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Deciphering a UCS Call Home Inventory Email with the right tools

Every year I decorate my home’s front door for the holidays, it’s very simple just evergreens, some pine cones, maybe some sticks with berries.  It takes about a day, I get up early the first Sunday of December and drive around the rural areas where I live and clip greens. I look for interesting items maybe red or blue berries, cool pine cones, maybe some tall grasses that have a decorative look to them. I been doing this for about 14 years and have learned how to be more efficient by using the right tools and preparing the day before.

I make sure the wire frames that I hang the greens in are in a good state of repair, I get out my warm gear since I’ll be outside all day, setup my van so I have a place to put the clippings.  I even coat all my fingertips with a product called nu-skin since the greens can be pretty sharp and at the end of the day my hands are beat up.  My preparation and implementation methods have evolved over the years and I think now I have it down to a science, the results of my efforts are shown below with before and after pictures.

What I found was that the right tools really do make a difference, my first time I had clippers that weren’t sharp enough, clothes that weren’t warm enough, and I was so frustrated when I was finished that I swore I would never do it again.  The end result however was so nice and received so many compliments that  the next year I tried it again but did it a little smarter. I used the right tools for the job.

The right tools will always help but you have to know how to use them and then sometimes you have to use them a lot to get comfortable.  When it comes to XML the tool that I found does a great job is xmlstarlet. One of the features of Cisco’s UCS Manager is the ability to send a system inventory email using Callhome.  The inventory email can be sent automatically on a regular basis with the minimal interval of a day.   The UCS inventory email contains all sorts of useful information

  • IP addresses
  • Serial Numbers
  • Firmware Levels
  • Fabric Interconnects
  • Chassis
  • IOM
  • Blades
  • Associated Service Profiles
  • Processors
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • Controllers

This information and more can be retrieved from the Callhome email.  What follows is a detailed breakdown of an xmlstartlet command to mine the UCS inventory information from the Callhome inventory email.

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Cisco’s 8 New Year’s Resolution for Partners

Happy 2012, partners! Inspired by Channel Maven’s lively list of resolutions, I began to pontificate on Cisco’s new year’s resolutions for partners this year.

1. First and foremost: profitability.

C’mon, who doesn’t want more profits in 2012? Services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20% five years ago. Our recently created Services Rules of Engagement offers partners a definitive roadmap on how to engage with Cisco Services and maximize your Cisco services investment.

Plus profitability programs like Cisco’s Value Incentive Program (VIP) ensure that you’re rewarded for focusing your practice on Cisco’s architectures. Stay tuned for new signup periods.

Check out the full list of incentives on Partner Central.

2. Helping partners help customers become one with the cloud.

To help ensure partners have a successful Year of the Cloud, Cisco’s Cloud Partner program (with three tracks) will help you prepare for growth in cloud adoption. Combine that with CloudVerse to help you build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers and you’ve got a winning combo. You can’t lose with the intelligence of the network, the power of the data center, and the flexibility of cloud applications.

3. Work less! Programs and services to make your job easier. Read More »

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The Right Network Helps Cut Costs by 50 Percent

Here’s an interesting case study of the right network deployed for a sleep disorder clinic. Located in the metropolitan Phoenix area, Valley Sleep Center was looking to expand from two to five locations within a year. Struggling with slow VPN connections and an outdated phone system, the company decided to upgrade its network. The result? A 50% reduction in costs. See how upgrading to the right network benefited their bottom line.

Watch this video.

New User Interfaces in Cars – flashy but are they safe?

Up until recently I was an owner of a hybrid car from one of the leading car manufacturers. The mechanical side of the car was good but I always had some serious doubts about the car’s cockpit. In particular, the touch screen mounted squarely in the middle of the dashboard, presumably to be equally accessible to the driver and the front passenger.

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Predictions for Social Media in 2012

My colleague Peter recently wrote a great blog about Thomas Edison’s predictions for 2011, which he made in 1911. While Edison didn’t predict Social Media, I thought it would be interesting to post some predictions on the subject for 2012 from an article on socialmediaexaminer.com —  and the predictions’ possible influence on our blog: Read More »

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