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Specific SIP packets can cause ethernet controller reset

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Author: Matt Riddell
Daily Asterisk News
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Kristian Kielhofner has posted a blog entry about packets that can cause your ethernet controller to reset.

The original article now contains links to updates from Intel too.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Packets of death. I started calling them that because thatís exactly what they are.

Star2Star has a hardware OEM that has built the last two versions of our on-premise customer appliance. Iíll get more into this appliance and the magic it provides in another post. For now letís focus on these killer packets.

About a year ago we released a refresh of this on-premise equipment. It started off simple enough, pretty much just standard Mooreís Law stuff. Bigger, better, faster, cheaper. The new hardware was 64-bit capable, had 8X as much RAM, could accommodate additional local storage, and had four Intel (my preferred ethernet controller vendor) gigabit ethernet ports. We had (and have) all kinds of ideas for these four ports. All in all it was pretty exciting.

This new hardware flew through performance and functionality testing. The speed was there and the reliability was there. Perfect. After this extensive testing we slowly rolled the hardware out to a few beta sites. Sure enough, problems started to appear.

All it takes is a quick Google search to see that the Intel 82574L ethernet controller has had at least a few problems. Including, but not necessarily limited to, EEPROM issues, ASPM bugs, MSI-X quirks, etc. We spent several months dealing with each and every one of these. We thought we were done.

We werenít. It was only going to get worse.

I thought I had the perfect software image (and BIOS) developed and deployed. However, thatís not what the field was telling us. Units kept failing. Sometimes a reboot would bring the unit back, usually it wouldnít. When the unit was shipped back, however, it would work when tested.

Wow. Things just got weird.

Read the rest of the article


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