CCNP Support Exam Certification Guide


The official exam self-study guide for the Cisco CCNP Support exam

Coverage of all CCNP Support exam topics enables you to identify and improve your knowledge gaps before the exam date. You'll learn to:

  • Utilize various support resources, including network media test equipment, network monitors, protocol analyzers, CiscoWorks software, ...
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The official exam self-study guide for the Cisco CCNP Support exam

Coverage of all CCNP Support exam topics enables you to identify and improve your knowledge gaps before the exam date. You'll learn to:

  • Utilize various support resources, including network media test equipment, network monitors, protocol analyzers, CiscoWorks software, simulation and modeling tools, and
  • Identify data link layer troubleshooting targets, analyze show command output, and examine connection sequences for TCP/IP, IPX, and AppleTalk environments
  • Apply troubleshooting tools such as Debug and Logging, and understand internal router operations, reachability testing, and troubleshooting commands appropriate for performance degradation and crash cases
  • Isolate and correct network failures in TCP/IP, IPX, and AppleTalk environments
  • Troubleshoot Catalyst 5000 switches by understanding Catalyst LEDs, Trunking, VTP, Catalyst show commands, and common router problems in interVLAN routing environments
  • Manage Frame Relay and ISDN BRI connections with special sets of show and debug commands

CCNP Support Exam Certification Guide is a comprehensive self-study tool for the CCNP Support exam, which tests your ability to diagnose, isolate, and correct network failures and performance problems. Written by a certified Cisco Systems instructor who teaches the Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting (CIT) course on a regular basis, this book covers all the major topics on the CCNP Support exam, allowing you to master the exam concepts. In this comprehensive overview of network troubleshooting, you'll learn how to identify troubleshooting targets, use troubleshooting tools, and manage IP, IPX, AppleTalk, Catalyst(r), Frame Relay, and ISDN BRI connections.

Each chapter of CCNP Support Exam Certification Guide focuses your study and tests your knowledge of the subjects through specially designed assessment and study features. "Do I Know This Already?" quizzes assess your knowledge and help you decide how much time you need to spend on each section within a chapter. The well-organized Foundation Topics sections detail all the exam topics you need to master. Each chapter includes a Foundation Summary section that highlights essential concepts for quick reference. Challenging chapter-ending review questions and exercises test your knowledge of the subject matter, reinforce key concepts, and provide you with the opportunity to apply what you've learned in the chapter. In addition, a final chapter of scenarios pulls together concepts from all the chapters to ensure you can apply your knowledge in a real world environment. Finally, the companion CD-ROM's robust testing engine enables you to take practice exams that mimic the real testing environment, focus on particular topic areas, randomize answers for reusability, track your progress, and refer to electronic text for review.

CCNP Support Exam Certification Guide is part of a recommended learning path from Cisco Systems that can include simulation and hands-on training from authorized Cisco Learning Partners and self-study products from Cisco Press.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Cisco's official study guide for CCNP Support Exam #640-506. Reviews key Cisco troubleshooting tools; defines a formal troubleshooting methodology; introduces debug, logging, and reachability testing; walks through troubleshooting performance degradation and crashes; presents techniques for troubleshooting TCP/IP, IPX/SPX and AppleTalk; supporting Catalyst switches, frame relay connections, ISDN BRI (a topic Cisco's exam focuses on heavily), and more. Organized to correlate with Cisco's own training classes. CD-ROM includes extensive exam questions plus the entire book in electronic form.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Amir Ranjbar is an Instructor and Network Architect for Global Knowledge, Cisco's largest training partner. He is a Certified Cisco Systems Instructor (CCSI) who teaches the Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting course on a regular basis. Amir has a B.S. degree in Computer Science as well as an M.S. degree in Expert Systems/Artificial Intelligence.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Support Resources for Troubleshooting

Network Management Systems

Computer networks have become complex for several reasons. There are many different makes and models of devices. Most networks deploy a variety of protocols and applications. Several local-area, wide-area, and remote access technologies and techniques have been invented. Making all of these components work together reliably with maximum availability is not a trivial task. Network management systems are tools to help understand, monitor, troubleshoot, modify, scale, and secure networks.

The five key functional areas of network management, as per the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) definition, are

  • Fault management
  • Accounting management
  • Configuration/name management
  • Performance management
  • Security management

Fault management, a major troubleshooting topic, is about discovering abnormal behavior before or shortly after it happens. Once a problem is detected, take the following sequence of actions:

1 Determine the problem area.
2 Isolate the problem area and take advantage of alternate paths (complex networks usually have fault-tolerance and/or redundancy built in).
3 Attempt to minimize the impact of the failure(s).
4 Discover the specific device(s) causing the fault(s).
5 Identify the component/subsystem that is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced or reconfigured.
6 Implement the solution and pave the way for restoring the normal network operation.

NOTE: The systematic troubleshooting methodology that guides you from problem definition through discovery of the problem andimplementing the solution is discussed in Chapter 2, "Understanding Troubleshooting Methods."

The remainder of this section covers the following:

  • CiscoWorks
  • TrafficDirector remote monitoring software
  • CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks (CWSI)


CiscoWorks is Cisco Systems' network management software. This software is based on Simple Network Management Protocol and it is for managing networks with one integrated platform. CiscoWorks provides services that have both operations and management value. Network managers can monitor routers (down to port activity), observe traffic patterns, modify configurations, observe and report inventory, capture data (for accounting purposes), and observe security settings all from their one central station. Some of the main components of CiscoWorks (classic-that is, prior to CiscoWorks 2000) are

  • Configuration file management
  • Path tool
  • Health monitor
  • Environmental monitor
  • Device monitor (using Device Management Database)
  • Security features

There are other software applications, such as CiscoView, bundled with CiscoWorks. CiscoView is also available as a standalone product and can be integrated with other network management platforms such as SunNet Manager, HP OpenView, and IBM NetView. CiscoView is a GUI software that provides real-time device level monitoring (providing status and statistics information), fault management, and troubleshooting.

Another valuable network management tool is Cisco Resource Manager (CRM). CRM is web-based and among its components there are four essential applications: Inventory Manager, Availability Manager, Syslog Analyzer, and Software Image Manager. CRM complements CiscoView and other parts of CiscoWorks network management software.

CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks Software

CWSI Campus is a suite of network management applications that together provide remote monitoring, configuration, and management of switched internetworks. The following are included in the CWSI Campus package:

  • TrafficDirector
  • VlanDirector
  • AtmDirector
  • CiscoView
  • UserTracking

For a description of these components, refer to product/rtrmgmt/sw ntman/cwsimain/cwsi2/cwsiug2/gsg/gsin.htm at the Cisco Documentation site. CWSI can be integrated with other SNMP-based network management systems, such as SunNet Manager, HP OpenView, and IBM NetView. Protocols such as SNMP, Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP), and RMON form the foundation of the CWSI application suite. One of the valuable features of CWSI Campus is Network Map. This application provides a map of the physical devices and links in your network,which it automatically discovers, provided that there is a Cisco seed device present. You can then locate specific devices in the network and view how they are linked together. Network Map can also display the network virtual topology (virtual LAN configuration) in relation to the physical topology.

TrafficDirector Remote Monitoring Software

The TrafficDirector software is an application in the CWSI Campus suite of network management applications. This software allows you to monitor traffic (on network segments) leading to the diagnosis of any abnormalities. TrafficDirector obtains traffic information from embedded RMON agents (of Catalyst switches) and standalone Cisco SwitchProbe products. With this information, TrafficDirector can inform you of collisions, errors, utilization, and broadcast rates on a port (or port group) basis. You can also set up TrafficDirector to receive threshold-based traps from Catalyst switches. Hence, TrafficDirector is considered an excellent fault and performance management tool. Furthermore, since you can capture remote packets and profile network traffic on a multilayer basis, TrafficDirector is also considered a remote monitoring and traffic analysis tool.

Simulation and Modeling Tools

As the name implies, simulation and modeling tools are meant to allow you to put a network together (using the software) and see how it performs. You can use these tools to design a brand new network or to see how an existing network will perform if you modify it, expand it, or put traffic stress on it. Simulation tools allow you to select networking devices and interconnect them with a variety of serial, LAN media, dialup, and WAN services. You can configure the selected devices line by line or assign preexisting real configuration files to them, and analyze the simulated network's operation. If you have a network analyzer that can export captured data into a format that you can feed to your simulation software, you can then see how the simulated network behaves or reacts to the real traffic.

A useful function of simulation tools is reporting on throughput, utilization, response time, error rate, dropped packets, and other performance-related data during the simulation period. This capability is valuable for evaluating small or significant proposed changes before committing to them and, hence, can prevent financial and operational disasters. Additionally, the impact of failed segments and/or devices can be analyzed and used to evaluate options such as implementing fault tolerant devices, redundant links, or high capacity/reliable technologies. Cisco Netsys is a product that offers such services. The demonstration version of Netsys (installable on Windows NT platforms, for example) provides a video presentation about the capabilities of this software; furthermore, it provides you with a subset of the full version's capabilities for your evaluation.

Cisco Connection Online (CCO)

CCO provides a suite of interactive web-based services that offer open access to Cisco's information, systems, resources, and personnel-24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world. Figure 1-4 displays CCO's home page (

The online/interactive services offered by Cisco over the Internet have evolved and grown over time. Today you have access to a wealth of technical knowledge, tips, bug information, support services, and other valuable resources all from one place. CCO is not only about obtaining information; you may, for example, access the online price list on Cisco products, place orders, download Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS) software images, or receive technical assistance and many other services. There are two levels of access available: guest access and registered access. Table 1-1 shows the benefits of each and how they relate to troubleshooting...

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Table of Contents

Introduction xvii
Chapter 1 Support Resources for Troubleshooting 3
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 3
Foundation Topics 6
Network Media Test Equipment 6
Network Monitors 7
Protocol Analyzers 8
Network Management Systems 10
CiscoWorks 11
CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks Software 12
TrafficDirector Remote Monitoring Software 12
Simulation and Modeling Tools 13
Cisco Connection Online (CCO) 13
Using CCO to Prevent Problems 15
Cisco Documentation CD-ROM 15
Cisco MarketPlace 16
CCO Software Library 17
Using CCO to Correct Problems 18
CCO Bug Toolkit 18
CCO Troubleshooting Engine 20
CCO Stack Decoder 20
CCO Open Forum 20
Escalation to Cisco Service and Support 22
CCO Case Management Toolkit 23
Foundation Summary 24
Q&A 26
Chapter 2 Understanding Troubleshooting Methods 33
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 33
Foundation Topics 36
The Importance of Using a Systematic Troubleshooting Method 36
A Problem-Solving Model 36
Define the Problem 37
Gather the Facts 38
Consider the Possibilities 39
Create an Action Plan 39
Implement Your Action Plan 39
Observe the Results 40
Iterate the Process 40
Resolution 41
A Baseline Model of the Network 41
Foundation Summary 42
Q&A 45
Chapter 3 Identifying Troubleshooting Targets 49
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 49
Foundation Topics 52
Understanding Data Link Troubleshooting Targets 52
Troubleshooting Physical and Data Link Protocol Characteristics 52
Clearing Interface Counters 53
The show interfaces Command 54
The show interfaces ethernet n Command 55
The show interfaces tokenring n Command 62
The show controllers Command 64
The show controller token Command Section 1 65
The show controller token Command Section 2 66
The show controller token Command Section 3 66
Token Ring Soft Errors 67
The show interfaces fddi Command 68
The show interfaces atm Command 73
Cisco Discovery Protocol 75
Common Protocol Characteristics 76
Understanding Protocol Connection Troubleshooting Targets 78
TCP Connection Sequence 78
The show ip arp Command 79
Novell Connection Sequence 80
The show novell traffic Command 81
AppleTalk Connection Sequence 82
The show appletalk traffic Command 82
Foundation Summary 84
Q&A 90
Chapter 4 Applying Cisco Troubleshooting Tools 101
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 101
Foundation Topics 105
System Impact of Cisco Troubleshooting Tools 105
Cisco Routers' Routing Processes and Switching Processes 105
Switching in 7000, 7500, 4000, 3000, and 2500 Series Routers 107
Switching in 7000 Series Routers 108
Switching in 7500 Series Routers 110
Netflow Switching 112
Switching in 4000, 3000, and 2500 Series Routers 112
Process-Switched Packets 114
Handling the Cisco IOS Debug Troubleshooting Tool 115
Using an Access List with Debug 116
Error Message Logging and Limiting the Display of Error Messages 117
Show logging Command 121
Reachability and Step-by-Step Path Tests 121
Ping Command (IP) (User and Privileged) 121
Ping Command (IPX and AppleTalk) 124
Traceroute Command (IP) (User and Privileged) 125
Information Needed by Technical Support 126
Show version Command 127
Buffers and Queues 129
Buffers and Queues (Cisco 7000/7010) 130
Buffers and Queues (Cisco 4000/3000/2500) 132
Show buffers Command 132
Show memory Command 133
Show processes Command 134
Show controllers cxbus Command 136
Show stacks Command 137
Core Dumps 138
Foundation Summary 140
Handling Cisco IOS Troubleshooting Tools 140
Routing and Switching Tasks and Route Caching 140
Route Caching Methods and Commands 141
Debug Notes 141
Logging Options 142
Information Needed by Technical Support 143
General Information 143
Crash Situations 144
Performance Degradation Situations 144
Loss of Functionality Situations 144
Output of the show tech-support Command 144
Terms and Concepts Related to Buffer and Queues 145
Reported Conditions 145
Q&A 147
Chapter 5 Diagnosing and Correcting Campus TCP/IP Problems 159
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 159
Foundation Topics 162
Cisco IOS Troubleshooting Tools and Commands for TCP/IP 162
Ping and Trace 162
Show ip Commands 162
Debug IP Commands 167
General Problem Isolation Method for TCP/IP Connectivity 175
Browser Issues in Microsoft Products 179
Issues Regarding Redistribution between IP Routing Protocols 180
Foundation Summary 181
Q&A 184
Chapter 6 Diagnosing and Correcting Novell Networking Problems 189
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 189
Foundation Topics 191
Cisco IOS Troubleshooting Commands and Tools for IPX 191
Ping for IPX 191
The show ipx Commands 191
The Debug IPX Commands 198
Problem Isolation in IPX Networks 201
IPX Connectivity Symptoms, Possible Causes, and Suggested Actions 202
The Issue of Frame Type in IPX Networks 203
The gns-response-delay Issue 203
Specific IPX Symptoms, Causes, and Recommended Actions 204
Foundation Summary 207
Q&A 210
Chapter 7 Diagnosing and Correcting AppleTalk Problems 215
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 215
Foundation Topics 217
AppleTalk Configuration and Troubleshooting Checklist 217
The ping appletalk and test appletalk Commands 217
AppleTalk show Commands 218
Show appletalk interface 219
Show appletalk route 220
Show appletalk zone 220
Show appletalk access-lists 221
Show appletalk adjacent-routes 221
Show appletalk arp 222
Show appletalk globals 222
Show appletalk name-cache 223
Show appletalk neighbors 223
Show appletalk traffic 223
Debug apple Commands 224
Debug apple arp 225
Debug apple errors 225
Debug apple events 226
Debug apple nbp 226
Debug apple packet 227
Debug apple routing 227
Debug apple zip 227
Common AppleTalk Trouble Symptoms, Possible Causes, and Suggested Actions 227
Foundation Summary 230
Q&A 235
Chapter 8 Diagnosing and Correcting Catalyst Problems 241
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 241
Foundation Topics 244
CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks (CWSI) 244
Embedded RMON Agent and SwitchProbe 244
Using Catalyst Switch LEDs 245
Cable, Speed, and Media Concerns 246
Catalyst Power-on Self-Test 247
Catalyst 5000 Spanning Tree 248
Troubleshooting Catalyst 5000 Trunking: VTP and ISL 249
Catalyst 5000 Switch Diagnostic Tools: ping and CDP 251
Catalyst 5000 Switch Diagnostic Tools: show Commands 253
Set and clear Commands 254
The show system Command 254
The show test Command 255
The show interface Command 258
The show log Command 259
The show mac Command 260
The show module Command 262
The show port Command 263
The show config Command 267
The show span and show flash Commands 269
The show trunk Command 269
The show spantree Command 270
The show vtp domain Command 272
Catalyst Symptoms, Problems, and Suggested Actions 273
Case 1 Users Report that the Connection to Their Designated Local Switch is Not Working 273
Case 2 Trouble Regarding Communication of the Terminal or Modem with the Switch 274
Case 3 Switch Cannot Be Accessed from Remote Devices 274
Foundation Summary 275
Q&A 276
Chapter 9 Troubleshooting VLANS on Routers and Switches 285
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 286
Foundation Topics 289
Troubleshooting Cisco IOS Configuration 289
VLAN Design Issues for Troubleshooting 291
Switch/Router Configuration Consistency 291
Router VLAN Diagnostic Tools: show Commands 293
Show vlans 293
Show span [vlan-number] 294
Show bridge [bridge-number] 295
Show interface fastethernet 0 296
Router VLAN Diagnostic Tools: debug Commands 297
Debug vlan packets 297
Debug span tree and debug span events 298
Problem Isolation in Router/Switch VLAN Networks 299
Foundation Summary 300
Q&A 302
Chapter 10 Diagnosing and Correcting Frame Relay Problems 307
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 307
Foundation Topics 311
Frame Relay Troubleshooting (Checklist) 311
The IETF Frame Structure for Frame Relay 312
The Frame Relay Diagnostic Tools: show 313
Show interface serial n 313
Frame Relay Loopback Testing 317
Show frame-relay lmi [interface] 319
Show frame-relay map 320
Show frame-relay pvc 321
The Frame Relay Diagnostic Tools: debug 322
Debug serial interface 323
Debug frame-relay lmi 324
The debug frame-relay and the debug frame-relay events Commands 325
Debug frame-relay packet 326
Frame Relay Problem Isolation 327
Foundation Summary 330
Q&A 334
Chapter 11 Diagnosing and Correcting ISDN BRI Problems 345
"Do I Know This Already?" Quiz 345
Foundation Topics 349
ISDN Components and Reference Points 349
BRI Channels 351
ISDN BRI Layer 1 352
ISDN Layer 2 355
DDR Triggers an ISDN Call 361
ISDN Layer 3 365
The Importance of SPID Numbers 369
Call Rejection May Be Caused by Call Screening 371
ISDN End-to-End Circuit 372
PPP over B Channel 372
Review of ISDN Troubleshooting Commands 377
Foundation Summary 378
Q&A 380
Appendix A Answers to Quiz Questions 389
Index 460
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