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New Member

XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

Hello!

I am the network administrator of a software testing firm. In our network we have 2 Catalyst Express 500 switches and we connect to them all kinds of equipment: PC, Laptops, printers, consoles: PS3s, Wii and all work fine, except for XBOX 360 Development kits (XDK).

The problem:

When the XDKs boot up they cannot negotiate with our DHCP (a Windows Server 2003 machine) to get an IP so they auto-configure themselves with a 169.254.0.1 IP. In this case they are useless to us.

After investigating this matter we have found that the Catalyst Express 500 switches are blocking the ports of the XDKs due to "Spanning Tree Protocol". I tried assigning different smartport settings, but this did not help at all. Moreover, if I changed the smartport settings to "desktop", the ports will get blocked with the message "Access was blocked to one or more devices connected to this port", but I think I know why this is - because the "desktop" setting only allows one MAC address to connect through the port and the XDKs have two IPs and two MAC addresses (one is the normal console IP, used to connect to XBOX Live and the other one is a "debug" IP, used to connect the console to a PC for development purposes) - so in the end I have to leave the smartport settings to "other".

From what I read about these CISCO switches, the problem is the Spanning Tree protocol which has to get through a number of states before it decides whether to block a port or not, and the XDKs ask for an IP in the first 5-10 seconds after you power them on. If I manually disable and re-enable the port where the XDK is connected and then I manually set an IP for only one of the console`s IPs (either normal or debug), then the console works, but now we can only connect either to XBOX Live or to a workstation, but not to both at the same time. This happens most of the time.

What is strange is that sometimes the XDKs will successfully negotiate an IP from our DHCP server for both components (normal and debug) and then they will work properly and we can connect both to XBOX Live and to a workstation at the same time - the only problem is that only in about 15% of the cases this works and even when they do succeed to negotiate the IPs, at some point the switches will block them again (invoking the STP) and our connection drops - which you can imagine that it is very frustrating.

What can I do to disable the STP check (or whatever the problem is if STP isn`t) on the ports where I connect the XDKs, or is there any other way to fix this issue so that the consoles can boot up, negotiate both IPs and then connect to XBOX Live and to a workstation at the same time without interruptions?

Sorry for the long post, but I would really appreciate if someone could help me with this issue because this is really making the lives of the XBOX department a living hell (and mine too, as I am supposed to fix the problem )

Thank you!

Everyone's tags (8)
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

From having a quick look at the product literature it says portfast is enabled by default on desktop  phone and desktop printer and server smartport roles. I'm not familiar with these switches maybe try and select the phone and desktop setting for your xdk development this should allow two devices on the port. I think i saw something about being able to change security settings from cisco network assistant which might be worth a try.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps6545/product_data_sheet0900aecd80322aeb.html

6 REPLIES
New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

Hi

It looks like you need to enable portfast on your switchports because if it is  not enabled the ports can take up to 20 seconds to come up to forwarding state due to spanning-tree.

hope this helps

Martin

New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

Thank you for your quick reply!

I read about that, portfast, but I did not find that option anywhere in the switch`s settings. Do you have any idea how I could enable that on our Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Switch?

Thank you,

Aurelian!

New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

From having a quick look at the product literature it says portfast is enabled by default on desktop  phone and desktop printer and server smartport roles. I'm not familiar with these switches maybe try and select the phone and desktop setting for your xdk development this should allow two devices on the port. I think i saw something about being able to change security settings from cisco network assistant which might be worth a try.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps6545/product_data_sheet0900aecd80322aeb.html

New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

I have allready tried assigning all the Server smartport roles and tehre was no improvement for the issue. I will try assigning the IP Phone + Desktop over the week-end and see if this fixes things. Also, I have noticed that in the Cisco Network Assistant there is an option to turn off STP for an entire VLAN - if all fail, I will try that and see if anything happens.

Thanks again for the help; I will post again the solution if it will work.

Best,

Aurelian

New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

I tried assigning to the XDK`s ports the "IP Phone+Desktop" setting but that still was not enough. I do not know if this does or doesn`t enable portfast, but anyway it does not enable the ports fast enough so the problem is still present.

Finally I had no choice but to disable the STP for the entire virual lan in all our CISCO switches. Now all XBOX Development Kits work flawlessly.

I want to thank you for your help because this problem has bugged us for a long time and i hope that if anyone else has this problem he will find this forum and find the fix to STP issue.

Again, thank you and keep up the good work!

Best regards,

Aurelian.

New Member

Re: XDK ports get blocked by STP in Catalyst Express 500 switch

Greetings

The CE500 have a CLI Mode, Yes it have!

But In my humble opinion I think its a Emulation of the CLI

When you do all the configuration in the SW, just type in you internet explorer.."http:// + IP Switch + /exec" for example "http://192.168.10.2/exec"

And you can emulate the CLI in the CE500. When you do this, you can easily configure the Portfast Mode in the Switch.

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