If you purchase a service contract with Cisco, you can have access to the so called TAC service (Technical Assistance Center) which is a technical support team spread all over the world to assist you in troubleshooting and solving any technical Cisco problem you may have. When you open a TAC case, they usually ask you a bunch of information about the problem, a ‘show tech’ output from the device, what kind of network you are running etc. They usually provide useful answers and help you finally solve the problem, but some times their technical experience is limited when you face a really hard and rare technical issue.
On the other hand, the Cisco NetPro forum (http://forum.cisco.com) is a place where many “Guru” Network Professionals meet. There you can find people with actual network field experience that have expertise in almost any network problem that you can imagine. Whenever the TAC support center was unable to solve my technical problems, the NetPro forum guys would usually point me to the right direction to actually solve the problem.
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