Discovering Cisco Devices
As soon as the appliance is enabled, the Smart Care portal will refresh and show its status alongside with the services activated and their respective version. This particular customer has a Level 3 service which includes routing, switching and voice services (Cisco Unified CallManager Express).
Level 3 services indicate a higher complexity network and therefore offer additional services such as Voice Monitor, Voice Quality Monitor and other related services as shown in the screenshot above.
At this point, we need to discover our Cisco network devices and add them to the portal. This process is usually handled during the contract setup by your Cisco Partner, and therefore all covered equipment are already listed with their product codes and serial numbers, however the system does not contain any IP Addresses, SNMP passwords (required for the SmartCare appliance to connect to the devices) e.t.c.
We now head over to the Discovered Devices menu on the left and click the Perform New Discovery button which brings up the Service Control screen where we can run a number of services by either scheduling them or running them at that moment.
The first step here is to select the Run Now... button which will trigger the 3-step discovery process so that the Smart Care appliance can discover all Cisco devices that will be included in the Smart Care contract. These devices will be permanently monitored by the appliance once added.
The first step involves the Cisco engineer inserting the network subnets that need to be scanned by the appliance to discover the Cisco devices. Scrolling further below (not shown) the system requires the SNMP string which will be used to connect to each discovered device and obtain all necessary information. As it is evident, SNMP must be enabled on all Cisco devices we want to be discovered, using a read-only string.
This technique is favourable because it allows you to control which equipment are added to the Smart Care contract. If the Smart Care appliance can't 'see' them - they aren't added to the contract!
As soon as all the information is entered, hitting the Next button starts the scanning process as shown below:
The screen will show the discovered hosts in real-time and won't take longer than a couple of minutes to complete, depending on the amount of hosts the network has.
As each device is successfully discovered, the system shows its Status, Device Type, Eligibility and Details. This will help ensure the correct devices are discovered.
In our first discovery process, the ASA 5510 appliances were not discovered due to the strict firewall policies in place. This was a reminder that when performing the discovery, you must ensure firewall access lists are not blocking SNMP queries to the devices.
Thankfully, we are able to re-run the discovery process and add the missing devices later on.
As soon as the process is complete, we are presented with the final table of discovered devices. Here we get the chance to make any last changes and select the proper device, in case the Smart Care appliance made a mistake - something we have never encountered so far.
Clicking on the Details button doesn't do much other than display the IP Address and SNMP MIB Tree information of the discovered device - slightly useless information we believe.
Now all that is needed is to hit the Save and Continue button so the system can add these devices to the Cisco Smart Care service so they become available to the customer's inventory.
The Cisco Smart Care service allows the Cisco Partner to run the discover process and add devices to the service at any time, however, these additional devices (assuming they are not already covered) can force the Smart Care service device weight jump to the next level. When this happens, an invoice is automatically generated and sent to the partner!
Therefore, to help avoid covering equipment accidently, the system always provides a number of warnings before allowing you to accept the changes:
For this installation, all devices had been pre-inserted into the Smart Care portal in order to generate the initial quotation. As these devices are now discovered, we will see duplicate entries in the inventory. As a last step, we simply need to delete the older entries, effectively replacing them with the newly discovered devices.