The Doc CD

Cisco documentation is expansive, it is both broad and has great depth, as a result finding what you need is not easy. When you watch a CCIE navigate the “Doc CD” or documentation website you realize how deeply they understand the documentation website.

I watched the free Doc CD lecture the other day at INE, I wish I could find the link sorry, then I watched the IPE documentation tutorial and have been forcing myself to use the site hierarchy rather than searching. I thought I would share some notes.

For instance, today I wanted to look at VACLs so I went:

    • Documentation
      • Products
        • Switches
          • LAN Switches Access
            • Catalyst 3560-E
              • Configuration Guides
                • Catalyst 3750-E and 3560-E Switch Configuration Guide

Then clicked around on different VLAN topics. Nothing.

So I fell back to the standard Google search:


Clicked I’m Feeling Lucky. But I wanted to learn where it was really located, so I backtracked by looking at the navigation bar on the left side.

But to really learn the documentation it doesn’t end there. I go back through the Doc CD:

    • Documentation
      • Technology
        • LAN Switching
          • LAN Security
            • VACLs
              • Securing Networks with Private VLANs and VLAN Access Control Lists

General Notes
Below are my notes on where to find different documentation on the Cisco website. I actually have this written long hand in a notebook that I still refer to when navigating around. I believe the key is repetition so I try and force myself to navigate “properly.”

This is the site I have bookmarked for the DocCD.

    • Documentation
      • Cisco IOS and NX-OS Software
        • Cisco IOS
          • Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 Family
            • Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.4 T

You can tell from the purple links where I surf.
The links that are the most useful.

  • Master Index
  • Command References
  • Configuration Guides

Master Index
This is useful if you know the command but just want to confirm what it does. †The other day I looked up:

spanning-tree mst configuration

Just click the on the Master Index and the correct alphabetical range, then use find in your browser to find the command you need to reference. It provides a different interface into the Command References.

Command References
Gives a short description of the command and what it does. †Then it breaks out the syntax and the options involved. †Finally it explains when the feature was added and a revision history. †I always wondered how people knew when what command had been implemented and was amazed at their recall. †Now I know, just look at the command reference. †Duh.

Configuration Guides
These are the more in depth guides. They usually start with a technology overview and provide a simple scenario and configuration. Then they get into the details of different commands and option and often include more examples with multiple routers or switches using some of the more advanced configuration options of the technology discussed. This is where I spend most of my time now, however, in the future I hope to be referencing the Master Index more than the Configuration Guides.

Below is an outline of where to find some of the technologies I reference most often.

  • Dial Technologies
    • PPP
  • IP
    • IP Addressing Services
      • IP Addressing
      • ARP
      • DHCP
      • DNS
      • NAT
    • Application Services
      • SLA
      • Enhanced Object Tracking
      • First Hop Redundancy Protocols
      • UDP
    • Multicast
    • IP Routing: X Protocol
    • IP Switching
      • CEF
    • IPv6
    • OER
  • Long Reach Ethernet
    • Broadband Access
      • PPPOE
  • MPLS
  • Network Management
    • Network Management
      • EEM
  • QoS
  • Security and VPN
    • Securing the Control Plane
      • Control Plane Policing
    • Securing the Data Plane
      • ACLs
      • CBAC
      • IPS
  • System Management
  • WAN
    • Frame Relay
    • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol Version 3
  • Additional Legacy Protocols
    • Terminal Services
      • Appendix
        • Regular Expressions
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