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Quick Q and A to know Cisco SMARTnet Service.

October 17 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco & Cisco Network

What is Cisco SMARTnet Service?

Cisco SMARTnet Service is an award-winning technical support service that can give your IT staff direct, anytime access to Cisco experts and online self-help resources required to resolve issues with most Cisco products. With SMARTnet Service, you can choose from a broad range of service delivery options for Cisco products.


What is included with Cisco SMARTnet Service?

Cisco SMARTnet Service provides the following device-level support:

Direct access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to specialized experts in the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

Extensive self-help support through Cisco’s online knowledge base, communities, resources, and tools.

Smart, proactive diagnostics and immediate alerts on select devices enabled with Cisco Smart Call Home feature.

Operating system (OS) software updates, including both minor and major releases within your licensed feature set.

Advance hardware replacement options, including 2-hour, 4-hour, and next-business-day (NBD) replacement, as well as return for repair (RFR).

Optional onsite service that provides a field engineer who can install replacement parts at your location.

Increase ROI by up to 192 percent having access to Cisco operating system software enhancements

Expedite time to repair with the right parts at the right time to resolve issues quickly

Better manage scarce internal expert resources at all locations when utilizing the proactive diagnostics and realtime alerts available with Smart Call Home, on select devices

Empower your IT staff and improve productivity and revenue per employee with access to tools and technical support documentation that can increase self-sufficiency and technical knowledge


Why should you purchase Cisco SMARTnet Service?

By covering networking devices with a Cisco SMARTnet contract, you can:

Improve network availability, reliability, stability, and security with direct access to networking engineers at Cisco

Reduce the cost of network ownership by using Cisco expertise, knowledge, and availability


Is Cisco SMARTnet Service only limited to break/fix insurance?

No. The Cisco SMARTnet Service offers you help handling complex network operation and management issues such as:

Advance software configuration

Interoperability and upgrade questions

Hardware and software information

In addition, Cisco SMARTnet Service helps you protect your network investments and minimize risks by:

Keeping your networking technology up-to-date with the latest OS software features and system improvements within your licensed feature set

Supplementing your network support organization to help ensure the availability of the knowledge and skills necessary to address rapidly changing technologies

Providing access to knowledgeable resources and tools for rapid resolution of issues

Eliminating the challenges of carrying replacement hardware in inventory and delivering them to remote sites

Providing optional trained field engineering resources to perform replacement services when and where you need them

Troubleshooting Call Home-capable devices in real time and reporting details back to you using a web portal and alerts using Smart Call Home


What additional features are available under the Cisco SMARTnet onsite option?

Cisco SMARTnet onsite includes the same capabilities as Cisco SMARTnet, with the addition of an onsite technician for parts replacement and installation. It is available with all SMARTnet advance hardware replacement service levels.


How should you choose between Cisco SMARTnet and Cisco SMARTnet onsite?

Cisco SMARTnet onsite support is the appropriate choice when:

You do not have the appropriate expert resources at a given site, such as a remote site.

Trained personnel are not readily available to react quickly to a network issue. The Cisco SMARTnet onsite service option provides rapid replacement of hardware.


Features and Benefits: Service Capabilities

What are service capabilities for SMARTnet?

Table 1 illustrates SMARTnet’s five main service capabilities.

Table 1. Cisco SMARTnet Service Capabilities


1. Return for repair on select video products only.

Expert assistance: To complement your in-house resources, the Cisco TAC employs a highly skilled staff that offers you years of networking experience, including many customer support engineers with networking and CCIE certifications as well as research and development engineers. Cisco engineers hold more than 800 U.S.-issued patents and have authored numerous industry white papers and books.

Faster resolution: The Cisco TAC provides constant measurement of customer satisfaction and time-toresolution tracking, including an automated escalation sequence beginning one hour after submittal of severity 1 and severity 2 issues, resulting in CEO intervention by John Chambers after 48 hours for any severity 1 problem.

For more information, view the Cisco Severity and Escalation Guidelines.


Visibility into issue resolution status: You are kept up-todate on all changes to your case through email notifications and personalized handoffs between you and Cisco engineers if your case warrants a move to a new specialization due to the nature of the issue, or a change occurs in work shift.

Networking expertise: The Cisco TAC offers depth and breadth of knowledge and experience with Cisco devices and operating system software, as well as a broad range of networking environments and technologies. Cisco TAC engineers have a minimum of five years of industry experience, and Cisco provides continuous training to help ensure our technical staff stays current with the latest technologies.

Support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in multiple languages: By telephone, web, or email, the Cisco TAC is there when you need it.

Tested and proven resolution methods: Cisco uses a powerful virtual lab as an invaluable engineering resource and knowledge base for testing of network problems and recommended resolutions.


Can I get support from the Cisco TAC if I do not have a service contract?

Yes. The Cisco TAC will help you if you do not have a Cisco service contract, but you will be requested to pay a “perincident fee” or to purchase a service contract.


How does the Cisco TAC prioritize service requests?

Cisco processes allow for you to designate the severity of every service request reported. Problems are reported in a standard format using the following problem severity definitions:

Severity 1: When an existing network or environment is down or there is a critical impact on the end user’s business operations. Cisco and the end user will commit full-time resources to resolve the situation.

Severity 2: When the operation of an existing network or environment is severely degraded or significant aspects of the end user’s business operation are being negatively affected by unacceptable network performance. Cisco and the end user will commit full-time resources during standard business hours to resolve the situation.

Severity 3: When the operational performance of the network or environment is impaired while most business operations remain functional. Cisco and the end user are willing to commit resources during standard business hours to restore service to satisfactory levels.

Severity 4: When information is required on Cisco product capabilities, installation, or configuration and there is little or no effect on the end user’s business operation. Cisco and the customer are willing to provide resources during standard business hours to provide information or assistance as requested.


More Related Cisco SMARTnet Service you can read at



Cisco Smart Care Service


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QoS Classification and Marking Configuration

September 10 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco & Cisco Network

In this article we will share the details for proper QoS Marking and Classification configuration. As discussed in the VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) Basics article, the first thing that must be accomplished when configuring QoS is the classification and marking of traffic; this marking is then used by the devices on the network to prioritize high priority over low priority marked traffic. This article discusses the commonly used Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) values and the basic concepts of classification and marking. The article then goes on to show the basic configuration steps required to implement traffic classification and marking.


The material in this article can be used as a jumping off point for studying for the CCNP Voice certification as this material is found in the CVOICE (642-437) exam that must be passed to obtain this certification. With the integration of voice and video becoming more and more common on modern networks, a solid understanding of what is possible with QoS is essential.


DSCP - Per Hob Behaviors (PHB)

The purpose of DSCP is to differentiate the different classes or types of traffic on the network; the DSCP section takes up the first 6 bits of the Type of Service field in the IP header. This space was previously used for IP precedence, and while some older implementations may still use IP precedence, most modern implementations have moved over to using DSCP. The value contained within the DSCP section is called a Per Hob Behavior (PHB); the PHB is what dictates how the traffic is handled when being routed through a network.


There are four PHB classes:

  1. Default
  2. Class Selector (CS)
  3. Assured Forwarding (AF)
  4. Expedited Forwarding (EF)


The Default class (000000) is typically used as a catch-all for all traffic that does not require a specific priority over the network; this traffic is handled as best effort going across the network. This means simply that the traffic is routed as the resources of the forwarding devices allow.

The Class Selector type is used in order to remain backward compatible with existing IP precedence implementations, the last three bits of the CS DHCP is always 000 with the first three bits being set based on the values of IP precedence, i.e., IP Precedence 7 would be 111000. The CS DHCP values that are typically used are DSCP 8 (001000), 16 (010000), 24 (011000), 32 (100000), 40 (101000), 48 (110000), and 56 (111000).


The Assured Forwarding type provides a framework of traffic classes; these are detailed inTable 1.


Drop Probability

Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4

Low Drop













Medium Drop













High Drop














The Expedited Forwarding type is used to dignify the highest traffic priority; the EF PHB uses a DSCP value of 46 or 101110. This type is typically used on voice and video traffic when it is being passed over a common data network.


Traffic Classification and Marking Configuration

The first thing to note here is that this article is focusing on how traffic classification and traffic marking work together. However, traffic classification can be used for a number of different purposes including use with traffic management. If there is a serious interest in learning all the capabilities of traffic classification, please review the IOS QoS guide available at http://www.cisco.com.


To perform traffic classification and marking, the Modular QoS Command Line Interface (MQC) is used. The MQC follows a basic structure regardless of what task is being completed, this structure includes:

  • Defining a traffic class, with matching criteria
  • Creating a traffic policy, that is used to define QoS actions
  • Apply the traffic policy, to a specific interface or sub-interface


Defining a Traffic Class

The definition of a traffic class is where traffic classification occurs. It is during this part of configuration that the specific traffic that is to be matched is configured. There are a number of different ways that can be used to match specific traffic; some of the available options are included in Table 2.



Match Command

Match Criteria

match access group

Matches based on a predefined access-list

match cos

Matches based on traffic with a specific Class of Service (CoS) value

match dscp

Matches based on traffic with a specific Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) value

match precedence

Matches based on traffic with a specific IP precedence value

match protocol protocol

Matches based on the traffic classified by the Network-based application recognition feature. 

The basic syntax to define a traffic class is:

  • router(config)#class-map class-map-name [match-all | match-any]
  • router(config-cmap)#match (See Table 2)


Creating a Traffic Policy

A traffic policy defines how to handle the traffic that was matched within the class-map command; this is where traffic marking can occur. There are a number of different supported traffic policy commands. However, as related to traffic marking, the commands in Table 3 are commonly used:



Set command

Traffic attribute

set cos

Sets the value of the CoS field

set dscp

Sets the value of the DSCP field

set precedence

Sets the value of the IP precedence field.


The basic syntax to create a traffic policy is:

  • router(config)#policy-map policy-map-name
  • router(config-pmap)#class {class-name | class-default} (This comes from the class-mapcommand)
  • router(config-pmap-c)#set (see Table 3)


Apply the Traffic Policy

Of course, the creation of a traffic class and a traffic policy will do very little if it is not applied to a specific interface or subinterface. Traffic policies are applied to an interface in a specific direction, ensuring that the configured direction provides the expected results. Typically, when classifying traffic from an external source, the traffic will be classified and marked at the perimeter of the network coming in to the network.

The basic syntax to apply a traffic policy is:

  • router(config)#interface type number
  • router(config-if)#service-policy {input output} policy-map-name


The concepts used to classify and mark traffic are not hard to understand once the basics are made clear. Hopefully, this article gives a good base for understanding how Quality of Service is implemented on Cisco equipment, specifically QoS Classification and Marking Configuration.

--- Original reference from http://www.petri.co.il/qos-marking-and-classification.htm


Basic Overview of Cisco Voice over IP (VoIP) QoS

How to Prepare for the CCIE Voice Written Exam?

Top 5 VoIP Concepts to Know for CCNA Voice

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10 Commands You Need to Know When Using the Cisco IOS

August 6 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco & Cisco Network

Preface: Becoming proficient with the Cisco IOS means learning some essential commands. This quick reference describes 10 commands you’ll need to rely on when handling various configuration and troubleshooting tasks.

The Cisco IOS provides thousands of commands, and configuring it can be challenging. Here are 10 commands you need to know, inside and out, when using the Cisco IOS.Cisco-IOS-Commands.JPG

#1: The “?”

It may seem entirely too obvious that you should know how to type ? to ask for help when using the Cisco IOS. However, the Cisco IOS is completely different from other operating systems when it comes to using the question mark (help key). As the IOS is a command-line operating system with thousands of possible commands and parameters, using the ? can save your day.


You can use the command in many ways. First, use it when you don’t know what command to type. For example, type ? at the command line for a list of all possible commands. You can also use ? when you don’t know what a command’s next parameter should be. For example, you might typeshow ip ? If the router requires no other parameters for the command, the router will offer CR as the only option. Finally, use ? to see all commands that start with a particular letter. For example,show c? will return a list of commands that start with the letter c.


#2: show running-configuration

The show running-config command shows the router, switch, or firewall’s current configuration. The running-configuration is the config that is in the router’s memory. You change this config when you make changes to the router. Keep in mind that config is not saved until you do a copy running-configuration startup-configuration. This command can be abbreviated sh run.


#3: copy running-configuration startup-configuration

This command will save the configuration that is currently being modified (in RAM), also known as the running-configuration, to the nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM). If the power is lost, the NVRAM will preserve this configuration. In other words, if you edit the router’s configuration, don’t use this command and reboot the router–those changes will be lost. This command can be abbreviatedcopy run start. The copy command can also be used to copy the running or startup configuration from the router to a TFTP server in case something happens to the router.


#4: show interface

The show interface command displays the status of the router’s interfaces. Among other things, this output provides the following:

  • Interface status (up/down)
  • Protocol status on the interface
  • Utilization
  • Errors
  • MTU

This command is essential for troubleshooting a router or switch. It can also be used by specifying a certain interface, like shint fa0/0.


#5: show ip interface

Even more popular than show interface are show ip interface and show ip interface brief. Theshow ip interface command provides tons of useful information about the configuration and status of the IP protocol and its services, on all interfaces. The show ip interface brief command provides a quick status of the interfaces on the router, including their IP address, Layer 2 status, and Layer 3 status.


#6: config terminal, enable, interface, and router

Cisco routers have different modes where only certain things can be shown or certain things can be changed. Being able to move between these modes is critical to successfully configuring the router.


For example, when logging in, you start off at the user mode (where the prompt looks like >). From there, you type enable to move to privileged mode (where the prompt looks like #). In privileged mode, you can show anything but not make changes. Next, type config terminal (or config t) to go to global configuration mode (where the prompt looks like router(config)# ). From here, you can change global parameters. To change a parameter on an interface (like the IP address), go to interface configuration mode with the interface command (where the prompt looks like router(config-if)#). Also from the global configuration mode, you can go into router configuration using the router {protocol} command. To exit from a mode, type exit.


#7: no shutdown

The no shutdown command enables an interface (brings it up). This command must be used in interface configuration mode. It is useful for new interfaces and for troubleshooting. When you’re having trouble with an interface, you may want to try a shut and no shut. Of course, to bring the interface down, reverse the command and just say shutdown. This command can be abbreviatedno shut.


#8: show ip route

The show ip route command is used to show the router’s routing table. This is the list of all networks that the router can reach, their metric (the router’s preference for them), and how to get there. This command can be abbreviated shipro and can have parameters after it, like shiproospffor all OSPF routers. To clear the routing table of all routes, you do clear ip route *. To clear it of just one route, do clear ip route for clearing out that particular network.


#9: show version

The show version command gives you the router’s configuration register (essentially, the router’s firmware settings for booting up), the last time the router was booted, the version of the IOS, the name of the IOS file, the model of the router, and the router’s amount of RAM and Flash. This command can be abbreviated shver.


#10: debug

The debug command has many options and does not work by itself. It provides detailed debugging output on a certain application, protocol, or service. For example, debug ip route will tell you every time a router is added to or removed from the router.


More Cisco IOS Commands Tips:

Top Five Cisco IOS Commands Every Network Admin Should Know

How to Configure IPSEC Encryption with the Cisco IOS?

Configuring Local Username Database in Cisco IOS

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How to Select Your Cisco Products?

July 30 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco & Cisco Network


Today, WAN technologies most often take advantage of high-speed connections, such as T-1 and E-1. Additional WAN technologies exist, including Frame Relay, ISDN, and dial-up asynchronous connections. ISDN or dial-up is used if infrequent connection is made. If a connection is used for more than two to four hours, you should use a Frame Relay or a leased line. Based on the different services available through the service provider, you can select Cisco products that can fulfill your office requirements.Select-Your-Cisco-Products.jpg

Selecting Hubs

Cisco has various hub products. You can select hubs according to the type of connection required. Higher-end hubs offer network management port and console connections, middle-end hubs offer both 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps auto-sensing connections, and the lower-end hubs offer only 10 Mbps connections. Examples of fast hub series of Cisco are Cisco Fh100, Cisco Fh200, Cisco Fh300, and Cisco Fh400. Examples of micro hub series are Cisco MH1500 and Cisco MH1528.

Selecting Routers

Routers are the most popular Cisco products. To select a router, you must first know the port density and the interface speed required based on the LAN or WAN technologies used. In addition, you must identify the capacity and performance requirements of your business. The cost of the router varies according to the features you select.

Selecting Switches

A switch can be used instead of a hub in newer networks. Most switches are configured to limit collision domains, which often provides a limited security feature because users will not be able to sniff traffic as easily as in a standard hub-based network. This feature can cause confusion when using a network sniffer to analyze traffic. It is possible, however, to analyze packets on a switched network by enabling mirroring on the switch, or by using a dedicated port that allows authorized users to view all network traffic. It is important to consider whether you need 10, 100, or 1000 Mbps for each desktop or to connect between switches. To select a switch, you must consider various issues, such as business requirements, requirements for inter-switch links and trunking, port density, and type of user interface.

Product Selection Criteria

When selecting the right products for any network environment, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Will the device be used as a core device, distribution device, or access device?
  • Does the device provide the functions that your business requires?
  • Does the device have adequate number of ports and the right mix of interfaces as required by your business?
  • Do you have to pay a lot for installing the device or can it be easily installed?
  • Can the device be centrally managed from an SNMP Management station or do you have to physically access the device to manage it?
  • Is the migration path easy?
  • How well does the device handle redundancy requirements?
  • Do you have to change your existing infrastructure, such as cabling or existing devices, to install the new device? You may use the Cisco’s official website to gather more information to select products based on your requirements.


More Info and Tips of Selecting Cisco Hardware

How to select a very right router for home or business?

Buy used cisco hardware vs. new cisco equipment


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