Getting Problems Resolved

By Colin Joseph, Blog Contributor
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Aruba Controllers are wireless switches, but they are often used for other services, as well.  Some of the basic network services match up fairly well with the feature sets of other manufacturers.  Other services only have a basis in reality in the Aruba world.  Still others fall in the middle, where even though they share names with other manufacturers they function differently.

What does the paragraph above have to do with getting problems resolved?  Well, understanding in the most plain terms of how a feature functions allows you to configure Aruba devices with confidence, but also allow you to troubleshoot them when they do not work as they should.  Assuming an Aruba feature works the same as another manufacturer at times leads to incorrect assumptions and confusion.

Part of being comfortable with what a feature or command does is to know why it is there in the first place.  Some commands also have dependencies that do not make it into the command reference guide.  The command reference guide would probably be 10 times as long if we listed all of the dependencies.  Don't be afraid to ask why a command or feature was created and what problem is it supposed to solve.  It will allow allow you to make better decisions about what to implement in your infrastructure.  You will also be better informed about whether or not it will work for you.

Another thing that is helpful for resolving problems is being familiar with a second method of verifying if something is working correctly.  For example:  If the controller says the access point is up, but nobody can see it, you can type "show ap bss-table | include " to see if the controller is indeed broadcasting a WLAN.  Show ap active will tell you that an access points is up, but "show datapath session table " will show you that it is talking to the controller with normal protocols that expected for an access point.

In closing, the big secret to resolving problems is (1) knowing what you are deploying and why (2) using different methods to determine what you have deployed is indeed working correctly.  The only way to get this knowledge is to gain experience, ask questions and read information.