Troubleshooting Cisco Network Elements with the USE Method

I want to draw some attention to a new document I've written titled “Troubleshooting Cisco Network Elements with the USE Method". In it, I explain how I've taken a model for troubleshooting a complex system-the USE Method, by Brendan Gregg-and applied it to Cisco network devices. By applying the USE Method, a network engineer can perform methodical troubleshooting of a network element in order to determine why the NE is not performing/acting/functioning as it should.
Read more →

When is a Connected Route Not Used?

I ran into this situation on a recent project and thought it would make an excellent question on an exam. It could be worded something like this:

What is the behavior of a router or Layer 3 switch when a dynamic route is learned that partially overlaps with a directly connected network?

  1. The router reboots
  2. The network reboots
  3. That's um-possible
  4. None of the above
Read more →

OS X – Outlook Search “No Results”

The worst feeling for a geek:

Courtesy of xkcd (

This has happened to me twice now: upgrading Mac OS X from one release to another and after the dust settles, the search function in Outlook 2011 totally breaks and always returns “no results”. As we all know, email sucks and being able to deftly search through that mound of crap in your mail client is the only thing that makes it somewhat bearable.

Read more →

Understanding CME Overlays with Dual-Line DNs

Normally I talk about overlays in the context of data center/SDN/cloud but today I'm going out into left field and am going to talk about voice! :-)

I freely admit that I'm a noob when it comes to Cisco voice so I'm not sure if the behavior I'm about to describe is obvious or not. It wasn't obvious to me and I only figured it out after running into the issue for real and troubleshooting it to resolution.

The issue stems from my misunderstanding about how dual-line ephone-dns function when used in an overlay.

Read more →