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Deciphering a UCS Call Home Inventory Email with the right tools

January 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm PST

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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