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Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagnostics Offerings

Bryan Williams

Welcome to the Cisco Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an overview of the Smart Call Home and Device Diagnostics offerings from Cisco. Smart Call Home is an embedded support feature available on a broad range of Cisco products, provided at no additional cost, with an active SMARTnet, SP Base, Unified Computing Support Service, or Mission Critical Support Service contract. Bryan is a Technical Marketing Engineer in the Technical Services Product Management group at Cisco. He is an expert in the configuration, registration, and operation of Smart Call Home. He has worked at Cisco since 2003, as a solutions architect, IT manager, and IT architect.

Remember to use the rating system to let Bryan know if you have received an adequate response.

Byran might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Remember that you can continue the conversation on the Services, Solutions and Architecture sub-community discussion forum shortly after the event. This event lasts through March 16, 2012. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

This event is the continuation from the live webcast that experts gave on Tuesday March 6th. You can review the slides of the presentation here

Additional Webcast Related Links


7 REPLIES
New Member

Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagnosti

Bryan,

Nice to see you're hosting another event. I have a quick question. What are the advantages of deploying the Transport Gateway?

Thank You

Lisa

New Member

Re: Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagn

Great question Lisa.

Some customers wishing to use Smart Call Home have security policies or network configurations that do not allow direct communication between Call Home on managed devices and the Smart Call Home servers at Cisco.com. The transport gateway allows them to use Smart Call Home, as it acts as a proxy for Smart Call Home messages..

The Transport Gateway is not required when:

● All devices can send messages directly to Cisco.com using either SMTP or HTTPS

● The encryption capabilities of all managed devices meet the customer's security requirements

The Transport Gateway is required when:

● Managed devices do not have direct access to Cisco.com

● An HTTP proxy server is required to reach Cisco.com

● Encryption is required for devices that support SMTP communication only

The Transport Gateway is desirable when:

● The customer wishes to inspect unencrypted traffic on the LAN while securely communicating over the

Internet

● The customer wishes all outbound traffic to be sourced from a single device

● The customer does not wish to install a certificate on every managed device

● The customer wishes to use SMTP on the LAN while communicating securely over the Internet

Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagnosti

Yesterday during the Smart Call Home webcast event, a participant asked to see an example of the EoX and security alerts in the Smart Call Home portal. Bryan was not able to get to that question, so we're posting the answer here now.

  1. To view alerts and advisories in the Smart Call Home portal, browse to http://tools.cisco.com/sch/.
  2. Click on the Device Reports link.
  3. Enter parameters for the report (you can run the report by contract number, device serial number, etc.).
  4. The report appears and you will see an advisory callout next to the device serial number, if there are alerts present for the device.

Hover over the advisory callout and you are presented with the alerts/advisory groupings. Click on the group you wish to view.

You are then taken to a page that lists all of the advisories for the group chosen.

Click on the link of the advisory you wish to read.

Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagnosti

Hello Bryan,

This question was asked during the live webcast. Does SNMP play a role in Smart Call Home?

Can you kindly answer this?

- Community Moderator

New Member

Re: Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagn

Smart Call Home does not use SNMP as a source of information or as a transport for delivering messages.

Instead, Call Home gains access to internal diagnostics (GOLD), environmental, crash, syslog and other event detectors through EEM. This whitepaper explains the relationship between Call Home, EEM, and GOLD: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/services/ps2827/ps2978/ps7334/smart_call_home_white_paper.pdf

Call Home delivers messages to Cisco securely over the Internet using HTTPS and notifies customers about relevant events by email. The flow of messages from the device to the customer is explained in this video: https://supportforums.cisco.com/videos/2143

Cisco Employee

Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagnosti

Hi Bryan,

We are planning a Smart Call Home configuration. The security department is asking for the destination address, where to the devices will send the data. I've been looking into the docs, but haven't seen it.

What should we put in the firewall rule as a destination address?

Thanks,

Marton

New Member

Re: Ask the Expert: Overview of the Smart Call Home Device Diagn

Hello Marton,

For HTTP(S) connections, the destination address is tools.cisco.com.

The address is specified in the Smart Call Home quick start guide for devices that support the HTTP(S) transport method. For example, the quick start guide for the Nexus 7000 includes this command:

NX-7000(config-callhome)#destination-profile CiscoTAC-1 http https://tools.cisco.com/its/service/oddce/services/DDCEService

General firewall requirements are described in Chapter 2 of the Smart Call Home User manual on Page 2-8 in the section labeled “Configuring Call Home When Not Using the Transport Gateway”:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/lan/smart_call_home/user_guides/SCH_Ch2.pdf

You can find the quick start guides, links to the configuration guides for supported platforms, and the Smart Call Home user manual on Cisco.com:

http://www.cisco.com/go/smartcallhome

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