Product Documentation

Call Home

Aug 19, 2016

Note: The current NetScaler 1000V release does not support this feature.

The Call Home feature monitors your NetScaler appliance for critical error conditions. Call Home registers your appliance with the Citrix Technical Support server. If your appliance is successfully registered with the Support server, Call Home automatically uploads system data to that server in the event that one of the conditions occurs. The NetScaler Appliance keeps a full log of all upload events. If you are unable to correct the problem after reviewing the appliance's log, you can contact the Citrix Technical Support team and open a service request. The team can analyze the uploaded system data and recommend possible solutions.

The Call Home feature is supported on all three platforms of NetScaler ADC.

  • In NetScaler MPX, Call Home feature is supported on all MPX models.
  • In NetScaler VPX, Call Home feature is supported only for VPX-1000 and VPX 3000 models.

    Note: CallHome support has been extended for VPX appliances that obtain their licenses from external or central licensing pools. However, the feature remains same as for a standard VPX appliance.

  • In NetScaler SDX, Call Home feature is supported on VPX instances running on a SDX platform. It monitors the Hard Disk and assigned SSL chips for any errors or failures. The VPX instance however does not have access to the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and therefore CallHome does not monitor its status. In a SDX platform, you can configure CallHome either directly on an individual instance or through the SVM. 

     Note: Monitoring of other SDX components is not supported.

Following is a typical setup for Call Home.

 

localized image

To implement Call Home, you must do the following:

  • Authenticating the appliance
  • Enabling Call Home 
  • Registering the appliance
  • Uploading the system data
  • Generating a service request

Authenticating the appliance. If your NetScaler appliance does not have direct Internet connectivity, you can configure a proxy server through which system logs generated by Call Home feature are uploaded to the Citrix server. When using a proxy server, Call Home provides three types of security authentication.

1. No authentication. If both the appliance and the proxy server are located at the customer end, no authentication is needed.

2. Proxy Server authentication. One-way authentication, in which the proxy server is authenticated by the NetScaler appliance. To configure one-way proxy server authentication, do the following:

  1. Add an SSL service for the proxy server IP address, and enable server authentication for the service.
  2. Bind a CA certificate to the service.
  3. Bind an HTTPS Monitor to the service.
    When the service is up and running, it indicates that the server is authenticated, and you can proceed to the next step.
  4. Set CallHome to use the newly added service

3. NetScaler and Proxy Server authentication. Two-way authentication, in which the NetScaler appliance is also authenticated. To configure a two-way authentication, do the following:

  1. Add a SSL service for proxy server IP
  2. Bind a CA certificate to the service.
  3. Bind a Client Certificate.
  4. Bind HTTPS Monitor to the service.
  5. Set CallHome to use the new added service

Enabling Call Home. By default, the Citrix Call Home feature is disabled on the appliance. You must first enable the service to register the appliance for critical error conditions.

Registering a NetScaler appliance. The appliance has to be registered to the Citrix Technical Support server before Call Home can upload the system data to the server when predefined error conditions occur on the appliance.to the Citrix technical support server.

  1. The Call Home process sends the following details to the Citrix Technical Support server:
    • Hardware serial number is shared for NetScaler MPX and SDX models
    • License serial number is shared for NetScaler VPX models.
  2. The server checks its database for an active technical support service contract for the appliance.
  3. If there is an active technical support service contract, the support server registers the NetScaler appliance for Call Home and sends a successful-registration response to the appliance stating that the feature is successfully enabled. If there is no active technical support service contract, the server sends a registration-failure response to the NetScaler appliance.

The following table lists the error conditions that Call Home currently monitors on a NetScaler appliance:

Table 1. List of error conditions monitored by Call Home
Error Condition Indicates Call Home Monitoring Interval Corresponding SNMP Alarm Name
Compact flash drive errors The compact flash drive on the appliance that encountered read or write errors. 24 hours COMPACT-FLASH-ERRORS
Hard disk drive errors The hard drives on the appliance that encountered read or write errors. 24 hours HARD-DISK-DRIVE-ERRORS
Power supply unit failure One of the power supply units on the NetScaler appliance has failed. 7 seconds POWER-SUPPLY-FAILURE
SSL card failure One of the SSL cards on the NetScaler appliance has failed. 7 seconds SSL-CARD-FAILED
Warm restart The appliance has warm restarted due to a failure of a system process. After every restart of the NetScaler appliance. WARM-RESTART-EVENT
 
Note: The Call Home feature do not monitor the power supply unit (PSU) status for VPX models and VPX instances.
 
Uploading appliance's data to the technical support server. An error condition triggers the following sequence of events:
  1. The Call Home process checks the registration status. If the status indicates successful registration, the process advances to the next step.

  2. The Call Home process runs a showtech support script that collects all of the system related data in a tar file. The data in the tar file includes configurations, logs, and statistics. Call Home locally saves the tar file at /var/tmp/support/callhome.
  3. Call Home uploads a copy of the tar file to the Citrix Technical Support server. The Appliance logs the uploading of the tar file in a log file named callhome.log located at /var/log. You can also configure the CALLHOME-UPLOAD-EVENT SNMP alarm to generate an SNMP alert whenever Call Home uploads happen.
  4. If the SNMP alarm related to the error condition is enabled, the SNMP agent on the appliance generates an SNMP trap message and sends it to all of the configured SNMP trap destinations. For more information about configuring SNMP alarms and trap destinations, see "Configuring the NetScaler to Generate SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 Traps."
Note:
  • Call Home creates the Call Home tar file and uploads it to the CITRIX tech support server for only the first occurrence of a particular error condition since the appliance was last restarted. If you want the NetScaler appliance to send you alerts each time a particular error condition occurs, configure the corresponding SNMP alarm for the error condition.
  • For the warm restart error condition, the Call Home tar file is uploaded to the server again only if the result of the failure is different from the result of the previous failure.

The Call Home tar file has the following name format:

collector_callhome_<NSIP of the appliance>_<P for Primary or standalone, or S for Secondary>_<date>_<hours, in 24 hr format, according to the local time zone>_<minutes>.tar.gz. For example, collector_callhome_10.105.13.100_P_2Feb2012_20_30.tar.gz.

Creating a technical support service request . After you review the logs and SNMP trap messages for Call Home upload events, you have the option of contacting the Citrix Technical Support team and opening a service request. For more information about contacting the team and opening a service request, see http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX132307.

The Support team can then analyze the system data in the uploaded Call Home tar files and sends recommendations for possible solutions to the administrator's email address.

Before you begin configuring Call Home, do the following:

  • Make sure that the NetScaler appliance is connected to the Interne or to a proxy server that has internet connectivity.
  • Make sure that you have an active Citrix Technical Support service contract for the appliance.

Configuring Call Home on the NetScaler appliance consists of the following tasks:

  1. Enable the Call Home feature. When you enable the Call Home feature, the Call Home process registers the appliance with the Citrix Technical Support server. The registration takes some time to complete. During that time, the appliance displays the status as IN PROGRESS. When the registration is complete, the appliance displays the status as SUCCESSFUL.
    Note: While upgrading the NetScaler appliance from an older release to release 10.1 or later, the NetScaler appliance prompts you to enable the Call Home feature, if:
    • The Call Home feature is not supported in the older release.
    • The Call Home feature is disabled in the older release.
  2. (Optional) Specify the administrator's email address. The Call Home process sends the email address to the Support server, where it is stored for future correspondence regarding Call Home uploads.
  3. (Optional) Specify Proxy server settings. Netscaler appliance needs internet connectivity to upload the collector archive to the Citrix Technical Support server. If the appliance does not have internet connectivity, then a proxy server (having internet connectivity) can be configured to upload the data.
  4. (Optional) Enable the CALLHOME-UPLOAD-EVENT SNMP alarm. The SNMP agent on the NetScaler appliance generates a trap message and sends to all the configured SNMP trap destinations. The message includes the status of uploading of the Call Home tar file by the Call Home process. For more information about configuring SNMP alarms and trap destinations, see "Configuring the NetScaler to Generate SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 Traps."
  5. (Optional) Enable all of the corresponding SNMP alarms. Call Home creates and uploads a Call Home tar file for the first occurrence of a monitored error condition since the appliance was last restarted. If you want to be alerted of these error conditions, you can configure the corresponding SNMP alarm. Table 1 lists all the corresponding SNMP alarms. For more information about configuring SNMP alarms and trap destinations, see "Configuring the NetScaler to Generate SNMPv1 and SNMPv2 Traps."

Proactive Support for Hardware Errors

If you enable the Citrix Call Home service, it automatically generates a support case and uploads the system data to the Technical Support server if a critical hardware error, such as failure of a hard disk drive (HDD), Compact Flash (CF) device, SSL card, or power supply unit (PSU), occurs in the NetScaler appliance. 

To enable Call Home by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type any of the following:
  • enable ns feature ch
  • enable ns feature callhome

To configure one-way proxy server authentication by using the command interface

One Way Proxy Server Authentication Copy

set callhome –proxyMode Yes –proxyAuthService callhome_proxy -port 80

To configure two-way proxy server authentication by using the command interface

Two Way Proxy Server Authentication Copy

Set callhome -proxyAuthService <string> -port <port|*> -proxyMode ( YES | NO )

To check the status of the appliance's registration to the Support server by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type:
show callhome

Example

> enable ns feature ch 
Done 
 
> show callhome 
 Callhome feature: ENABLED 
 Registration with Citrix upload server IN PROGRESS 
 
 E-mail address configured: 
 Proxy mode:NO   Ipaddress:      Port:0 
  
 Trigger event                  State     First occurrence   Latest occurrence  
 -------------                  -----     ----------------   -----------------  
 1) Compact flash errors        Enabled   ..                 .. 
 2) Hard disk drive errors      Enabled   ..                 .. 
 3) Power supply unit failure   Enabled   ..                 .. 
 4) SSL card failure            Enabled   ..                 .. 
 5) Warm restart                Enabled   N/A                .. 
 Done 
 
 > show callhome 
 Callhome feature: ENABLED 
 Registration with Citrix upload server SUCCESSFUL 
 
 E-mail address configured: 
 Proxy mode:NO   Ipaddress:      Port:0 
  
 Trigger event                  State      First occurrence   Latest occurrence  
 -------------                  -----      ----------------   -----------------  
 1) Compact flash errors        Enabled    ..                 .. 
 2) Hard disk drive errors      Enabled    ..                 .. 
 3) Power supply unit failure   Enabled    ..                 .. 
 4) SSL card failure            Enabled    ..                 .. 
 5) Warm restart                Enabled    N/A                .. 
 Done 
 

To specify the administrator's email address and proxy server settings by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type:
  • set callhome -emailAddress <string>
  • set callhome -proxyMode ( YES | NO ) [-IPAddress <ip_addr|ipv6_addr|*>] [-port <port|*>]
  • show callhome

Example

> set callhome -emailAddress exampleadmin@example.com 
Done 
 
> set callhome –proxyMode Yes –IPAddress 10.102.167.33 –port 80 
Done 
 
> show callhome 
 E-mail address configured: exampleadmin@example.com 
 Proxy mode:YES   Ipaddress: 10.102.167.33      Port:80 
 
 Trigger event                 State     First occurrence   Latest occurrence  
 -------------                 -----     ----------------   -----------------  
 1) Compact flash errors       Enabled   ..                 .. 
 2) Hard disk drive errors     Enabled   ..                 .. 
 3) Power supply unit failure  Enabled   ..                 .. 
 4) SSL card failure           Enabled   ..                 .. 
 5) Warm restart               Enabled   N/A                .. 
 Done

To enable Call Home proxy mode by using the command line interface

At the command prompt, type:
  • set callhome -ipAddress <ipaddress> -port <port> -proxyMode [yes | no]
  • show callhome
    Note: Proxy mode is enabled only when the -proxymode parameter is set to YES. If it is set to NO, the proxy functionality does not work, even if the IP address and port are configured. The port number should be for an HTTP service on the proxy server, not for an HTTPS service.

Example

> set callhome ipAddress 10.0.0.1 -port 80 -proxyMode yes 
Done

To enable Proxy Server Authentication by using the configuration utility

Navigate to System > Diagnostics and under Technical Support Tools, select Call Home option to select the proxy authentication service type.

To enable Call Home by using the configuration utility

Navigate to System > Settings, click Configure Advanced Features and select the Call Home option.

To check the status of the appliance's registration with the Support server by using the configuration utility

Navigation to System > Diagnostics and, in the Technical Support Tools group, select Call Home option to view the status of registration.

To specify the administrator's email address by using the configuration utility

Navigation to System > Diagnostics and, in the Technical Support Tools group, select Call Home option to specify the administrator's email address.

To enable Call Home proxy mode by using the configuration utility

Navigation to System > Diagnostics and, in the Technical Support Tools group, select Call Home option to specify the proxy server's IP address and the port number.

To enable Call Home by using the SVM configuration utility

Navigate to NetScaler > Call Home, select a NetScaler instance and click Enable option.

To upload the technical support collector archive by using the NetScaler GUI

  1. Navigate to System > Diagnostics page and click Generate support file.
  2. In the Tech Support page, select the scope of archive from the drop-down list and select the Upload the Collector Archive check box to set the following options:
    1. Proxy Server (Optional) — Name of the server used for uploading the collective archive. You can use this parameter if the appliance does not have a direct internet connection or DNS configuration on this system. The basic proxy format is proxy IP:<proxy_port>. If the proxy requires authentication, the format is username:password@proxy_IP:<proxy_port>.
    2. Case or Service Request Number—Case serial number if the case is already opened by Citrix Technical Support.
    3. Collector Archive File—The name of the collector archive file (for example, /var/tmp/supported/collector_P_10.102.29.200_1Jun2016_15_11.tar.gz) to be uploaded. If the file name is specified, no new collector archive is generated.
    4. Description—A brief description about the archive upload.
    5. User Name—My Citrix user name to log on to the Citrix Upload server.
    6. Password—My Citrix account password to gain access into Citrix Upload server. 
  3. Click Run to automatically upload the collected archive on to the Citrix Upload server.