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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Memory Allocation Error with IOS 15.0(2)

We updated a switch (C3560G-48PS-S) from 12.2(58)SE2 to IOS 15.0(2)SE1. Some time after the upgrade we got error messages about memory allocations to our syslog server in regular intervals (each 30 seconds).

We weren't able to connect to the switch over SSH anymore. It wasn't even possible to access the CLI over the console cable (error message: "Low on memory; try again later"). After a reboot of the switch, it went fine for some hours, but the error appeared again. It seems that the switching process still works fine as there aren't any complaints of users about network issues.

Important: We installed the same IOS version to another switch of the type C2960-24PC-L and the memory allocation appeared there after some hours as well. We thought that this issue is maybe solved with the newest release of IOS for that particular device. But even with IOS 15.0(2)SE2 on the C2960-24PC-L the memory allocation error happens again. Just the traceback is a little bit different.

Does anyone have the same issue with IOS 15.0(2) as well? Could maybe give me someone a hint what to do for solving that issue?

Error Message of C3560G-48PS-S with IOS 15.0(2)SE1

031513: Feb 22 11:00:26.848: %SYS-2-MALLOCFAIL: Memory allocation of 65536 bytes failed from 0x2C13A88, alignment 0
Pool: Processor  Free: 693180  Cause: Memory fragmentation
Alternate Pool: None  Free: 0  Cause: No Alternate pool
-Process= "CDP Protocol", ipl= 0, pid= 205
-Traceback= 1FBAAF4z 2BF7F08z 2BFEAE4z 2C13A8Cz 1EB4DF4z 1EB8A0Cz 1EB8B00z 1E82974z 1A2ABF0z 1A2F1B0z 12EA4FCz 12EE85Cz 19EDC84z 19E83D8z

This issue appears to be a memory leak.  If you look at the memory there is a large increase (relatively speaking) in:

    PC          Total   Count  Name
0x00D03218    4065960      62  AAA AttrL Sub

In the capture at 0 hours this is holding about 65K, however after 6 hours it's risen to 4 MB.  As I mentioned before a small leak can have a large impact on a switch like this because it doesn't have much memory free to begin with.  This issue looks very similar to one the bug that was fixed by Cisco in 15.0(2)SE:

CSCty49762 (Cisco login required).
EAP Framework and AAA AttrL Sub Uses All Process Memory.
This bug deals with AAA and dot1x authentications.

You can apply the workaround from here (Cisco login required) and memory holding should stabilize.


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