The Ethernet Out of Band Channel (EOBC) is a half duplex channel that services many functions, which include the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and the packets that are destined for the switch. In order to ensure constant communication, some keep-alives run over the EOBC.
When several keep-alives are missed, it means communication is lost between the Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) and the supervisor. In order to prevent this, the code contains a workaround that resets the EOBC when it sees that the messages do not increment constantly.
In switches, a counter called tx_head is constantly monitored. If this counter does not move, it is declared that the EOBC is stuck. At this point, the EOBC resets.
This problem usually occurs due to these circumstances:
The EOBC channel fills with messages because of a storm of SNMP traffic. This occurs because it is a half duplex channel and is subject to collisions. When this happens, the EOBC can lack the time that is needed in order to transmit keepalives.
A bad ASIC or a bad backplane exists. If this is the case, these messages appear constantly in intervals of three seconds or less.
In order to display information about the EOBC interface, use the show eobc command.
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