CCIE Pursuit Blog

July 21, 2007

Off Topic: Apple Vindicated…Cisco To Blame…

Filed under: Cisco,IOS,Wireless,Work — cciepursuit @ 1:10 pm

…and I’m gonna eat crow due to me messing with my “Apple Core” buddies.  😦

If you haven’t been following this (here and here), then here’s a brief recap:

On Friday, July 13, as it happens, Duke’s IT staff identified the source of intermittent floods of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) requests as at least two Apple iPhones connecting via the phone’s built in wireless LAN adapter to Duke’s campus-wide net. The ARP floods, up to 30,000 requests per second, knocked offline sometimes as many as 30 access points, for 10 to 15 minutes.

It appeared that Apple’s iPhone was to blame, but now Network World is reporting that Cisco’s gear was to blame:

UPDATE: Cisco confirms its network gear caused Duke’s iPhone flooding
By John Cox, NetworkWorld.com, 07/20/07

5:54 p.m. ET update: Cisco confirmed that the networking problem Duke University experienced involving Cisco’s wireless network and Apple’s iPhone was caused by a Cisco network issue. Cisco says it has worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of the problem.

See also:

* Duke CIO issues statement
* Duke’s iPhone mystery reportedly resolved
* Duke’s iPhone wireless mystery sparks debate, rants, ponderings and Osmond Brothers nostalgia

A two-sentence e-mail from a Cisco PR spokeswoman to Network World confirmed the problem was caused by a “Cisco-based network issue.”

“Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke’s network and the problem has not occurred since,” according to the e-mail.

No other details were provided, and no reply has been received yet to an e-mail and two phone requests to Cisco for more details. No additional details have been provided by Duke University or by Apple.

The wireless problem crystallized exactly a week ago, on Friday, July 13 as it happens, when Duke’s IT staff identified the source of intermittent floods of Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) requests as at least two Apple iPhones connecting via the phone’s built in wireless LAN adapter to Duke’s campus-wide net. The ARP floods, up to 30,000 requests per second, knocked offline sometimes as many as 30 access points, for between 10 and 15 minutes.

That conclusion was based on an early analysis of traffic trace data by Duke IT staff. Frank Miller, assistant director, communications infrastructure, with Duke’s Office of Information Technology, was firmly convinced that the iPhone was the instigator. “I don’t believe it’s a Cisco problem in any way, shape, or form,” he said at the time.

The Cisco spokeswoman’s e-mail said Cisco ” worked closely with Duke and Apple to identify the source of this problem.”

They had plenty of help, from amateurs, experts and would-be experts who debated the possible causes, and assigned blame, in online forums at NetworkWorld.com and dozens of other Web sites.

All contents copyright 1995-2007 Network World, Inc. http://www.networkworld.com

It’s a good thing that I have the next week off from work.  Hopefully my colleagues will forget all of the Apple bashing I’ve been doing this week….but somehow I doubt that they will.   🙂

It would be nice if there were some actual technical detail concerning the reason for the issue and the fix from Cisco, in case there are similar issues that start to pop up in other WLANs.

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2 Comments »

  1. […] Off Topic: iPhone vs Cisco Resolved??? ***Update: It WAS a Cisco issue – not an Apple iPhone issue*** […]

    Pingback by Off Topic: iPhone vs Cisco Resolved??? « CCIE Pursuit — July 21, 2007 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

  2. […] Off Topic: Apple iPhone Kills Cisco WLAN ***Update: It WAS a Cisco issue – not an Apple iPhone issue***  […]

    Pingback by Off Topic: Apple iPhone Kills Cisco WLAN « CCIE Pursuit — July 21, 2007 @ 3:36 pm | Reply


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