From Cisco to HP – Quick Start


It’s not uncommon that I have customer who are making the jump to HP networking gear from a Cisco  background.

This post is just a way for me to put together some resources for them to quickly get up to speed and to help make their lives easier.

Resources

CLI Reference Guide

If you’ve got a reasonable background in Cisco networking, the first thing you’ll want to check out is the HP Networking and Cisco CLI reference guide. Someone ( thankfully not me!) went through and created 292 pages of goodness in basically what is a small rosetta stone for a dual-vendor network.

If you know the command on a cisco IOS device. Do a quick search and you’ll find the HPN equivalent.

Interoperability Cook book

It’s VERY rare that I ever get involved in a greenfield environment. Most customers have a legacy network around, and many of those were built on Cisco equipment.  HP has taken this into consideration and put together the HP/Cisco Switching and Routing Interoperability Cookbook  which gives some clear guidelines on setting up both sides of the connections.

HP Press

A lot of people still haven’t caught on that HP Press was launched last year. There are already books out covering the major HP networking certifications, not to mention other HP product lines as well.  These are great resources to have on a shelf for those times when you just have to look something up.

Tips and Tricks

Spanning-tree is turned off by default

Whether or not you agree with this decision, HP has made it and you should be aware of it. If you’d like your new switch to participate in a (r/s/pv/TP ) environment. You’ll need to turn it on.

Command Aliases

I’ll admit it. After spending years in a Cisco world, the word ” show ” jumps out of my fingers faster and onto a keyboard faster than just about anything else except perhaps ” wr”   (  write mem for those of you who grew up in a copy running-configuration startup-configuration” era.  )

Even after years working with the comware products, ( which use the word display in place of show ) I still hit situations where the reflex just kicks in.

Luckily, HP has included a nice alias function which allows you to map new keywords to existing commands.
Included here is my list of commands which I keep on all my comware lab equipment. To say this outloud, there’s no excuse to not learn the new CLI. You will be a better engineer for it. But… it’s also nice to have a safety net for those moments when you’re fingers think faster than your brain.

HP Comware Cisco Alias command List

command-alias enable

command-alias mapping undo no

command-alias mapping reboot reload

command-alias mapping header banner

command-alias mapping reset clear

command-alias mapping acl access-list

command-alias mapping port switchport

command-alias mapping stp spanning-tree

command-alias mapping snmp-agent snmp-server

command-alias mapping user-interface line

command-alias mapping display show

command-alias mapping return end

command-alias mapping quit exit

command-alias mapping sysname hostname

command-alias mapping acl access-list

command-alias mapping save write

command-alias mapping delete erase

command-alias mapping info-center logging

 

note: If anyone has any I’ve missed here, please feel free to post in the comments and I’ll try and update the post.

Hotkeys

One of the other nice touches that HP has done with Comware is to include system hotkeys. This allows you a VERY quick way to input commands without typing the whole thing out. Wonderful for those situations where you can’t see where you are typing. Turned on too many debugs? CTRL_O will perform an “undebugging all” command for you and you get your terminal session back.

There are some default system ( unchangeable ) as well as some user-definable hotkeys which are listed here.

            =Defined hotkeys=

Hotkeys Command

CTRL_G  display current-configuration

CTRL_L  display ip routing-table

CTRL_O  undo debugging all

 

           =Undefined hotkeys=

Hotkeys Command

CTRL_T  NULL

CTRL_U  NULL

 

            =System hotkeys=

Hotkeys Function

CTRL_A  Move the cursor to the beginning of the current line.

CTRL_B  Move the cursor one character left.

CTRL_C  Stop current command function.

CTRL_D  Erase current character.

CTRL_E  Move the cursor to the end of the current line.

CTRL_F  Move the cursor one character right.

CTRL_H  Erase the character left of the cursor.

CTRL_K  Kill outgoing connection.

CTRL_N  Display the next command from the history buffer.

CTRL_P  Display the previous command from the history buffer.

CTRL_R  Redisplay the current line.

CTRL_V  Paste text from the clipboard.

CTRL_W  Delete the word left of the cursor.

CTRL_X  Delete all characters up to the cursor.

CTRL_Y  Delete all characters after the cursor.

CTRL_Z  Return to the User View.

CTRL_]  Kill incoming connection or redirect connection.

ESC_B   Move the cursor one word back.

ESC_D   Delete remainder of word.

ESC_F   Move the cursor forward one word.

ESC_N   Move the cursor down a line.

ESC_P   Move the cursor up a line.

ESC_<   Specify the beginning of clipboard.

ESC_>   Specify the end of clipboard.

Display this

Wow. I can’t say enough about how much I love this command. In a nutshell, display this ( or show this if you have the alias function turned on ) is a context sensitive command that will show you the configuration elements applicable to exactly where you are in the operating system hierarchy.

You want to see what configurations is applied to a specific port? No more  ” do show run inter gig 1/5″.  You just type in “display this” and you get the output.  What about when you’re in the RADIUS configuration mode?  Yup. Display this. Configuring OSPF or BGP on a switch? Display this.

It may seem like a very minor thing, but trust me, you will appreciate the consistency and the simplicity in a very short time.

This post is not intended to make you an expert on HP’s Comware OS, but hopefully, if you’re already a reasonably good networking professional, this will give you a leg up in getting up to speed quickly.

Misc

As with most modern Network OS’s, I would also remind everyone that

  • piping is supported

ex.  display running-configuration | include SNMP

  • the TAB key does auto-complete.
  • The question mark (?) is your friend. When it doubt use it and you will probably see what you’re looking for.

 

Did I miss any other getting started tips? Please feel free to post in the comments!

@netmanchris

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13 thoughts on “From Cisco to HP – Quick Start

  1. Hello , great article but i think in this situation aliases isn’t correct way to satisfacte your habits , bcause you are engineer and you need to be familiar with all of this devices (i’m not mean in “you” specificaly you”) thanks never watched this docs before 🙂

    1. Hey @_N1x.

      I agree with you 100% that you should try to get familiar with the new interface wherever possible. It often helps to understand the syntax and overall design philosophy of the operating system in general.

      But I also do believe that you should be aware of the little touches that are available to you in an OS. I’m not sure what I would have done if someone hadn’t shown me “do show run ” on an interface on a Cisco box. It may sound simple, but the little touches like been able to type “wr” and just have Comware save makes it really easy when moving from IOS to Comware or Provison.

      been a “real” engineer means that you have a fundamental understanding of networking and the typical protocols and you’ll figure out how to make it work. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a few comforts along the way. alias’s are just that. 🙂

  2. I know this is an old post, but as an netadmin coming from a extensive Cisco background to almost 100% HP, this really helped….. now if I only knew how to do “term mon” on old Procurve switches…

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Hi,
    even if its old, this is cool stuff, many thanks.
    One question, do you know a way to create
    an alias for ctrl-g to normal backspace.
    I work a lot with comware devices and this still annoys
    me sometimes.

    Regards tcpdump

    1. Hey @tcpdump I’ve usually just mapped this in the terminal, but in theory, you should be able to use the “hotkey” command to be able to figure this out. If I have some time, I’ll see if I can figure it out, but I’m hoping this might point you in the right direction.

      @netmanchris

      1. @netmanchris
        thanks for pointing this out.
        I finally found a (dirty) workaround that solves my issue.

        I created /usr/bin/keyboardbackspace
        “#!/usr/bin/expect
        eval spawn -noecho $argv

        interact {
        \177 {send “\010”}
        “\033\[3~” {send “\177”}
        }

        and I created an alias for
        /usr/bin/keyboardbackspace ssh

        As I said it is dirty, but works for me.
        Maybe someone else finds this useful
        as well.

        Regards tcpdump

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