back to article Aruba warns of storage destruction flaw that bricks some switches

Aruba has quietly admitted that recent firmware for some of its switches uses storage at “an unintended and accelerated pace” that “will meet or exceed the deployment lifetime of the switch” once installed. The switches in question are the company’s 6300-series and 6400-series devices. The company suggests the 6300 as “ideal …

  1. Hairy Wolf

    And (yet) again. Either software developers don't read the Flash specs, they don't understand the meaning of the lifetime, or they just don't calculate what it means in practice. I remember getting the "What do you mean, compact flash has a limited number of write cycles?" from a programmer over a decade ago, or the "You can destroy hardware by writing to Flash?" from a manager back in the early 90's.

    1. Lusty

      Easily solved with an SD card slot by hardware developers. Storage is a consumable and should be treated as such.

      1. Hairy Wolf
        FAIL

        SD Cards?

        Even if it is removable, how many network operators, in the widest sense, are going to want to swap SD cards every four months on every switch in their networks?

        In the cases I've come across in the past where it was removable cards that got toasted that still required a software rewrite to slow the rewrites.

        1. jeffty

          Re: SD Cards?

          Most top-of-rack/access-layer switches and branch routers don't have easily removable SD cards. It's more of a common thing on enterprise-grade routers, core switches and carrier-grade equipment, but usually these cards fail once in a blue moon (usually as a result of a power cut or PSU failure). Most of them only use the flash to store the firmware, once it's loaded everything runs in memory with configuration saved to seperate NVRAM. They shouldn't be making excessive write cycles to the flash storage, regardless of format.

          I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of flash cards I've had to replace in 10+ years as a network engineer. If I was having to replace cards every four months across a line of switches, I'd try my very best to make sure that vendor never gets picked again at the next hardware refresh.

        2. Lusty

          Re: SD Cards?

          Better, though, than replacing network equipment every 2 years. Modern SD cards don't burn out so often as they used to, and there are some designed for very heavy write cycles (designed for car cams, for instance). The flash inside the SD card can be any enterprise grade flash you like, at any capacity. The point I was making was that if you have a swappable hardware interface then you CAN swap the storage, otherwise the device is permanently borked. Network gear should last 10 years easily.

  2. BenM 29
    Mushroom

    bloody typical

    I work for a LA which is undergoing a massive rip and replace of Cisco gear for Aruba 6300s.

    My school is next to be victim of the "upgrade" program. I will bend the engineer's ear when he arrives in 30 minutes or so...

  3. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Logging, probably

    I've had various project managers ask me to store logs to non-volatile memory on constrained products without thinking about the consequences. Logs can wear it out incredibly quickly.

    I wouldn't be surprised if one of their devs has had to dig out the email chain in which they warned the manager about what would happen :(

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