Product Documentation

Configuring Call Home

Nov 03, 2015

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: Call Home feature is not supported on VPX-10 and VPX-200 models.

  • In NetScaler SDX, Call Home feature is supported on all VPX instances running on a SDX box 002E
Following is a typical setup for Call Home.

 

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The process flow for using Call Home can be categorized as follows:

  • Registration of the NetScaler appliance to the Citrix Technical Support server.
  • Uploading of the appliance's data to the Citrix Technical Support server. The support server has the following URL: https://callhome.citrix.com/.
  • Opening a Technical Support case (Optional).
Registration of the 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. Enabling the Call Home feature on the NetScaler appliance initiates the registration process. The process flow is as follows:
  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 of appliance's data to the 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.

Opening 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."

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 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 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.