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This Cisco video training with Jeremy Cioara covers troubleshooting Cisco networks, including topics such as IOS tools, VLANs and spanning trees, router performance issues, and more....
This Cisco video training with Jeremy Cioara covers troubleshooting Cisco networks, including topics such as IOS tools, VLANs and spanning trees, router performance issues, and more.

Related area of expertise:
  • Cisco networking level 2

Are you ready to run a Cisco network?  You will be, once you pass your TSHOOT exam. TSHOOT is the final step for earning Cisco's CCNP certification.  Employers trust that CCNP certified staff have the vital, problem-solving skills their network needs.

With tech guru Jeremy Cioara in the virtual chair next to you, you'll get the training you need super-fast, and you'll love every minute of it!  His TSHOOT video course is 80-90% hands-on, and Jeremy's filled it with tons of unscripted, real-world troubleshooting demonstrations.

By the time you're done watching, you'll be ready for the TSHOOT exam and actively troubleshooting your own network.
1. TSHOOT: Setting Your Expectations (16 min)
2. General TSHOOT: The Troubleshooting State of Mind (28 min)
3. General TSHOOT: Troubleshooting Before You're Treading Water - Proactive Steps (18 min)
4. General TSHOOT: Troubleshooting Before You're Treading Water - Proactive Steps, Part 2 (39 min)
5. General TSHOOT: IOS Tools to Monitor and Maintain the Network (27 min)
6. General TSHOOT: IOS Tools to Monitor and Maintain the Network, Part 2 (56 min)
7. Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree Concept Review (19 min)
8. Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree (30 min)
9. Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree, Part 2 (28 min)
10. Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols Concept Review (21 min)
11. Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols (36 min)
12. Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols, Part 2 (27 min)
13. Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP Concept Review (23 min)
14. Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP (48 min)
15. Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP, Part 2 (37 min)
16. Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP, Part 3 (19 min)
17. Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution Concept Review (23 min)
18. Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution (41 min)
19. Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution, Part 2 (29 min)
20. Route TSHOOT: BGP Concept Review (18 min)
21. Route TSHOOT: BGP (26 min)
22. Route TSHOOT: Router Performance Issues Concept Review (28 min)
23. Route TSHOOT: Router Performance Issues (43 min)
24. Security TSHOOT: Access List Concept Review (17 min)
25. Security TSHOOT: Access List Chaos (62 min)
26. IPv6 TSHOOT: IPv6 and IPv6 Routing Protocols (21 min)

TSHOOT: Setting Your Expectations

General TSHOOT: The Troubleshooting State of Mind

General TSHOOT: Troubleshooting Before You're Treading Water - Proactive Steps

00:00:00

Troubleshooting before you're treading water some proactive steps well think of this nugget as a continuation of the previous one where you might have been looking at some of those network maintenance strategies I had laid out and said "Okay, it's good, it's good start, but give me some more meat to it." Well that's what I'd

00:00:17

like to do here is kind of convey a little bit more to you of what would be a good way to establish network maintenance procedures, what are some key areas to think through. Then I'd like to walk you through the IOS maintenance savvy configurations. Unbeknownst

00:00:33

to most included in the IOS software are a lot of configurations you can do to for instance back up your configuration automatically, restore your configuration from back up so I'd like to talk through some of those without buying any expensive software packages.

00:00:46

And then we'll look at approaches to troubleshooting, when you're walking in again this is before you're treading water what approaches can you take to most effectively and efficiently take out the problems? So let's get into it one of the first things that you should do is establish network maintenance procedures for your organization. Here's how you do it you open a Microsoft

00:01:11

Word or if you're on a budget Word Perfect Document and create headers that have each one of these items that I have here on this slide listed underneath it and establish what policy you would like for each one of those for your organization, get management to approve it, email it out to everyone, it's now enacted, it's now law that everybody has to adhere to. So I'm going to camp

00:01:34

a little while on this slide as we unpack each one of these. First off change control change control is huge because there's no quicker way to undermine a network than have no change control. I'd fall into it just as fast as anybody else. You get the email,

00:01:50

someone says "Hey, can you create a VLAN for us? We're going to do some tests in a lab environment and maybe route it to the internet, allow it to access a couple of these other areas of the network." When I get an email like that I'm like "Sweet, sure, I'd love to." It sounds cool to me, I'm like this guy drawing

00:02:09

things here on the screen, it's already in my mind, I'm like "Okay, I've got to create a VLAN, what ports are they in, I've got it to the trunk, add it to every switch hole in the way, add the router interface." Again, I'm kind of creating that flowchart

00:02:20

in my mind and it all works in my head and I'm like "Oh this is going to be sweet." So you start into it and then you're like "Oh, I forgot about let me just do this." Again there's no change control, there's no real documentation you're doing along the way. You're just putting out somebody's fire for them. They wanted

00:02:34

a test environment so you're giving them that. And I'll tell you what when you're done you're going to be their hero and you've undermined your whole network consistency all across the board. So the first thing you want to do is figure out what you're going to need for change control. What does that mean? It means balancing

00:02:49

people's needs versus the stability of your network. When you're talking about other people their needs are always urgent and important. Think back to the last nugget where I was talking about Steve and Kevy, that quadrant one where it's just like any time somebody has a need, think about yourself and I'll put myself out there, that's a little easier to when I was trying to get a number ported just the other day to a new carrier and I'm emailing him, I'm going "I need this now, I need this number now" and they finally jumped through hoops and got it for me, I was like "Okay, thanks" and I thought about it and I was like "Oh, I guess I really didn't need it now but I'm glad it's done, I'm glad it's done" and that's what most people do, when they think about things it's urgent, it's in their mind and they want to draw you right into that and that's going to kill your network.

00:03:36

So let me draw up right down to the scheduled maintenance windows and I talked about this briefly in the last nugget if you've already established schedule maintenance windows for your organization then you can go in and say "Oh, great, you want a new test VLAN? Well I'm happy, I would love to set that up for you. I've actually

00:03:52

got a window 1 to 4 am on Friday that I'd be able to do that for you to make sure that we don't undermine the network or anything like that." Now if you don't have any documentation in place they're going to be coming back at you going "What do you mean 1 to 4 Friday, it's Tuesday, I can't wait until Friday. What do you mean? What's the deal?" But if you've already sent this out to the organization they know that it's 1 to 4 on Friday, it will either remind them and go "Oh" or they'll get management involved and they'll say "Hey, we need this, can you coordinate?" but again you're no longer the bad guy, the maintenance procedure document is the bad guy. Do you see what I mean? So you've kind

00:04:29

of balanced it out to where now you're not just doing things on a whim, there's a procedure for change, there's a procedure for doing things and you really have to assess "When I do things like this how does this impact my organization?" I've worked with some huge companies and I will say some of them go overboard with their documentation to submit a change request for the network as you might as well say "We need this also signed by the President of the United States in order for this to go through" because there are so many hoops to go through but I will say they have a very stable network by the time I send it on. So you get my

00:05:05

point, right? So documentation documentation the biggest advice I can give to you on that is number one keep it electronic. I've walked into way too many organizations where they've got the beautiful landscape document up on the wall of the IT room. You go "That is awesome looking"

00:05:21

and you look at the little date in the corner and it says "This was last updated 2007" and there are pencil marks all over it of changes of some good hearted person that they tried to do. Unfortunately as good as those printed documents look they just get outdated way too fast because things are constantly changing all the time. So keep it electronic, keep it all in one place,

00:05:43

and document things like number one network drawings, your VCO schematic or your what's a good free one what's the one Google makes? SketchUp, I think that's Google's one. But essentially some program that you can use to document this OmniGraffle if you're on the Macintosh is a great one. Document

00:06:05

your connections, your WAN links, your LAN connection, your equipment list. Again now we're moving to Microsoft Excel where you've got the spreadsheet list of what router models you have, what modules are inside of those, what date they were installed, what date the SmartNet expires on each one of them, when was the last time this was set for an IOS upgrade, what's the current IOS version. You get all of these, it's all in a kind of a table

00:06:30

format is what I'm visualizing in Excel as I'm talking about this. Now keep in mind I know many of you have these killer products like SolarWinds Orion or HP OpenView or something like that that does a lot of this for you and if you have them, great. I'm just

00:06:44

talking Excel, it's free. Well I shouldn't say free but most companies have it already on your PC so use that, use Google Docs or whatever if you don't have anything fancy. Document your IP addresses one thing I've been doing lately is creating what I call a network Quick Sheet for organizations to where I list the private IP addresses, public IP addresses. A lot of the big ones that are

00:07:09

out there, their uses, what they're assigned to, how they're assigned, all those kind of things I wish I could show you some of the spreadsheets I've created that are just monstrous, that document VMware machines, what SERG, DRAC IP addresses for the servers. It's a huge IP address administration document. Document

00:07:26

your configurations, have something I'll show you some IOS tools, I can do this in a moment, that regularly backs up your configurations so you have them over time because when problems happen the first question you have to ask is "What has changed?" and if you have something that can notify you when there's a change on a device or update the configuration in some way and back up the old config you now have a spreadsheet or a template that you can go from to say "Okay, I have a feeling this problem's related to XYZ change I saw come through" you get my point. Last one is kind of just

00:08:03

an overall document, I would say the network maintenance procedure document, that puts all of these things in one place, kind of rule of the road here's how our network runs. Let's move into communication. Communication is between you and everybody else, essentially keeping people updated as to what you're doing and finding out what other people are doing. It's easy to talk

00:08:29

about when it's a bullet point format but you need to establish communication standards for your organization. What are you doing? You need to let people know about that. How does it affect the other people? How does it affect the other equipments in your network? How does it affect the server team? Things like that.

00:08:44

Is there anything that you need to get from other people? Again, all of these things are communication that has to happen and unfortunately IT people are not known for strong communication skills. I admit I love working in a silo where I own every device

00:08:59

in the network, I have control over everything and I can run the troubleshooting gamut from end to end. But that's not a reality for most organizations. If it is for yours, if you are the overlord of everything good for you, I'm happy for you because you have a big benefit that a lot of us don't because when it comes to communication there are a lot of stops that take place and a lot of things take a lot longer. But I shouldn't just put a negative

00:09:24

light on multiple people or the other, there is a synergy that happens. I will say some of my favorite past time memories are sitting in board room meetings with a whiteboard just full of scribbles and we've figured out some policy map to make something happen and I didn't figure it out, there were five of us that all our brains powered together and like "Oh, there's a way we can do it." There is a cool peace to having a team behind you. So

00:09:49

consistency consistency means having the same procedures, having the same configuration on many of the devices out there, defining standards for how your devices are set up. For instance are you going to use date and time stamps for your log files or are you going to use the defaults, the router uptime. Some of you know

00:10:11

the date and time stamp default of the router uptime this message was logged when the router was running for five years, two hours, and three minutes and it's not too useful. What date and time stamps? What time zone are you going to adhere everything to? Are you going to put in the time zone of the local time or are you going to put it into the UTC, the Universal Time Coordinated, kind of the center of the world time zone? Do your access list how are they structured? Do they have permit any's in them? Do they have an explicit deny at the end? A lot of people put explicit denies so they can see when a packet matches at the end of an access list and I'm talking not the implicit deny, explicit deny that you actually put in there at the end of an access list. So again having a consistent configuration across

00:10:54

the board means that when you get to each device to troubleshoot you don't start going down rabbit holes of what's this one, it's different from all the rest, you've got the same across the board and then it's very easy to spot differences in the configurations because you're so used to seeing the template that everybody uses that you can easily see them. Cycling

00:11:17

equipment most network equipment has a mean time between failure an MTBF mean time between failure of 10 years meaning they say this equipment will most likely live for 10 years. However CISCO recommends I kind of get into the "Why did they recommend this?" but CISCO recommends that you cycle out your gear once every three years. Now you might think "Wow,

00:11:49

that immediately throws a paradigm shift on many people because you're thinking "Well I've got a switch in the closet, it's been there for eight years, it's working just fine, why do I need to change it out?" Well I will tell you by having a regular cycling equipment process and some of you have this, you know how good it can be it's one of those things that it prevents a lot of failures and a lot of downtime that could have otherwise been prevented. I've been in organizations where every year they get

00:12:20

$100,000 budget for network upgrades and all it is is pulling out the old equipment and putting in the new. And they have a network that dreams are made of and the company is solid, the company is growing, all those kind of things, so there's something to be said for cycling your equipment on a regular basis, not just waiting for it to die and then trying to handle it when it gets there. But also when you think about cycling equipment

00:12:42

of replacing failed equipment also be prepared for the possibility that you could be struck by a disaster. Now I live in a unique part of the world, Arizona, nothing happens here. There's never an earthquake, there's never a flood, we get dust levels sometimes where the wind blows but we don't have tornadoes there's nothing, nothing here, so we don't have any natural disasters but there are many areas of the world that there is a possibility of a flood or a major fire or something. We have fires there we go -things burn in Arizona.

00:13:17

So you've got to be prepared for that, not just have equipment cycling but also say "Okay, what if this room were to explode do we have a plan for that?" The final piece of your network maintenance procedure is again that scheduled maintenance I won't spend time on that because I've already talked about it schedule maintenance windows, knowing when you can do maintenance, and then a proactive monitoring system. It's great if you can know

00:13:39

where problems are happening before people are calling you saying something is down. Giving you eyes to see into the network is what you really want from a monitoring system. I could go down a laundry list from MRTG to PRTG to SolarWinds Orion to Cacti to again just Google network monitoring, find solutions all the way from free to VMware appliances to tens of thousands of hundreds of dollars for an enterprise style landscape out of the box kind of monitoring solution. Now

00:14:16

as I move away from what I would call the organizational guidelines into more of the technician guidelines I want to start into assembling your core maintenance tools. Think of this as like your tool kit for managing the network. There are some common tools that

00:14:31

we use all the time with CISCO and what you need to do is create a list of the ones that you use and feel most comfortable with for your troubleshooting procedures. It's no fun getting somewhere and you go "Oh, I need an FTP server. What do I do for that?" You go on Google and you're like FTP Server and you see FileZilla up there, you see CoreFTP, you see a lot of ones that you can buy out there that are available and you go "Oh man, which one's good" and you install it. And again

00:15:02

you're wasting valuable time setting up for the first time FileZilla FTP Server because you've never seen it before. FTP is a core utility that almost every network technician will need at some point, the ability to bring up an FTP Server. It's funny, I'm

00:15:18

looking at my list, I'm like I didn't even make my list, I just had the TFTP Server. So again having the programs that you use and you feel comfortable with, documented and available. I actually have one USB key and it's funny, it's one from CBT Nuggets. Thank

00:15:33

you, CBT Nuggets. When I was out visiting them in Oregon they gave me a little duffel bag and in there was a couple of one-gig USB keys but I'm telling you one gig is all you need for most of what you do. And on that thing I put on FileZilla FTP Server,

00:15:50

I've got my copy of Secure CRT Portable, I've got PuTTY on there, I've got Kiwi Syslog Server on there again all in network directory so when I'm at a network and I go "Oh I need Kiwi" I don't have to go to the internet and download it, assuming internet access is still online, I've got everything I need on what I would call my USB key tool kit. So what I've got here as you can see "What

00:16:12

do you use for TelNet SSH console? What do you use as an NTP Server? What do you use for Syslog? What about Gooey access? Do you have a copy of for instance the SDM if you bow to CISCO's Gooey instead of the command line? What do you use for TFTP? I use what do I use? Oh, the -what's the name of it? A TFTP 32, the TFTPD32, the one that was published by a college university professor so again making your list of what you have available. I know there are some things

00:16:46

on here you might not have seen like Embedded Event Manager Scripts. We'll talk about that in just a moment. These are scripts that you can use to have the router do things automatedly yes, that is a word now to where when an event happens the router can respond by backing up its configuration by sending you a Syslog message, by counteracting it with some configuration commands.

00:17:08

EEM is a very powerful thing. Again, I'll expand that more later. You might also have some default SLA probe configs. Maybe you commonly use a probe to test internet connectivity or have that configuration template on your USB key that you can just paste it in to the device whenever you get there. All

00:17:27

right, I know we haven't gotten too deep into it yet but I'm going to put the end of this nugget right here because I've actually recorded the rest of it and we go for a while. All the different maintenance savvy configurations and so on so to keep it palatable I'll just stop right there on establishing your network maintenance procedures. We'll pick up in the next nugget looking at the IOS

General TSHOOT: Troubleshooting Before You're Treading Water - Proactive Steps, Part 2

General TSHOOT: IOS Tools to Monitor and Maintain the Network

General TSHOOT: IOS Tools to Monitor and Maintain the Network, Part 2

Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree Concept Review

Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree

Switch TSHOOT: VLANs and Spanning Tree, Part 2

Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols Concept Review

Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols

Switch TSHOOT: L3 Switching and Redundancy Protocols, Part 2

Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP Concept Review

Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP

Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP, Part 2

Route TSHOOT: L3 Connectivity and EIGRP, Part 3

Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution Concept Review

Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution

Route TSHOOT: OSPF and Route Redistribution, Part 2

Route TSHOOT: BGP Concept Review

Route TSHOOT: BGP

Route TSHOOT: Router Performance Issues Concept Review

Route TSHOOT: Router Performance Issues

Security TSHOOT: Access List Concept Review

Security TSHOOT: Access List Chaos

IPv6 TSHOOT: IPv6 and IPv6 Routing Protocols

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Intermediate 13 hrs 26 videos

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Jeremy Cioara
Nugget trainer since 2003