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The Cisco Smart Care Service & Appliance

Written by Administrator. Posted in Cisco Services & Technologies

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The Cisco Smart Care Service & Appliance - 4.3 out of 5 based on 13 votes

 

Configuring the Appliance Network Settings

To configure the network settings, you need to enter 'Priveliged Mode' just as you would with a Cisco router or switch. Type 'enable' and enter 'admin' as a password when prompted.

You'll see the hash '#' character at the prompt, indicating you've now entered priveliged mode. Typing '?' will present all available options as shown below:

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The 'conf ip' command will launch a series of prompts asking for the system's IP Address, Subnet mask, Gateway, DNS servers and proxy server, however we highly advise you enable a DHCP server on your network that will provide all this information automatically.

Our approach was to use a DHCP server and by issuing the 'show net' command we were able to verify the correct settings of our Smart Care appliance:

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As with all Cisco products, you can enter a simple 'ping' command toward a domain to ensure the DNS resolution process is working correctly and there is in fact connectivity with the Internet.

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Updating the Cisco Smart Care Appliance

Updating the Cisco Smart Care appliance is a necessity because if you don't upgrade it, it simply won't work.

The first time we performed the update, we had a problem downloading the new image and were required to open a Cisco TAC case as the appliance is not able to automatically find the necessary update and download it. Hopefully this will be fixed in the newer versions of the appliance so updating it would simply mean to execute a command and nothing more.

Envoking the update process is easy: At the prompt '#', simply type the command 'update' and hit enter. The Cisco Smart Care appliance will ask you to confirm the upgrade of the client:

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After answering 'y' for yes, the system will move to the 'client update' page to continue the process.

The client update page is very simple and requests the following two peices of information:

1) URL from which the Cisco Smart Care appliance is able to download the necessary image

2) Cisco Connection Online (known as 'CCO') account name & password

Keep in mind that when entering your CCO password, the system will not show it on the screen, but instead the field is kept blank:

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The url seems a bit wierd at a first glance because of its length, the system wraps it at the end of the screen, giving it an aweful look. Assuming all the information provided is correct, the Cisco Smart Care appliance will automatically start downloading the new update providing you with constant feedback on the download speed. The image download is about 55Mb, so if your on a fast ASDL connection, its a matter of minutes.

This update can only be performed online. You cannot download the image and install it from your computer as you would with an IOS image!

As soon as the image download is complete, you are prompted with a few details about the installation that will proceed, plus a final confirmation that you wish to perform the update:

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After you press 'y' and 'enter', confirming to proceed with the update, the system will start to upwrap the image it downloaded and begins the installation as shown below:

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The installation process is monitored easily through the stars * on the screen. We don't know what eactly one unique star represents, but that doesn't really matter :) As soon as the update is complete, the system notifies the installer with a 'Installation Complete' message and immediately begins the restart process to load the newly updated software.

When the Cisco Smart Care appliance completes its reboot, you'll need to perform the whole login process again, until you reach the '#' prompt. At that point, we can issue the '?' command and see the available menu options. If you compare the options with the ones before the update, (shown at the begining of this page - first screenshot), we'll see there is a noticeable difference.

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Now that we have updated the Cisco Smart Care appliance, we need to register it with Cisco. This registration is necessary so we can finally tie the appliance to the end customer.

To kick-start the registration, simply enter the 'register' command and the registration screen will make its appearance:

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Taking the settings from top to bottom, we leave the first three options 'as is' and move to the fourth where enter again the partner CCO account and password. Next, we can provide a name for the appliance to help us indicate which customer is it for. The name above has been smudged out to ensure privacy.

We confirm at the end that all above information is correct and the appliance proceeds to contact Cisco and register itself. A confirmation message is shown, indicating tha the registration was successful.

 

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