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Distinguished Expert
muttbarker
Posts: 2,389
Registered: ‎01-29-2008
0

Is the Knowledge Base Stupid or am I???

[ Edited ]

Ok - I don't search the KB all that often but I needed to do today. Had some issues with Cisco VPN and Juniper SRX connecivity. So I selected my product - JUNOS as my issue spanned SRX device platforms. Typed in my search.

 

The first result was the general VPN resolution guide - Great!

 

But then the next several results were almost all ScreenOS related (8 in a row in fact). In fact I got the exact same results if I opened up another browser and just did a search without specifying the JUNOS product. When I did a search for a specific SRX device model I got much better results.

 

So - why does selecting JUNOS and Cisco VPN return multiple KB articles all relating to ScreenOS - please help my tiny little brain comprehend how to do a search and only find the information I am looking for.

 

Thanks,

 

Kevin Barker
JNCIP-SEC
JNCIS-ENT, FWV, SSL, WLAN
JNCIA-ER, EX, IDP, UAC, WX
Juniper Networks Certified Instructor
Juniper Networks Ambassador

Juniper Elite Reseller
J-Partner Service Specialist - Implementation

If this worked for you please flag my post as an "Accepted Solution" so others can benefit. A kudo would be cool if you think I earned it.
Trusted Expert
Automate
Posts: 784
Registered: ‎11-01-2007
0

Re: Is the Knowledge Base Stupid or am I???

Ummm...well, I have good news. It's not you - I asked around  :smileyhappy: 

 

But it's not actually the KB either. It's the page you started in (http://www.juniper.net/customers/support/?junos ). No filter was actually selected - there isn't one on that page (if you go to the KB home page you'll notice there's no "Junos" in the drop-down menu and if you look closely at the results page, you'll see there isn't one selected). If you had used a search like "srx vpn cisco" - the KB is smart enough to have selected the SRX filter and the results are pretty decent: http://kb.juniper.net/InfoCenter/index?page=answers&fac=&startover=y&question_box=+srx+vpn+cisco (however this triggers an HTML bug in Chrome - already reported to our IT - so you have to scroll down. FF/IE seem fine)

 

Some background... Prior to our support site re-design last year, we had no 'Junos' selection for products - i.e. there was no "landing page" or catalog entry for Junos. (technically...it's not a "product"). We added one in the re-design - mostly as a test. And it turns out to be the most popular page we have. So clearly fixed an un-met need. But just as clearly oopsied! on the KB selection. It's an easy fix - the KB can aggregate all Junos-based products into a single "hidden" filter  - but now you have to pick another filter anyway (if the first page of answers happens to be for MX for example...)

 

So a best practice is to select the actual product (vs the underlying OS) the issue is related to. KB aggregates all 'generic" Junos issues under each Junos-based product (as much as is practical with automated classification systems) so you aren't in danger of missing anything by selecting the actual product.

 

These are inexact systems/filters, and the KB gets it's share of hatemail, but quite honestly less of it than any other search engine I've deployed.  (It would get less if I had more time/resource for tuning)

 

Now...time for a test - we just deployed a new sitewide search (top right corner of most pages) which is one of the top 3 rated engines available - and it contains all KB content (and all Forum threads too - KB only has Solved threads).  So try there vs KB (don't forget to login - it's in sort of an odd location under the search field) and use the one you like best.

 

Note that the new one can't figure out from "srx" that it ought to pre-select the SRX filter - you have to do that. And it also can't add "generic" Junos results to product-specific results like the KB. But it behaves more like many people expect a search engine to behave and so might work better for some. 

 

http://www.juniper.net/ExternalSearch/search?locale=us_en

 

I would like your feedback - we are seriously considering converting KB search to this new engine. (Might throw up a poll on this subject...)

 

-K

 

 

Trusted Expert
Automate
Posts: 784
Registered: ‎11-01-2007
0

Re: Is the Knowledge Base Stupid or am I???

BTW - the Support pages are at product-level (i.e. SRX240), but problems rarely are - they usually apply at the series level (... SRX series). The filters on the product support pages are at the series level, not the product level. So if you select SRX-240 - the KB filter is SRX series. You have the option of then being more specific, but usually you'll just get some hardware-specific results. 

 

It's tricky to solve for queries that are both under and over-qualified. For example "vpn problem" is under-qualified - we have lots of products that support "vpn". Conversly, "srx240 vpn problem" is technically over-qualified, since any KB articles are likely to be generic to the SRX series* and not tagged specifically for the SRX-240. But here again, the filter that gets auto-selected is only at the series level. The "SRX-240" part of the search query is just used for document relevance within the filtered set so if we _happen_ to have an article that mentions the SRX-240 specifically it will get a higher weight

 

-Keith

 

* complicating this is that SRX-100 thru SRX-640 are markedly different from the SRX1xxx on up. So we should technically provide another filter to distinguish the branch from the data-center class products. 

 

** sorry for the excessive detail but maybe it will help some of you be more successful with KB searches. Then again maybe it's just because I spent a lot of hours getting this stuff to (mostly) work :smileyhappy:

Distinguished Expert
muttbarker
Posts: 2,389
Registered: ‎01-29-2008
0

Re: Is the Knowledge Base Stupid or am I???

Actually I did not start out on the page you refer to. I started out on http://www.juniper.net/customers/support/ after logging in. I then clicked on the "JUNOS" value on the left hand side of the page and it the word "JUNOS" then displayed directly above the search string entry box with a message <underlying links updated> and another link allowing me to <reset product selection>.

 

This was the same display behavior when I selected SRX so I expected somewhat the same general results in term of a search filter.  

 

That inconsistent behavior is what trigged my post. I very much appreciate your feedback and comments. I will most certainly check out your link to the new engine.

 

 I would also appreciate it if you could check the path that I used and give me your two cents as to why what I did failed to work, or why it is not supposed to. Cause the visual indicators tell me that I was using it correctly.

 

I always appreciate your thoughtful replies and the level of effort you put into making this Forum a real benefit to the Juniper user community.

 

===============

SIDEBAR - some of the new course materials that I work with when I teach Juniper course no longer show the links to the Juniper Forums on the introduction slides. Really annoying to me and I keep meaning to bring this up to the course curriculum folk. But I always make a point of writing out the link in big letters so the students (most new to Juniper) are made aware of what a great resource this is.

===============

 

Kevin Barker
JNCIP-SEC
JNCIS-ENT, FWV, SSL, WLAN
JNCIA-ER, EX, IDP, UAC, WX
Juniper Networks Certified Instructor
Juniper Networks Ambassador

Juniper Elite Reseller
J-Partner Service Specialist - Implementation

If this worked for you please flag my post as an "Accepted Solution" so others can benefit. A kudo would be cool if you think I earned it.
Trusted Expert
Automate
Posts: 784
Registered: ‎11-01-2007
0

Re: Is the Knowledge Base Stupid or am I???

The URL I provided is actually the same page (I just forced the Junos selection; it's the URL shown in the right-hand column Bookmark This Page). So if I wasn't clear, it's definitely our fault in not having any filter active on that page, but the filter that would logically work (limiting results to only Junos-based products) isn't that useful - EX, SRX, MX, M, T, TX issues tend to be specific to the platform series). That's why I reccomend selecting the product impacted even after we correct tthis issue.

 

And thanks for the kind words. :smileyhappy:

 

-Keith

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