Monday, July 28, 2008

CCO documentation errors & the VTP v2 transparent issue

Dear Cisco Customer,

Thank you for your recent feedback on Cisco technical documentation submitted through
the embedded feedback form. Your feedback has highlighted a potential change to our
documentation and this has formally been raised as an error with the relevant
technical documentation organization.

We look forward to your continued participation on improving our product documentation.

Thank you,

The Cisco Documentation Team

I don't know how many times you have seen the above message in your email, but i'm getting around 1 or 2 of those per month.

I belong to the category of people that fill the feedback form for every small or big "error" they come through when reading a document on CCO. It usually doesn't take more than a minute, as long as there is a working feedback form somewhere on the page. I don't even remember every feedback i submit; that's why i believe Cisco should include the customer submitted form in the answer too.

In a previous post of mine i had talked about VTP v2 in transparent mode and how it should work according to the current CCO documentation (VTP is Cisco proprietary so it's difficult to find information elsewhere).

Version-Dependent Transparent Mode — In VTP Version 1, a VTP transparent switch
inspects VTP messages for the domain name and version and forwards a message only if
the version and domain name match. Because VTP Version 2 supports only one domain,
it forwards VTP messages in transparent mode without inspecting the version and domain name

As it proved out (check the comments on my old post; thx to Antonie for making me search it deeper), this specific CCO documentation is totally wrong (switches with VTP v2 in Transparent mode should not forward VTP updates unless the domain name matches the locally configured domain name) and a bug (CSCsi65330) has been raised a long time ago about it. This bug has been opened to correct the documentation guides for VTP v2 transparent mode behavior due to another bug (CSCea40015).

In the meanwhile, the above CCO documentation is correct when using NM-16ESW as switches, so a new bug (CSCsr22106) has been opened in order to correct this behavior too.

The first bug is waiting for many months to be fixed (still in Assigned state), while all the new documentation pages that are being added to CCO, still include the wrong description. There should be around 100 pages right now that include the above wrong description.

The answer that i got from Cisco was:

Certainly the documents currently on CCO have not been updated and even the
new ones are reflecting the same info. I apologize if this caused any
inconveniences for you, and would like to ensure that our technical
documentation team is working to get this fixed, but as if now the documents
are reflecting incorrect information.

About the other documentation part, I am still waiting for an official note
that would be replacing the wrong one, however it should be replaced by
something like: "Switches running VTPv2 in transparent mode only forward VTP
frames if the domain name of the VTP frame matches the locally configured
VTP domain, or the switch has an un-configured NULL VTP domain".

To be honest, i don't expect this documentation to be corrected soon. It stayed there for many months and it keeps on reproducing itself.

I also have another issue with the 802.1q tunneling documentation on CatOS, but i have a feeling that this one is going to be harder to be fixed.

What's your own experience?

Update 1 Aug 2008 : I have added a poll to the right, so you choose whether you submit feedback for documentation errors on CCO or not. If YES what is the result? If NO, why?

Update 1 Sep 2008 : These are the results of the above poll:

1 comment:

  1. I have submitted documentation update requests in the past and noticed that the wheels of Cisco turn slowly. It is part of the reason I blog (at least I can follow the breadcrumbs I have left when I find an inaccuracy).

    I've also submitted a request to get each of the configuration guides published as a whole guide pdf (I read pdfs on the train). I have been reassured that Cisco is using a new tool that is dredging their documentation and creating whole book pdfs. It doesn't seem to be the case though (only the command references seem to be in that format).


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