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Welcome to the Smart Call Home Community!

Our online forum for Smart Call Home customers to share, learn, and collaborate on Smart Call Home related topics. We encourage you to ask questions of Cisco experts, start a discussion, or share ideas and insight.

Smart Call Home enabled devices perform proactive diagnostics on their own components to provide real-time alerts and remediation advice when an issue is detected. An embedded support feature available on a broad range of Cisco products, it is provided at no additional cost with an active Smart Net Total Care Service, SP Base, Unified Computing Support Service, or Mission Critical Support Service contract for the designated products.

This Community will provide you with an overview about Cisco Smart Call Home features and how these features are embedded in a wide range of Cisco products to help your network. Smart Call Home provides higher network availability and support service quality.

Smart Call Home compared to Network Management Systems

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As the Technical Marketing Engineer (TME) for Smart Call Home, I'm often asked how Smart Call Home compares to the traditional network management systems (NMS) that most Smart Call Home adopters already have (in fact, they need both and we'll get to that in a future post). Lately, I've heard that customers’ IT support staff are losing confidence in Smart Call Home because it is very quiet once enabled. So I thought I would share a little insight based on my years installing network management systems in my own datacenters and carrying the on-call pager.

Traditional NMS systems typically focus on breadth of coverage rather than depth of coverage. The result of limited depth of coverage, in terms of fault management, is that a traditional NMS tends to be quite noisy. Over time, support staff may come to think of the steady stream of false alarms as a kind of heartbeat. When things get “too quiet" they start looking for trouble, starting with the NMS itself.

One of the ways that a support staff will test a potentially failed (or prove a new) NMS is to intentionally break something and wait for the pager to start buzzing. This works because traditional NMS are often easily fooled. With limited data available externally, it is difficult to tell the difference between a component that has been intentionally disconnected and one that has truly failed.

Smart Call Home is different by design. It is embedded deep in the device where it can efficiently access accurate diagnostic and environmental information. Its parsing rules and recommendations are gleaned from Cisco's support community and TAC cases. When Smart Call Home does raise an alarm and/or a service request, the alarm and severity will be accurate and the next action will be clear. After all, TAC is also a consumer of data reported by Smart Call Home, so accuracy impacts Cisco as well.

So when you panic because Smart Call Home seems "too quiet," remember that quiet can be a good thing.

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