Troubleshooting NTP

Those who have read my article on Non Technical tips on CCIE Troubleshooting and who are following my Technical tips on CCIE Troubleshooting would be wondering why I have chosen to write an article on NTP after writing a post on Troubleshooting MPLS VPN. NTP is trivial as compared to MPLS VPN, so why not the new post on BGP or OSPF? The message I want to send home is that no topic is simple in CCIE. I thought NTP is easy and did not practice it and during Lab, this simple topic caused me to go blank because without practice, there is no strategy and without strategy you don’t know what to do. In this article we will see few scenarios with regards to troubleshooting NTP in a Cisco network. Continue reading

Troubleshooting MPLS VPN

As I had promised in my post “Non-Technical Tips for CCIE Lab Troubleshooting”, I am back with a series on troubleshooting different networking technologies centering around CCIE Lab. In this post I will be talking about MPLS VPN. For an average person working in Computer Networks, MPLS seems to be a topic which seems to be most scary. Even if their project involves just an MPLS circuit between 2 locations, the word “MPLS” still scares them although there is not much difference between it and a layer 2 circuit. I have received International calls from many of my friends and colleagues who were overwhelmed by MPLS. This could stem from lack of knowledge on MPLS or the way many people teach MPLS. I have seen many guys teaching MPLS by jumping straight¬†to configuration. This teaching method even overwhelmed me, so I tore apart MPLS VPN to understand it better and if you see the concept first and then individual protocols, it might not seem that difficult. In this post, I will not explain MPLS VPN but help develop a strategy to troubleshoot MPLS VPN. It is expected that you know MPLS beforehand to make sense of it or at least have partial knowledge. As I had mentioned in my previous blog about the disadvantages of “Show Run”, so I would be concentrating on using debugs and show commands rather than show run for troubleshooting. Continue reading

Tracing Cables with CDP

Information Technology has become such an important part of our lives that not even a single facet of our life has been left untouched by it. The field is so vast and deep that it is not possible for one person to know everything. Every Specialty requires a specialist and some times a single person is expected to know more than one specialties. There are programmers, networkers, database admins, network and information security officers, voice admins, etc who look into managing their respective domain. There is a segment which is oft ignored and assigned to people who are reluctant on taking the responsibility or to unskilled staff. This segment is cable management. Continue reading

Non-Technical Tips for CCIE Lab Troubleshooting

With the introduction of Troubleshooting section in CCIE Lab Routing and Switching, getting the CCIE number has become ever so difficult. I have even come across people who have switched to other CCIEs like Security, Voice, etc because clearing Troubleshooting section was beyond them. The other problem with TS is that it is placed before the Lab exam, so if you think that you will not be able to clear TS Section, you will have absolutely no interest in completing the configuration portion. The disadvantage to this is that you will lose the free attempt to practice configuration section which would be helpful in future attempts.

In this blog I will write about the Non-Technical aspects which might help you in clearing the TS Section. There are several things you must know before you attempt the TS Section, during the preparation for it, before attempting it and during the attempt. These inputs are based on my experience and could differ from people to people. Continue reading