Huawei SmartMX 5616 Crash Guide Part 2 – Chassis Setup

If you haven’t already please read part 1

W have our telnet connection up and running, we have the cards initalised and we know why we are here. Next up we need to get the VDSL profiles, line profiles and templates done.

First up we want to force H248 mode. H248 is covered here

protocol support h248

This has been the default so far for the systems I’ve looked at. I’m not overly sure WHAT the repercussions are of not setting this are but this is Huawei’s recommendation for VDSL. We now setup a line profile. When you hear the words “reset your IP profile” this is what is meant. These profiles decide how to handle your line and decide what connection speeds you’ll be allowed. A profile may have a max and min SNR and these are used to calculate what settings to use. We will only be adding one here but you could add multiples or just add them as needs be. The line profile and channel profile go together to make an overall picture of how that line will be handled. Huawei go into this in exhaustive detail here

vdsl line-profile quickadd 3 transmode 1 bitswap 2 2 adapt 2 2 snr 60 0 300 60 0 300 power-management 2 2 255 30 255 3 9 name VDSL LINE PROFILE 2

If you are copy and pasting you may want to pop this into notepad first, copy and pasting long lines *can* include line breaks too.

So what are we doing here? vdsl line-profile quickadd is our command. You *can* use add rather than quickadd and do this interactively. Specifying quickadd a profile number and pressing ? will help you build the line. Most of what’s here can stay as defaults unless you REALLY know what you are doing, the SNR parameters are specified after power-management and using the help system will help you build a different line profile if you know what you need. This line works well with the Huawei white modems and the HomeHub 5 so it follows this is a good setup for UK specific modems. And alternate line looks like :

vdsl line-profile quickadd 3 snr 60 0 300 60 0 300

Which is the one used by Hong Telecom. The first line is from Huawei themselves so I’d stick with that. Next up is the VDSL channel profile…

vdsl channel-profile quickadd 3 path-mode both interleaved-delay 8 2 inp 4 2 rate 128 100000 128 100000 100000 100000 rate-threshold 0 0 0 0 name VDSL CHANNEL PROFILE 3

This one is the profile that’s applied to a line, this is where you apply line rate limits etc. Again you have the option to do this interactively (recomended) or use ? to build the command line but most of what is above will do you. This is going in as profile 3 again there is a lot you should leave be but the rates are specified after the rate keyword. In order these are:

Minimum transmit rate downstream
Minimum reserved transmit rate downstream
Maximum transmit rate downstream
Minimum transmit rate upstream
Minimum reserved transmit rate
Maximum transmit rate upstream

The last bit is to stitch these together into a template….

vdsl line-template quickadd 3 line 3 channel1 3 100 100 name VDSL LINE TEMPLATE 3

Again you have the same two options to do this interactively or be guided. In this case we added template 3 using line template 3, channel template 3. the two numbers control line adaptation and can stay as they are, then lastly we give it a name. The documention does mention alarm profiles however we will stay with the default one for now. We just want these lines up.

We are working with VLAN 1, the default one for ease of use. We now need to make sure our GE and fibre ports are members of VLAN 1, they are by default but it can’t hurt. These are ports 0 and 1 respectively. Bear in mind the SFP port 0 is connected to the GE port so you only have 2 ports here

port vlan 1 0/0 0
port vlan 1 0/0 1

You’ll most likely get a warning about the ports already being members. Now comes the bit that will mess you up, especially if you follow the online examples. Pay careful attention to this next bit.

We mow need to tie each vdsl port to the VLAN we are working with. Here you have the ability to control exactly how traffic will be handled. We could split endpoints into multiple vlans, provide multiple vlans to the endpoint, eg a CCTV and Telephony VLAN and direct these to actual VLANs on the outgoing trunks. A vlan MUST exist and be routed to an external interface before traffic from the remote will flow. Vlan ? will get you started on this part. So our command here is:

service-port 0 vlan 1 vdsl mode ptm 0/1/0 multi-service user-vlan 100

If you want to omit the vlan management (this gave me some issues) use:

service-port 0 vlan 1 vdsl mode ptm 0/2/1

So we are setting up service port 0, you can have 1999 of these so even with the number of channels on this unit you wont run out soon. Our destination vlan is 1, the default vlan and we are in ptm mode. Next is our port ID, we covered this in part one. So we are looking at frame 0, board 1, port 0 here. which is the first VDSL channel on board 1. Multi-service as we want to be able to embed multiple tags. You can ignore this, however if you want to use BT surplus kit or equipment setup for use in the UK you will want to set this. User VLAN specifies the vlan we are going to use.

Many people setting up VDSL modems in the UK will run accross a modem that syncs but no traffic flows. By default *most* UK providers use a VLAN which is why we enabled multi service above and set the VLAN as 101 which is what most use. You can of course set this as anything you want or even not set multi-service at all. By doing so your modems and routers will need to be configured specifically for this setup, the beauty of setting this is that all the off the shelf, cheap/free ISP provided kit will work right off the bat with no modifications especially the white Huawei and ECI modems.

The bad news is you’ll need to do this on a per port basis, have fun with that. Last make damn sure you do

save configuration

If you plug in to that VDSL port now and all is well traffic will be flowing. You’ll note there is no authentication going on here. Generally what would happen is each port gets mapped either to a specific vlan and then this vlan is forwarded to a PPPOE server either in bulk or a per port vlan. Typically a carrier would use per port and something called stacking so that authentication and traffic are unique to each user. In this setup we have done you *could* snoop traffic at an endpoint.

Now there is an issue here I haven’t fixed, I can’t get the second SFP port running. This is do do with working as part of a GPON solution which means there’s only 1Gb or 10Gb of traffic routing here and thats only if your infrastructure is capable of handling 10Gbit. A 10GBit capable card in the firewall itself would be one way to do this but watch your PCI-E bandwidth if you are planning on getting close. 10Gb allows for 100 100Mb channels concurrently, which *should* be enough.


Changing the port mode is stupidly easy. After trying some more things I ended up with a non routing system again, so I dug round, fixed the issue and stumbled on the solution. In my case this did nuke all the settings and it does warn you of this!

port mode 0/0/0 ge

Will put port 0 and the GE port into plain old Gigabit ethernet mode. This is the default. To take 1 out of GPON and into GE just do:

port mode 0/0/1 ge

Port now will happily play with a normal SFP now. Dont forget to save!

Huawei SmartMX 5616 Crash Guide Part 1 – Initialisation

We recently managed to get hold of one of these units and the power supply unit for it. Although the power supply is pretty simple to get setup the DSLAM itself is a little bit more complex.

We have had issues and concerns with the older Versa DSLAMs we use. We simply aren’t getting the reach we are expecting even on brand new cable and though on paper these seem flexible the command interface is horrid and it seems getting them working is more dumb luck. On two events we have places that on paper, should not be an issue, but in practice we were struggling at the 1km mark to get anything where on paper we should have been around the 30Mbit range. We may have been able to work on this a bit by forcing the use of lower line speed profiles but the Versa dosnt make this easy. On top of this we found we had to disable 17a due to crosstalk issues. VDSL2 was ratified in 2005 which is pretty close to the manufacture date of these units which may mean there are protocol oddities here.

So in comes the Huawei SmartMX. We got this unit complete for a good price along with most of the kit. Because we are suspicious we checked the serial numbers with Huawei and all good. At this early juncture they were helpful and the documentation is concise and the staff helpful. Versa were right up to the point they realised they were not going to get any more sales. The support team walked me through a full factory reset to clear the passwords on the unit and they did ask me NOT to share this part, sorry guys. The info is out there though and if you ask the support team they will tell you. I’m guessing this is a result of the high retail value of these units and the fact there are thousands of these in poorly protected street cabinets.

Our unit came with the CCUE card, which is the top dog in terms of management cards and two H835VDSH cards and a DC PSU. We got the SMU01b unit with this which gives AC to DC, environment monitoring and support for 48V of battery power.

The H835VDSH cards are 24 channel VDSL2 boards. These have no on board splitter or pass through port so you’ll need to provide the splitter elsewhere. Annoyingly they use 64 way telco connectors rather than 50 and these can be a dog to find, expect to make up your own leads and note that the pairing is NOT the standard used on 50 ways! We wanted VDSL2 with Vectoring so a search found us two H83BVCLF boards for the right money. These don’t have splitters either but we can work round that.

Vectoring allows higher throughput as a result of less crosstalk. Draytek have a write up here : about what this is. In our case the environments are often VERY noisy electrically split accross phases, multiple generators and run in large copper backbones. Vectoring should help us here, a LOT.

So off we go and the first thing we run in to is that all the config guides are aimed at use in FTTC networks,. There is little or no allowance for using it as *just* a bridge in the examples. The unit can do it but everything is overly complicated. Connect up to the console port with a Cisco cable at 9600 baud. And now bring on the pain. This console is beyond awful. dont even think about using backspace 🙂 Its also slow and easy to out-type where it’ll just drop chars. So we want to improve this as fast as we can.

First up login and do the following. If your system is defaulted you might not want to do this but it cant hurt. The default user is root with the password mduadmin. Once logged in..

erase configuration

It will prompt you if this is right and then go on to reboot. Thsi means you have a nice clean canvas. This does NOT erase the management interface settings, this is possibly deliberate so the whole thing can still be setup remotely. Let’s get that management interface sorted, login again..

interface meth0
ip address <desired ip> 24

Obviously <desired ip> should match what you want to use IP address wise. Now if this is all you are doing then quit and save. Make sure the ‘ETH’ port is connected to your Lan and for simplicity connect the GE port too.

save configuration

If you find the interface is already setup you’ll need to change the settings/ after typing interface meth0 you can press ? for help with this. Once you get your head round how the system goes together its pretty easy. Now, logout of the console by typing quit till you get to a login prompt. this is important as it’ll only allow one session. You should be able to telnet into the unit at the IP you set and we are off. It doesn’t solve the awful terminal setup but it stops the dropped chars. There may be a solution for this via serial as Huawei do give some very specific serial settings that they suggest.

We have three boards, the two VCLF boards and one VDSH. The system organises things into frame/slot/port. We only have one frome here so thats always 0/. Slot wise, 0 is the CCUE, 1 is the top slot, 4 is the bottom and 5 is the PSU. So we have:

CCUE = 0/0
VCLF = 0/1
VCLF = 0/2
VDSH= 0/3
PDVA = 0/5

0/4 has nothing in it. This may be different depending on your cards. Each board must be confirmed except 0/0 to enable it, so we need to do this for each board we have

board confirm 0/1
board confirm 0/2
board confirm 0/3

Once you’ve done this try:

display board 0

You should see something like:

  SlotID  BoardName  Status           SubType0 SubType1  Online/Offline
  0       H831CCUE   Active_normal    UP2A
  1       H83BVCLF   Normal
  2       H83BVCLF   Normal
  3       H835VDSH   Normal
  5       H832PDVA   Normal

Now if all says normal we are good and we can start the setup. you’ll want part 2 for that..