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How the ifOperStatus of 'dormant' is used on the Matrix N-Series

  • 24 November 2013
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Article ID: 5158

Matrix N-Series DFE


Here is an example of ports showing a "dormant" status:
DFE(su)->show port status ge.1.1-3

Port Alias Oper Admin Speed Duplex Type
(truncated) Status Status (bps)
------------ ---------------- ------- ------- ------ ------- -------------
ge.1.1 dormant up 100.0M full 100 tx rj45
ge.1.2 dormant up 100.0M full 100 tx rj45
ge.1.3 down up 10.0M half 10 t rj45

From RFC 2863 (IF-MIB):
ifOperStatus OBJECT-TYPE
MAX-ACCESS read-only
STATUS current

"The current operational state of the interface. The testing(3)
state indicates that no operational packets can be passed. If
ifAdminStatus is down(2) then ifOperStatus should be down(2).
If ifAdminStatus is changed to up(1) then ifOperStatus should
change to up(1) if the interface is ready to transmit and
receive network traffic; it should change to dormant(5) if the
interface is waiting for external actions (such as a serial
line waiting for an incoming connection); it should remain in
the down(2) state if and only if there is a fault that
prevents it from going to the up(1) state; it should remain in
the notPresent(6) state if the interface has missing
(typically, hardware) components."

::= { ifEntry 8 }

. . .

3.1.12. New states for IfOperStatus

Three new states have been added to ifOperStatus: 'dormant',
'notPresent', and 'lowerLayerDown'.

The dormant state indicates that the relevant interface is
not actually in a condition to pass packets (i.e., it is not
'up') but is in a "pending" state, waiting for some external
event. For "on-demand" interfaces, this new state identifies
the situation where the interface is waiting for events to
place it in the up state.

Examples of such events might be:

(1) having packets to transmit before establishing a
connection to a remote system;

(2) having a remote system establish a connection to the
interface (e.g. dialing up to a slip-server).

[/code]Here are the general circumstances under which a physical port would be described as dormant:
  • The System is distributing data throughout the chassis, in preparation for bringing the ports active. This guarantees that the System doesn't bridge packets until all configuration commands have been activated, a state known in the firmware as "readyToSwitch".
  • The port has link and the ifAdminStatus is up but the System is waiting on an external event (typically, 802.1x/MAC/PWA authentication).
  • The port is currently part of a 802.3ad LAG (visible via a 'show lacp' command). The dormant state is reflective of the fact that the port is not passing switched/routed user traffic, that task being assumed by the LAG aggregator instance (ex: lag.0.1) with which it is associated (5203).

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