Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CCIE DC: CallHome

Hi Guys

So what's a topic on the blueprint for CCIE DC? Callhome

So let's look at it :).

Call home is relatively straightforward and you COULD potentially mumble your way through, but if you know what each of the pieces that makes up callhome are, you can do it without thinking and score yourself some easy points in the exam.

So let's have a look:

So, first of all callhome is obviously all about sending out an email to cisco TAC, or to yourself or your network team when particular events happen on your beloved peice of hardware, be it any Nexus hardware (5k or 7k, but oddly enough not the N1K) or my favorite Cisco UCS

Now I will let you in on a little secret that so far has saved me with all my studies: You have to remember when your dealing with UCS, it's NXOS underneath, and a heck of a lot of what your configuring is actually just configuring NXOS underneath, so when i was studying this, I actually found that the exact same concepts for configuration applied equally to NXOS and UCS, in fact the output that I show you is from a UCS box as that is all I had access to!

So here are the pieces that make up call-home:

  • Alerts, which are certain events etc that you want to be alerted on, these are pretty much predefined ready to go
  • Alert Groups, simply grouping of the said alerts
  • Message-levels, this defines what severity the alert has to be (normal severity message levels like your used to when it comes to logging) before you receive a message on your destination profile 
  • Format, which defines if your messages are sent via email as Full Text, with all detial in it, short text, which only has a certain amount of text (suitable for pagers etc) or raw XML which the TAC is best to diagnose.
  • Destination profiles, which really tie everything together
So there are a few pre-requistes you must configure before you can start using call-home such as your SNMP info and location data so that when a receipient receives your alert, or you yourself do! You know what site/location it is referring to!

So here is how you configure that:

  contract-id 1111116666 -- This is your contract ID with Cisco
  customer-id MyCustomerID - Your customer-ID,
  switch-priority 1 - How important is the switch? so if its a N7k core switch, you might wanna put a priority here of 7 ;)
  site-id Main Office - what office is it located in
  email-contact - who is primarily responsible for this device?
  phone-contact +610409444444 - contact number of who owns the device
  streetaddress 1 Manhattan Drive Manhattan - Where is the device located

Of course there are no hard and fast rules as to what you can use these fields for, you could put any information you feel appropriate, but they must be filled in.

Next, you need to configure the transport server, so the SMTP mail server address so that you can actually get these alerts sent out, no your N7k/N5k won't act as an exchange replacement ;)

  transport email smtp-server port 25
  transport email from
  transport email reply-to


You can see you can specify a from and reply to address for these alerts.

I am going to define my own profile now, that will receive full text messages for all alerts level 9 in the alert-groups diagnostic and inventory

  destination-profile disastererrors
  destination-profile disastererrors format full
  destination-profile disastererrors message-size 1000000
  destination-profile disastererrors message-level 8

  destination-profile disastererrors alert-group Diagnostic
  destination-profile disastererrors alert-group inventory

  destination-profile disastererrors email-addr

You can add multiple emails by just entering the command multiple times:

  destination-profile disastererrors email-addr

  destination-profile disastererrors email-addr

Pretty easy right?
Now you just enable it


You are done! you can now test it  and you can do a few show commands to get an idea of the preconfigured profiles (some destination-profiles already exist)

Show commands:

sudcucst01-A(nxos)# show callhome destination-profile profile full-txt-destination
full_txt destination profile information
maximum message size:5000000
email addresses configured:
url addresses configured:

alert groups configured:

A document that does a better job than i do of explaining everything you could possibly want to know about callhome can be found here:

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