
> random intervals, a machine will drop part way off the network - for
> example, it will be able to ping servers A, B, and C, but not D, E, F.
> All servers are running fine and everyone else is doing beautifully.
> If I go to the switches and change the port the workstation is
> connected on, it can then see all the servers. If I plug a different
> machine into the original "problem" port, the new machine can access
> everything just fine.
>
> Any ideas? The ports on the switch are all auto-negotiate. The NICs
> are all auto-negotiate. The network cables shouldn't be the issue - it
> happens with new and old cords.
>
> We never had this problem until we moved to the Cisco switches. Before
> this, we had the same network setup, but with 3Com switches.
>
> I'm at a loss to what this could be. Any suggestions would be great!
>
> Cheers,
> - Teros


Is the workstations and servers connected to the same switch? If not
maybe an issue with the trunk between the switches, do a sh int0/X to
get counter stats for the port. Also it is recommended that you hard
code speed and duplex settings instead of using the auto negotiate
settings.

Post a sh int 0/X also what version of IOS are you running do a sh ver
and post it.

 
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David Wood
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-16-2005
We also have the same problem with (mainly) 5000 Cisco chassis but others as
well. What seems to happen is when auto-neg is on the duplex often gets
mismatched. I guess the card or the switch tries to transmit at the same
time as receive and packets are discarded. Auto neg should be hardware
controlled and was developed as NWAY a long time ago---but Cisco seems to
have got it all wrong!
Other switches seem to be very happy at auto (3com, Netgear).

It's VERY inconvenient & time consuming to have to hard code - some devices
may only have 10MB (eg. printers) and it's not following the design.
Also in theory if the cable is dodgy the speed should be able to step down
to 10MB


"Chad Mahoney" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>
>
> Teros wrote:
>> 'ello folks...
>>
>> So here's the situation. I'm in a company where roughly 100
>> workstations, 15 printers, and 8 servers all drain into one closet in
>> which we have a series of 3 Cisco 3500 XL switches (I forget exact
>> model at the moment). The switches are chained together via GBICs with
>> copper firewire. The workstations in the building are almost all using
>> Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet cards (HP machines). At completely
>> random intervals, a machine will drop part way off the network - for
>> example, it will be able to ping servers A, B, and C, but not D, E, F.
>> All servers are running fine and everyone else is doing beautifully.
>> If I go to the switches and change the port the workstation is
>> connected on, it can then see all the servers. If I plug a different
>> machine into the original "problem" port, the new machine can access
>> everything just fine.
>>
>> Any ideas? The ports on the switch are all auto-negotiate. The NICs
>> are all auto-negotiate. The network cables shouldn't be the issue - it
>> happens with new and old cords.
>>
>> We never had this problem until we moved to the Cisco switches. Before
>> this, we had the same network setup, but with 3Com switches.
>>
>> I'm at a loss to what this could be. Any suggestions would be great!
>>
>> Cheers,
>> - Teros

>
> Is the workstations and servers connected to the same switch? If not
> maybe an issue with the trunk between the switches, do a sh int0/X to
> get counter stats for the port. Also it is recommended that you hard
> code speed and duplex settings instead of using the auto negotiate
> settings.
>
> Post a sh int 0/X also what version of IOS are you running do a sh ver
> and post it.
>



 
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Martin Kayes
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-16-2005
and if you look on the circuit board of some 5000 series cards you will see
that the Ethernet chipset are Broadcom!



"David Wood" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dbaue7$ojo$(E-Mail Removed)-infra.bt.com...
> We also have the same problem with (mainly) 5000 Cisco chassis but others
> as well. What seems to happen is when auto-neg is on the duplex often
> gets mismatched. I guess the card or the switch tries to transmit at the
> same time as receive and packets are discarded. Auto neg should be
> hardware controlled and was developed as NWAY a long time ago---but Cisco
> seems to have got it all wrong!
> Other switches seem to be very happy at auto (3com, Netgear).
>
> It's VERY inconvenient & time consuming to have to hard code - some
> devices may only have 10MB (eg. printers) and it's not following the
> design.
> Also in theory if the cable is dodgy the speed should be able to step down
> to 10MB
>
>
> "Chad Mahoney" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
>>
>>
>> Teros wrote:
>>> 'ello folks...
>>>
>>> So here's the situation. I'm in a company where roughly 100
>>> workstations, 15 printers, and 8 servers all drain into one closet in
>>> which we have a series of 3 Cisco 3500 XL switches (I forget exact
>>> model at the moment). The switches are chained together via GBICs with
>>> copper firewire. The workstations in the building are almost all using
>>> Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet cards (HP machines). At completely
>>> random intervals, a machine will drop part way off the network - for
>>> example, it will be able to ping servers A, B, and C, but not D, E, F.
>>> All servers are running fine and everyone else is doing beautifully.
>>> If I go to the switches and change the port the workstation is
>>> connected on, it can then see all the servers. If I plug a different
>>> machine into the original "problem" port, the new machine can access
>>> everything just fine.
>>>
>>> Any ideas? The ports on the switch are all auto-negotiate. The NICs
>>> are all auto-negotiate. The network cables shouldn't be the issue - it
>>> happens with new and old cords.
>>>
>>> We never had this problem until we moved to the Cisco switches. Before
>>> this, we had the same network setup, but with 3Com switches.
>>>
>>> I'm at a loss to what this could be. Any suggestions would be great!
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> - Teros

>>
>> Is the workstations and servers connected to the same switch? If not
>> maybe an issue with the trunk between the switches, do a sh int0/X to
>> get counter stats for the port. Also it is recommended that you hard
>> code speed and duplex settings instead of using the auto negotiate
>> settings.
>>
>> Post a sh int 0/X also what version of IOS are you running do a sh ver
>> and post it.
>>

>
>



 
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rage1605 rage1605 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
 
      04-20-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teros
'ello folks...

So here's the situation. I'm in a company where roughly 100
workstations, 15 printers, and 8 servers all drain into one closet in
which we have a series of 3 Cisco 3500 XL switches (I forget exact
model at the moment). The switches are chained together via GBICs with
copper firewire. The workstations in the building are almost all using
Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet cards (HP machines). At completely
random intervals, a machine will drop part way off the network - for
example, it will be able to ping servers A, B, and C, but not D, E, F.
All servers are running fine and everyone else is doing beautifully.
If I go to the switches and change the port the workstation is
connected on, it can then see all the servers. If I plug a different
machine into the original "problem" port, the new machine can access
everything just fine.

Any ideas? The ports on the switch are all auto-negotiate. The NICs
are all auto-negotiate. The network cables shouldn't be the issue - it
happens with new and old cords.

We never had this problem until we moved to the Cisco switches. Before
this, we had the same network setup, but with 3Com switches.

I'm at a loss to what this could be. Any suggestions would be great!

Cheers,
- Teros

I know this post is old but I found it while googling for our problem....we have the SAME EXACT setup and problem.

We have a 3500 Switch, and Broadcom NetxtremeII cards (but this time on our SERVERS) word for word it's the same problem (move to another port, it works for a bit, can ping a,b,c,d but not e,f,g, etc.

Did anyone find a solution to this???

Thanks!
 
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lwhays lwhays is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
 
      08-21-2008
Hi all.

I know this thread is now VERY old, but we just ran into this in the last few months as a result of a switch upgrade. We replaced some very old switches with Cisco POE switches (specifically, WS-C3560's) We had previously deployed Dell desktops with Broadcom 10/100/Gig NICs.

We discovered that (on our desktop machines, at least) the Broadcom NIC has two programs associated with it, the driver ("Broadcom Gigabit Integrated Controller") and a "Broadcom Management Program". Our problems went away when we removed the Management program from the desktop in question. I personally never would have figured this out, I'm not sure what possessed my co-worker Andrew to try it, but it reliably fixes the problem and after removing this our NICs auto-negotiate with our Cisco switches just fine.


Hope this helps.

Larry
 
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twotony twotony is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
 
      04-17-2010
Hi All,

Once again, this thread is really old, but it gave me the answer to the same problem that I was having; thanks very much lwhays. I'm just learning Cisco routers etc, so was having trouble working this one out. Thanks very much for the post; removing the Management program instantly sorted the random dropping of the connection.
 
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jimjawn jimjawn is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
 
      09-30-2011
Only to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I spent two entire days banging my head against the wall with this until I realized that all of the problem computers were using broadcoms!

I have a cisco 3560g and bunch of different embedded broadcom nics. I removed the "Broadcom ASF Management Program" and rebooted. PC's all started working instantly.

"lwhays" I would like to buy you a beer. Thanks.
 
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