Brocade Fiber Switch Console (Java) Shuts Down when Accessing via HTTP


If you run a lab or data center that includes Storage Area Networks (SAN) for shared storage then you’ve most likely run into switching technology.  For example, in our engineering lab we have 20+ physical hosts connecting to a fiber-based Host Bus Adaptors (HBA) and this requires the use of switches if you have more than 4 physical servers connecting to the storage device.  You might be a SAN expert but I’m here to assure you I’m far from it – I do what I can to learn more & more about this technology but I’ve got a long way to go.  Because of this, I thought I'd share some interesting bits of information over the coming days that honestly has required me to throw my hands up in frustration because no one else that I could find shared insights about working with this technology (Sorry EMC, your PowerLink site is horrible!)  Over the next few days, I’m going to share some information that has related to managing our EMC AX4-5 SAN with our Brocade 300S fiber switch.

Issue 1:  The Java Splash Screen opens and then immediately shutdown when I hit the switch in Internet Explorer

This first issue drove me literally batty.  The reason is that on a couple of physical hosts the problem didn’t exist and I could always use the IE client to access the switch settings or parameters.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve forgot which host so it eventually became evident I’d have to figure this out or get help.  If you have physical access to the switches, it might be simpler to connect directly to the switch but for most network-based connections are the way to go.

The Brocade switch OS is written in Java thus you have to download it upon first connecting.  This is a rather seamless process since when you hit the switch via a browser it detects whether you have Java or not and prompts you to install.

So, to walk you through the symptoms here of the problem that will drive you crazy and hate everything related to Java…do this -

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Enter http://{IP Address of SAN Switch} [e.g. http://192.168.1.100]
  3. You should see the URL change to /EZManager.html
  4. You should normally see the login screen after you see this screen… (Versions of Java may vary)image

But, you will unfortunately not see this if you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Server 2008/R2 as your operating system.  Instead, you will see Internet Explorer shutdown & Java.  Yes, that’s it.  There is no error indicating what the heck is going on.  You try it again, same result.  You are stumped beyond belief and your searches using the decision engine renders you helpless.

Fix it – I don’t care why it happens but just tell me how to fix it

I can’t, unfortunately, explain why this error occurs but I can tell you how to fix it.  I appreciate the face time I get with our EMC team but I didn’t get a response until recently on how the heck to fix this.  The nice thing is you don’t often access the switch thus it isn’t critical – but as soon as you need to you are reduced nearly to tears trying to access the switch.

It turns out you have to change one setting in the Java applet in the control panel that tells it to access the switch directly.  This small, yet reliable, change makes all problems with the shutting down go away. 

To fix this, go through these steps on your Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008/R2 machine -

  1. Click Start, Control Panel
  2. Under View By, ensure to select Large or Small Icons (non-category)image
  3. In Java (32-bit), under the General tab, Network Settings click Network Settings…
  4. Change the setting to use Direct Connection (no IE proxy, etc.)

image

Yes, that’s it.  This whole time you’ve been frustrated as heck trying to troubleshoot and basically having no idea where to look since everything just shuts down.  The savvy veterans who spend their days focusing on hardware such as SANs might have this trick in their back pocket but not this guy – and maybe you either.

After you’ve save this, you should now access the URL and immediately be prompted with the login screen which looks like the below:

image

Summary

In today’s post, I just did a simple example of when you feel overwhelmed because you are using a technology you might know nothing about.  In my case, a 10+ year veteran of Microsoft I can safely say that Java isn’t something I deal with that often (e.g. never) but in this case I had no choice.  This little configuration called “Direct connection” is very valuable when you move to Windows Vista or higher as you will have no success connecting to your SAN switches made by Brocade if you don’t. 

I hope this helps someone else because this little trick made my life so much better!  In tomorrow’s post, I will share how to enable the ports via zoning so that your SAN LUNs are presented to their hosts.

Enjoy!

-Chris

Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    no luck with me either.

  2. ChrAd says:

    Hey gang-

    This is a pretty old post and unfortunately I don’t have EMC’s or Brocade’s any longer so I can’t readily retry. What version(s) of the browsers are you using? This procedure included IE 8 on Windows Server 2008 R2.

    It looks like something has changed in these instructions and I will try and dig around internally and see if I might can find a place where I can re-test and see what might be occurring.

    Sorry this hasn’t helped – It worked great in 2010 😮

    -Chris

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello, this did not help. Still get failed to validate certificate. This is frustrating

  4. MD5 says:

    Hello,
    I have a similar problem.After i hit enter on IE with the switch IP I get an error for certificate and tab is closed…
    I tried the trick with Java but no luck.

  5. Armando says:

    Indeed it was Magical. I struggled for hours with different versions of Java. This made my connection with my Brocade switches possible with Win 8.1 and Firefox along with JRE 7.67 (32 bits). Thanks!

  6. bdesarkar says:

    This tip did not work for me.
    Instead I used the tip of commenting out the line no. 413 in java.security as per the url

    http://community.brocade.com/t5/Fibre-Channel-SAN/Java-plugin-needed-message-when-connecting-to-switch/td-p/51047 and was able to connect to the switch.

Skip to main content