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Cisco Call Home

Call me paranoid but I do not like anything automatically sending data somewhere. In all of my templates I disable/remove Cisco’s Call Home. The other day I stumbled upon a post on CSC (Cisco Support Community) where the poster showed other options for call home. I was intrigued, mainly because not all of my customers automatically backup their configs. After some tinkering I was able to get the router to send me the config and inventory on a weekly basis.

First we enable the call home service

service call-home

Now we can configure our parameters.

contact-email-addr archive-config@packetpros.com
mail-server priority 1
customer-id "222876876t9"
sender from RT1@customer.com
sender reply-to alerts@customer.com
source-ip-address ""
  destination preferred-msg-format long-text
  destination address email archive-config@packetpros.com 
  subscribe-to-alert-group configuration periodic monthly 1 6:00

contact-email-addr is who we want to receive the email
mail-server is the mail server that will relay this email (you will have to permit the router IP in your relay settings on the email server)
customer-id is the same as the Bill-To ID in Cisco’s system. You can see the Bill-To ID in any TAC case
source-ip-address is the source IP on the router which will connect to the email server.
Under profile, the preferred-msg-format has three options; short, which basically has no information, long which has the full config and inventory, and xml which is the same as long but with some xml tags.
subscribe-to-alert-group is what information you want sent (in this case configuration) and when (the 1st of each month at 0600).

There are a lot of cool other things you can do like posting to HTTP, sending statistics, etc. You can setup a secure gateway to Cisco and they will also hold all this information for you in a neat little portal. A ton of information on call home can be found at https://supportforums.cisco.com/community/4816/smart-call-home

I find this very useful as the device sends me the config once a week. I have a rule in Outlook that puts the config in their customer folder. That’s it, I no longer have to worry about finding the latest config when a router dies.