This weekend I'm planning to (at long last) take a bunch of a equipment off of a hand-made (2x4s and plywood) bench and mount it all in a proper rack. One of the items to move is an HP 5406zl modular switch with two modules, shown below:

HP 5406zl

It's currently sitting in a two-poster rack, and the edge of the bench I'm "retiring" is seen to the left. It's moving because it's too heavy for the two-post rack, which is not correctly secured to the floor and will also be "retired".

The arrangement of the new rack is such that it will be very advantageous to swap the two modules in the switch. The bright orange fiber cables should move to the left, the blue and gray cat5e cables should go to the right.

My current plan is to take a config backup on Thursday, and edit the file to swap all references to modules A and B on Friday, in order to be ready for the changes over the weekend.

My question here is a basic sanity check. Will this work? Is it even necessary (ie: would the switch detect that what is plugged into module B is the same module that used be in A, and just move it's configuration accordingly? What should I watch out for?


2 Answers 2


I am a HP switches guy, and I can confirm that you can swap the two blades easily enough, but you will need to re-configure the ports - the physical media change you're making doesn't automatically map to a logical configuration so you will need to (re)define this explicitly.

As you suggest, taking a backup and then grabbing the port configs with show running-config editing the port config then playing them back will work just fine.

  • So basically the same headache you have with Cisco switches.
    – voretaq7
    May 20, 2013 at 21:27
  • yep. A pest but not complex to sort out, just time consuming if you have a lot of blades to change. We've had to re-organise a few 5412ZLs before now and had to update the config but if you know in advance that it will happen then its not too bad.
    – Rob Moir
    May 20, 2013 at 21:36
  • 1
    You have to pay a bit of attention not to mix things up but it isn't too bad. Been there, done that. In fact, I spend most of this afternoon doing something similar on a rack of 8 Cisco 4900M's. Some smart-ass didn't know that X4908-10GE cards have a 2:1 over-subscription and X4904-10GE don't. All the high-performance stuff was on the 4908 cards. Working out the new wiring diagram and preparing the configs took me 2 days last week. Reconfiguring this afternoon was just 30 minutes. The re-wiring took me 4 hours because I had to update Racktables and the cable-labels as I went along.
    – Tonny
    May 20, 2013 at 22:09
  • 1
    @JoelCoel - You can fill in the modules however you want - with our edge switches we start local data copper modules from the top/first slot and fibre uplinks from the bottom/last, for example. As for the backup, that will capture everything, sure, I'm just used to editing config the way I described...and now I'm wondering why myself.
    – Rob Moir
    May 24, 2013 at 17:58
  • 1
    Haha, got this done today. I did also have to set the module information at the beginning of the file, and I wanted to update with the new config before shutting down, but it wouldn't let me and I had to wait until after booting up again, but it worked out just fine.
    – Joel Coel
    May 28, 2013 at 1:43

I'm not an HP Switches guy, but a quick scan of the 5400zl series documentation doesn't seem to indicate that there would be any problem swapping these modules from a hardware/architecture standpoint.

You may need to reconfigure the switch (because you're changing the type of modules in each slot, and depending on how HP numbers the interfaces what used to be A/GbE1 might now be B/GbE1 or similar, so stuff like vLAN rules may be affected -- if you're prepared for that and have an adequate outage window it shouldn't be a major issue, and the work involved would certainly be worth it for neater cabling, at least in my view.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.