You are on page 1of 14

CCNP TSHOOT: Maintaining and Troubleshooting IP Networks

Week 2:
Structured Troubleshooting

Course v7 Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 1
Troubleshooting Methodologies

Troubleshooting is not an exact science, and a particular


problem can be diagnosed and sometimes even solved in many
different ways.

However, when you perform structured troubleshooting, you


make continuous progress, and usually solve the problems
faster than it would take using an ad hoc approach.

Note that the solution to a network problem cannot always be


readily implemented and an interim workaround might have to
be proposed.

The difference between a solution and a workaround is that a


solution resolves the root cause of the problem, whereas a
workaround only alleviates the symptoms of the problem.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 2
Troubleshooting Approaches
Top-down
Bottom-up
Divide and conquer
Follow-the-path
Spot the differences
Move the problem

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 3
Troubleshooting Method and Procedure
The generic troubleshooting process consists of the
following tasks (subprocesses):
1. Defining the problem
2. Gathering information
3. Analyzing the information
4. Eliminating potential causes
5. Proposing a hypothesis (likely cause of the problem)
6. Testing and verifying validity of the proposed hypothesis
7. Solving the problem and documenting the work

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 4
Defining the Problem
Unless an organization has a Determine whether this
strict policy on how problems problem is your responsibility
are reported, the reported or if it needs to be escalated
problem can unfortunately be to another department or
vague or even misleading. person.

A good problem description


consists of accurate
descriptions of symptoms and
not of interpretations or
conclusions.

All troubleshooting tasks begin with defining the problem.


However, what triggers a troubleshooting exercise is a failure
experienced by someone who reports it to the support group.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 5
Gathering Information
Escalate the issue to a
different department or
person to obtain access if
Decide which devices, clients, or required.
servers you want to collect information If the escalation process
from, and what tools you intend to use will slow the procedure
to gather that information . down and the problem is
urgent, reconsider the
troubleshooting method.

Acquire access to the identified


targets.

Before gathering information, you should select your initial troubleshooting


method and develop an information-gathering plan. As part of this plan,
you need to identify what the targets are for the information-gathering
process.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 6
Analyzing the Information
Consult network documentation to
A good baseline of the
interpret the information in the context of
behaviour of the network
the actual network's implementation.
can assist at the analysis
stage helps to spot
anomalies in the behavior
Determine two things: of the network and derive
What is happening on the clues from those deviations
network and what should
be happening.
The benefit of relevant past
Differences provide clues experience is important -
for what is wrong or at least experienced network
a direction to take for further engineers will spend
information gathering. significantly less time on
researching than an
inexperienced engineer
During the analysis of the gathered information, you are typically trying to
determine two things: What is happening on the network and what should be
happening. If you discover differences between these two, you can collect clues
for what is wrong or at least a direction to take for further information gathering.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 7
Eliminating Potential Causes

Analyzing the gathered information while considering and incorporating existing


information, such as network baseline and documentation, helps you eliminate
many potential causes.
You must make note of the important influence that your assumptions have in
eliminating the potential causes. Assumptions may or may not be true. If you
end up with conflicting conclusions or scenarios that make no sense, you might
have to reevaluate your assumptions by gathering more
information and analyzing the new information accordingly.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 8
Proposing a Hypothesis
The proposed hypothesis leads us to
the next stage of the structured
troubleshooting process: testing the
hypothesis.

If you decide to escalate the problem,


ask yourself whether this ends your
involvement in the process.

If you cannot solve the problem, but it


is too urgent to wait for the problem
to be solved through an escalation,
you might need to come up with a
workaround.

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 9
Testing and Verifying Validity of the Proposed Hypothesis

Implementing a possible solution involves


making changes to the network - follow
your organisation's regular change
procedures.
Assess the impact of the change on the
network and balance that against the
urgency of the problem can you revert
back if it all goes horribly wrong?
Verify that the problem is solved and that
the changes made did what you expected it
to do.
Check that the solution has not introduced
any new problems.
Create backups of any changed
configurations or upgraded software.

Document all changes to make sure that


the network documentation still accurately
describes the current state of the network.

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 10
Solving the Problem and Documenting the
Work

You will have to document all changes to make sure that the network
documentation still accurately describes the current state of the network.

Your troubleshooting job is not complete until you communicate that the
problem has been solved. At a minimum, you will have to communicate
back to the original user that reported the problem; if you have involved
others as part of an escalation process, however, you should
communicate with them, too.
Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 11
Example 1.
A user calls the help desk complaining that they cannot
connect to a shared central drive. What steps as the help
desk operator would you take?

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 12
Example 2
Multiple users are complaining that they cannot connect to
the central intranet site, what steps would you take?

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 13
Acknowledgment
Some of the texts and images are from Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco
IP Networks (TSHOOT) Foundation Learning Guide by Amir Ranjbar
(158720455X)

Chapter #
2007 2016, Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco Public 14