One of our newer sites has a pair of fancy-pants HP ProCurve 2910al-48G-PoE switches (48 port, gigabit, power over ethernet). These switches were sufficiently expensive that we started joking that they must have gold-plated connectors and platinum cases. Still, we figured, you get what you pay for - spendy switches == extra good, right? Sadly not.
The first unpleasant surprise was when they arrived - both had chassis that were noticeably bent - as if someone had taken the "curve" part of ProCurve too literally. One was dead on arrival - wouldn't even power on. We kept the working-but-bent one, as we needed it ASAP. HP shipped the replacement for the DOA one, and life went on...
A year later another one died - quite spectacularly - the PoE power supply died, so while the switch kept on working, there was no power over ethernet, and any phones connected to it stopped working. I took out the power cord to power cycle the unit, and when I restored power, there was an unpleasant crackling noise, and acrid smoke issued from the unit. You've never seen two sysadmins move so quickly!
Again HP shipped a replacement, which died within a month, again with a fault in the PoE power supply. HP support asked us to run "show tech all" but we found this from "show log" most useful:
W 01/25/90 22:59:43 00576 chassis: 50V Power Supply 1 is Faulted. Failures: 2
W 01/25/90 22:59:44 00071 chassis: Power Supply failure: Supply: 1, Failures: 1
W 01/25/90 22:59:45 00578 chassis: Co-processor Unrecoverable fault on PoE controller 1
Yep, another dead PoE power supply. That was in 2010. Replacement shipped, life went on...
You guessed it... yesterday, I got a call to say that some of the phones at that site had stopped working. It wasn't too hard to guess the cause! The web UI showed no faults, but the port status display showed 5 ports were delivering PoE but had no ethernet link. Definitely not what I expect to see - once the phones are getting power, they boot and establish an ethernet link. So a 55 km drive to the site, and what do you know, another dead PoE power supply:
|PoE fault lights on an HP ProCurve switch - a most unpleasant sight!|
Anyway, the nice lady at HP is shipping out another one, so I guess I'll go to the site again, and replace it yet again. I wonder how long this one will last.
In summary: nice features, expensive switches, totally unreliable.
I'm contemplating buying or making some sort of PoE monitoring device that we could monitor from Nagios, so we know when it fails.