TSHOOT – Stare and Compare

By Michael Aldridge There are multiple choice and drag-and drop questions as well as trouble tickets that you will need to diagnose.
What is the best way to approach trouble tickets? It is important to be familiar with the IOS and follow a systematic troubleshooting process in order to determine what is wrong in each ticket. What if you can’t find the answer after reviewing the configurations of each router and switch in your topology? What if you think that you know but aren’t sure? I will let you in on a little trick that I call the stare and compare method.
You will need at least one trouble ticket that is specific to the edge of your topology. This could be the link between the Internet service provider and edge router. If you find a trouble ticket such as this, don’t close it by answering the third question, clicking Done, or the ticket will turn red and become unavailable for the rest. Instead, take note of the ticket you are on (it will appear in the ticket list as blue), write your answers on a dry-erase sheet and click Abort. You can cancel the ticket to allow you to enter the ticket later.
Once you have a few “baseline” tickets you can refer to, you can start working on trouble tickets. If you are stuck, use ping, traceroute or any other troubleshooting method you prefer to identify the problem. Issue any relevant show commands on the devices you suspect the problem is present. Also note any configurations you think might be incorrect. To make sure that the OSPF configuration is not overlooked, you might issue show running config, show IP ospf and show ip routing to suspect an OSPF problem with R3. Next, close the ticket and save the baseline ticket. OSPF should be functioning properly on this baseline ticket. Issue show commands until there is a discrepancy. It is possible that the problem has been identified when you find one. This information will help you determine if the configuration is causing the problem. If so, exit the baseline ticket and enter the trouble ticket you were stuck on.
To spot differences, you might need to switch between your ticket and the baseline several times. It can be easy for people to get confused when switching between tickets. The ticket you are currently working on is marked blue in the ticket list. Before you click Close to close a ticket you should issue commands on the problem device to make sure you are on the correct ticket.
Don’t spend too much time on each ticket. If you get stuck click Abort to move on to the next ticket. You will likely see something in the exam later that can help you identify the problem in the previous ticket.
Final, you must close all the tickets you used as baseline references before you can end the trouble ticket section of the exam. If you don’t answer the tickets, you will TSHOOT your foot! Is there a rimshot? No laughter? Tough crowd…
Boson can help you practice for the TSHOOT exam. NetSim Network Simulator CCNP will allow you to practice using simulated switches and routers. NetSim has dozens of labs you can use, and it allows you to create your network topologies. The ExSim Max for TSHOOT practice exam is available when you feel you are ready to take the real thing.