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Do you shoot trouble or does trouble shoot you? Practical studies in troubleshooting

This chapter excerpt presents an introduction to troubleshooting; a review of standards, protocols, and industry models; and practical troubleshooting techniques.

CCNP Practical Studies: Troubleshooting

Chapter 1, Shooting Trouble

This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Cisco Press. For more information or to order the book, visit the Cisco Press Web site.

This chapter serves as the basis for the troubleshooting exercises throughout this book. In addition to a solid understanding of specific technologies, effective troubleshooting requires that you follow consistent procedures that are based on industry standards and reliable methods. The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model and the TCP/IP suite can help you methodically divide and conquer a problem or learn a new internetworking topic (by taking a layer-by-layer approach, for instance). This chapter presents an introduction to troubleshooting; a review of standards, protocols, and industry models; and practical troubleshooting, including baselining and documentation techniques. These standards, models, and techniques are covered in this chapter so that you can refer to them as you work through the specific troubleshooting tasks in this book. This chapter includes a Trouble Ticket designed to give you practical experience in solving real-world issues using Cisco's troubleshooting approach.

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Do You Shoot Trouble or Does Trouble Shoot You?
  • Standards and Protocols
  • Models and Methods
  • Practical Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting is all about reducing guesswork and eliminating the obvious. Following a systematic method is essential during the troubleshooting process. Methodical problem solving is the core of the CIT course, the CCNP Troubleshooting test, and this book, regardless of technical intricacies. Many times, whether or not you use a systematic method determines if you shoot trouble or if trouble shoots you. Shooting trouble is often about questions. Do you ask the equipment or the user? Who is waiting for the results? What has happened? When did it occur? Why? Where did it happen? Are you using 10/100-Mbps Ethernet to the desktop; 155-Mbps ATM; or carrier services such as cable modems, digital subscriber line (DSL), wireless, ISDN, Frame Relay, Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS),ATM, or long-haul Ethernet? The protocols, technologies, media, and topologies entail lots of complexity and the only thing constant is change. So where do you begin?

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