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Meet the Authors FAQ- How to Troubleshoot Network Problems with Vinit Jain


This event had place on Wednesday 12th, February 2020 at 10hrs PDT 


Event slides

Featured Author

vinit.pngVinit Jain is a Technical Leader with the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) Organization providing escalation support in areas of routing and data center technologies. Vinit is an author for Cisco Press titles Troubleshooting BGP, Troubleshooting Cisco Nexus Switches and NX-OS, LISP - Implementing and Troubleshooting LISP on Cisco IOS-XE, IOS-XR and NX-OS and for the BGP Troubleshooting LiveLessons video series. Vinit is also a distinguished speaker at various networking forums, including Cisco Live events globally on various topics. Prior to joining Cisco, Vinit worked as a CCIE trainer and a network consultant. In addition to his CCIE (CCIE # 22854), he holds multiple certifications on programming and databases. Vinit holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in information technology.

You can download the slides of the presentation in PDF format here.


Live Questions


Q:How do you see automation in the networking field? Even more when troubleshooting Routing issues?

A:I find it very relevant, why? Because with automation you can not just troubleshoot one device, but you can troubleshoot or collect or access data from multiple devices. At the end of the day, it’s all about data and how quickly you can fetch it an analyze it so automation can definitely help you to know or obtain data from multiple devices at a given point of time, this can give you an additional value when you’re troubleshooting conflict problems so make sure you leverage that.

Q: How would you prioritize troubleshooting a network outage, if there were more incidents happening at the same time but there is only one engineer resource available to troubleshoot?

A:Good question it’s very relevant, now this is where most of the people feel calm and waste their time, why? Because when you’re troubleshooting multiple incidents you are all over the place, so you need to take a stand prioritize which problem you want to troubleshoot, that is the one which is having more impact. If there are 5 different problems, I always go by falling or focusing at one problem at a time, I focus n one problem, I fix that and then I move to the next one. There is o point of looking at 5 different problems at the same time, you cannot, you will be confuse and you won’t be able to correlate things easily whereas if you solve/focus on one problem you’re more likely that some of the other problems that you’re facing might eventually go away, so focus on one problem at a time and prioritize which one is going to have a bigger impact based on that you should be able to troubleshoot any of the conflict central problems.

Q:As a Technical Leader at Cisco, how do you manage work and family?

A:It’s a good question, I don’t really have an answer. Mu family is very supportive with what I do, even before I got married my family used to mention that I was married to computer and machines rather than humans and my wife realize that after we got married. However, I do, and try to spend a decent amount of time with my family. I never have a felling during the day where I say I don’t have time, I might be busy (sure) but I never tell anyone that I don’t have time, you need to make time. If I’ve to stay up late which is pretty much very everyday for the past twelve-thirteen years. My sleeping hours are very less so I’m more productive that way, this is not a good advice to give to anyone I wouldn’t recommend to follow that but to me is always like “okay I’ve spent time with my family, time at work but I wouldn’t go to bed unless I’ve learned something”, that is important for me so I’ve to re balance and I would prefer giving one hour of sleep than spending one hour of learning and that’s how I usually do it.
When I’m with my family or back in India I do different activities with them, you just need to learn how to manage your time and determine what’s important. Family is important, it’s always going to be, and for me life makes more sense if I’m learning something.

Q:Do you use GNS3 or VIRL?

A:I use GNs3 but it depends, I use GNS3 because I have set it for a very long time now but I’ve used VIRL and I’m looking forward for a while to lotto, that looks promising. There are lot of cool features that are being developed as part of the new 102 dodo. Actually, it doesn’t relay matter you can use any you rather prefer to get things done. I prefer VIRL, there lots of things coming and it also has many APIs that you can use to automate tasks in GNS3. At the end, it’s an individual choice.

Q:What time would be appropriate to resolve a network failure?


Q:For a network Engineer CCNA R&S, what knowledge domain is needed to success in CCNP Datacenter?

A:Well routing and switching is still relevant, it doesn’t matter which domain you’re working on, R&s is still going to be there for CCNP datacenter. CCNA R&s is still important, all you need to know for preparing CCNP or CCIE you will have to learn lots of things.
With the new Cisco certifications scheme, we need to learn ACI, storage, UCS servers, programmability, security and many other that are being covered. So, R&s show relevant but it’s not just that there is so much more than that. Having a CCNA R&S will help you to quickly ramp up on the key networking features or sections of the CCNP course but it’s not going to help you completely in the whole teaching.

Q: I have given CCNP Switch and Route 2 times and failed. How can I cope with changes in the exam pattern coming after February 23th?

A:First of all, if you have failed don’t be disheartened, I would say you should be proud that you attempted it’s not that problem that you’ve failed it’s ok.
I can easily answer in behalf of you, every attempt you gave you gain more knowledge in the second or upcoming attempts, you’re more knowledgeable for your certification when you give the next attempt.
You focus should be tat you’re learning, your goal is not just doing certifications, your goal is making, getting or earning more knowledge that should be the goal and certifications will always fall in place.
Regards the changes, the changes are coming our way and there are lot of things to learn. If you’re preparing for the new certification, I think it would make more sense to prepare for the new version rather than preparing for the older version. Give yourself about five to six months and prepare on the new topics that are coming your way. There’s no point spending your time on things which are already there right, I’m mean you’re getting an opportunity to learn something extra and more, which is more relevant to today’s trend. Eventually you’re going to get your own CCNP, it’s just a matter of time, so why not giving another five to six months and gain more knowledge about new things.
Nevertheless, you will have to stay consistent, it’s okay to take a break for one or two days but don’t take a break for too long, make sure you stay consistent and that you stay persistent. Perseverance is the key, as I mentioned before.

Q:What knowledge level has the book been written (target), CCNA, CCNP, CCIE or somewhere in between?

A:Well CCNA is very basic so it covers that but only small portions of it. It covers CCNP and CCIE levels. It covers pretty much all scenarios and lot of the data is already there,
What you will see in CCNP and CCIE level for BGP.

Q:What do you think about the trend of moving focus from a classical network engineer to a network/software/program engineer?

A:To me is like, one single person does not control the industry, let me put it in this way the industry, as a whole, is moving towards software-defined networking or technology and not keeping yourself up to
To that power or today is just going to impact you and reduce your ability to stay relevant so it’s more important and relevant to move into that direction.
Get to know the networks, a lot of times I see that when we are focusing on learning new stuff we reduce our focus on the networks and we increase our focus on automation, programming and stuff like that and that is not right, you need to have fundamental knowledge of your networks. Even if it’s like, security, datacenter or routing & switching, you need to have a good amount of knowledge for each of them rather than just focusing on a specific one, like Phyton and the being able to collect data and then to configure devices. That’s part of the job, you need to know the networks before moving on the software side of it.

Q:What network simulators are you using to develop DEV environments to test new concepts?


Q:Can you give more details about Ethanalyzer?

A:It’s a packet capture tool which is used to collect or capture control plane data or packets coming to the CPU on Nexus switch. There some samples covered in the troubleshooting BGP book on Ethanalyzer and other tools as well, about how to collect data and how to the controller tool as well.
Alternatively, I can try to share an example in my YouTube channel, I recently started to share content related to troubleshooting and networks and some new features so have a look.

Q:Along with Network Simulators, what Tools and Monitoring tools is Vinit using?

A:I rely less on monitoring tools which doesn’t mean I don’t use them, often I’m getting heavy on telemetry it’s very interesting and provides faster statistics and data collection. Also, I use other open source tools like Cabana where you can collect and analyze the data.
You can use other troubleshooting tools like I mentioned before Ethanalyzer, Embedded Packet Capture (EPC), on most of Cisco platforms you can find them, but you don’t need to know all of them.
Use these tools to troubleshoot any problem. For instance, the monitoring tools somethings to provide you nice graphs, they will only help you to know that something happened but they won’t help you all the time to know what happened so you need to know other platform related tools to troubleshoot those. For instance, for BGP, there’s BGP monitoring protocol that you can use to search for open MP, I presented some of that at Cisco Live 2019 if you would like to have a further look.
At glace, I look a lot for open source tools and for troubleshooting tools I use the box tools a lot.

Q:s this session about unveiling the Book or giving some insights into what actually the some of the troubleshooting steps/scenarios?

A:This session is an opportunity to learn more about the expert and his story, also Vinit will be sharing the best practices to troubleshoot network issues. Also, he will be sharing key content about his BGP book. It doesn’t focus on a topic or book.

Q:How often do you “Learn” how the networks operate normally or when they're getting a base line? Basically do you get to know a healthy network so that troubleshooting issues based on anomaly’s easier?


Q:How/what kind of automation do you consider relevant in Network operations?

A:As far as I know, I have seen automation more in configuration management ... example, what are the ways to automate the fail-over when the BGP on R1 is down to R2.

Q:What are the most valuable resources that have contributed to your growth?


Related Information

Martin L
VIP Advocate


Several answers are missing !  any idea what happened?