From the moment you wanted to read that interesting analyst paper, that compelling best practice guide, or that promising market study, you regret that you typed your email address into that innocent looking form. Now you get them day after day: Newsletters for stuff you don't really care for.
But there are newsletters that really make sense. The Cisco Notification Service (CNS) is one of that kind. It's a very good way to keep yourself up-to-date with support-relevant news about your Cisco storage networking product (and well, yes, any other Cisco product, too). The only thing you need is a cisco.com-user.
And the best thing: You get exactly what you're looking for. So here is, how to configure it:
After you logged in using your CCO password the page should look like that:
In the Profile Manager you can administer multiple notifications. Let's create the first one by clicking on "Add Notification".
Put in a proper name for the notification in this screen. You can also choose the type of the notification. You can have an email with links and summaries (default), only an email with links or even an RSS feed. For the emails you can choose daily, weekly or monthly summaries and the feed could be configured for today, or 7 or 30 days. The recipent address for the emails can be changed, too. So if you work in a team, you could set it up to send it to the team's group email address or a distribution list.
For the Topic Type you have 3 options: Product-centric, alert-centric and based on a particular Bug ID. If you choose the product or alert approach is up to you. That mainly depends on your role (remember: I write this blog for both admins and tech support people) and the amount of different products and topics you are interested in. The tracking of bugs can also be configured directly out of the bug tool, which makes a bit more sense in my eyes. So for the moment, let's stick with the alert-centric approach.
As this specific notification was about software alerts, I choose "Software Updates" now. You can also see the other options like the EOL (End-of-Life) info, the Field Notices, known bugs and security alerts. Again your choice totally depends on your needs here. Keep in mind: You can manage multiple notifications and maybe you want to select different notification types (email / feed) with different frequencies for different topics. The main goal is still to receive the notification in a manner that you are also willing to read them in one month from now - otherwise it's not better than the negative examples from the beginning.
Now you choose the products you want to be notified about. The MDS products belong to "Storage Networking".
Just click along the tree of products. You can be very specific or just use the "All..." option from a subcategory.
As you see in the picture above, you can apply for very specific hardware and firmware combintions, like NX-OS 6.2(3) for the MDS 9222i or more general like the entries above. To add a product, just click on "Add another subtopic". If you have everything you need, click on "Finish" to store and activate this notification configuration and return to the notification profile manager.
For each notification item you can see the status and the expiration date. Yes, Cisco won't spam you with emails until your personal EOL just because you forgot how to get rid of them. The notification we just created is only valid for one year. If you still find it useful then, you have to renew it. And yes, you will be notified by mail if you have notification configurations that will expire soon.
And if you notice that the setup wasn't optimal - for example you want to change the frequency, email address, notification type or products, then just click on the edit button on the right side of the notification's header (the red circled one). Here you can also copy it or even delete it if you are not interested anymore.
You see, there are a lot of possibilities, but the configuration is quite simple and straight forward.
So try it and keep yourself up-to-date, because surprises are something for a birthday party. Not for a storage environment :o)