NetBrain Integration with Cisco TAC Up-levels Troubleshooting

Paul Campbell
By Paul Campbell December 3, 2018 3 minute read
Paul Campbell is a seasoned technologist who has designed, architected, and implemented networks for SMBs to large enterprise Fortune 1000 companies. Paul is the CEO & Founder of Quaversal, a consulting group out of Charlotte, NC.

Say you have the foundational knowledge to tackle a particular issue. But you’re sure it’s a bug, or maybe you don’t have the time and need to involve a support organization like Cisco TAC. What is your next step besides just the same old web submittal or 1-800 number that begins the arduous process of information download? How about a helpful tool like NetBrain that takes the troubleshooting and information you have at your fingertips and integrates with Cisco TAC’s latest in automation? It’s like having a whole additive team at no cost to your bottom line!  Cisco has leveraged the world of DevOps and condensed their 20+ years of TAC experience into scripts and runbooks that can be leveraged to diagnose, troubleshoot, and potentially resolve your issues directly through NetBrain.

See how you can leverage the Cisco TAC service via NetBrain’s network automation.

Scenario#1: Leveraging TAC Integration for STP Issues

Take, for example, a spanning-tree issue occurring on a campus network that you’re having trouble isolating because as you’re researching, the issue is moving or because you’re having problems correlating your notepad of ports to find the source. I know this sounds like a circa 2005 issue, but it still occurs today. Why? Because there are new engineers every day, and networks are being affected by the same “do more with less attitude” as everything else. In this scenario, you can do the troubleshooting manually, logging into switch after switch or following the alert trail of your NMS like a puppy after some food hit the floor at the dinner table, or you could leverage just in time automation coupled with TAC integration to help point you in the right direction within minutes, not tens of minutes or hours.

There are new engineers every day, and networks are being affected by the same “do more with less attitude” as everything else.

Scenario #2:  Leveraging TAC Integration for Wireless Issues

Let’s take another common example in today’s networks: you have a user who is connected via wireless. Their mobile device doesn’t seem to be having an issue, but the company-issued laptop seems to keep going in and out of wireless coverage throughout your building. How do you troubleshoot? Hopefully, you’re running a controller-based wireless network, or this could be real problematic quickly. NetBrain can help you identify if there are issues with a configuration that might point to root causes such as overlap, bad port configurations, failed AP groups, bad security configurations, and more through the integration with Cisco Connected TAC.

Yes, the world is ruled by applications, but people use those applications, and when they want it, they want it now – with no delay. Mean time to resolution is more important than the root cause analysis to the customer; you need a way to impact them in everything you do. Number one way to do that? Fix issues promptly, efficiently, and hopefully before they get that first complaint ticket sent.

Mean time to resolution is more important than the root cause analysis to the customer.

Scenario #3: Leveraging NetBrain Benchmark Data During Data Center Migration

A final example: you’ve got a data center migration occurring, and your NetBrain documentation is keeping itself up to date with automatically triggered benchmarks. During the migration, you notice a loss of access to a particular segment of your data center. You begin looking into the issues, and the routes and configurations seem okay. You’re lost, confused, and anxious as every minute is crucial. With the historical map data, you can see that access to the segment changed after a particular configuration about 30 minutes ago. Thanks to the differential within the map, you can see exactly what caused it and why – the reason is not important.  The important factor is this – your NMS, documentation, support teams, and overlays should empower you to perform your role better by making it easier, sustainable, and quicker to implement any solution.