Home > Articles > On-Box Automation and Operations Tools

On-Box Automation and Operations Tools

Chapter Description

In this chapter from Programming and Automating Cisco Networks, authors Ryan Tischer and Jason Gooley cover the following on-box automation tools in greater detail; Auto SmartPorts, AutoConf, Auto Security, AutoQoS, Smart Call Home, Tcl Shell, and Embedded Event Manager (EEM)

AutoSmart Ports

AutoSmart Ports (ASP) are an IOS tool that allows you to consolidate many of the necessary port settings for various device types into an automated process that can be applied to a single port or a series of ports. AutoSmart ports use a macro-based mechanism that commonly uses CDP and LLDP to discover the physical device type that is connected to a switch port. Once the device type is determined, the switch will then check to see if a corresponding macro is defined that matches the specific device type that was connected. If the device type is known and there is a macro definition for it, the switch will then automatically provision the port, based on the settings defined in the macro. This will significantly reduce the amount of time needed to establish connectivity to users who move around the environment or for new users who are being brought on board for the first time. Figure 7-1 outlines the process for what happens when a Cisco IP phone device is connected to a Catalyst switch while AutoSmart Ports are enabled.

Figure 7-1

Figure 7-1 AutoSmart Port discovery process for Cisco IP phone

One of the main advantages of AutoSmart ports is that the switches contain predefined macros that can be modified to suit your environment. In addition, you can also customize those predefined macros to include all the necessary parameters for your specific environment. Table 7-1 shows a list of some of the predefined device-specific macros that are available in most Cisco Catalyst switches.

Table 7-1 Device Specific Macros and Descriptions



IKEv2 encryption





Group 21


Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm

IPsec encryption



Group 21

Enabling AutoSmart Ports on a Cisco Catalyst Switch

In order to enable AutoSmart Ports on a Cisco Catalyst switch, you must follow the steps illustrated in the following example. Another key advantage of this specific automation tool is that it takes a single command to enable to macro functionality.

Switch> enable
Switch# configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
Switch(config)# macro auto global processing
Switch(config)# end

Occasionally, predefined macros contain most of the desired settings that are needed without requiring any modification to the macro. In some cases, however, customizing a macro to fit your needs is a better alternative. Customized macros are commonly deployed when more granular configurations are required. For example, a customized macro may be one that not only changes voice and data VLANs, but can also be used to configure quality of service (QoS) settings and other various options. The following example lists the default settings of the Cisco IP phone macro. This can be seen with the show macro auto device phone command.

Switch# show macro auto device phone
Configurable Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN VOICE_VLAN
Defaults Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN=1 VOICE_VLAN=2
Current Parameters:ACCESS_VLAN=1 VOICE_VLAN=2

The following output illustrates the configuration steps that are necessary to customize and trigger a predefined macro. In this example, the macro, when applied, will change the voice and data VLANs for a port when Cisco IP phone is connected.

Switch# configure terminal
Switch(config)# macro auto execute CISCO_PHONE_EVENT builtin CISCO_PHONE_AUTO_
Switch(config)# macro auto global processing
Switch(config)# exit

To verify this macro is properly modified with the new VLAN assignments, issue the show shell triggers command from the EXEC prompt of the CLI. The following snippet shows the output from the show shell triggers command.

Switch# show shell triggers

User defined triggers
Built-in triggers
Trigger description: Event for ip-phone macro
Trigger environment: ACCESS_VLAN=11 VOICE_VLAN=13
Trigger mapping function: CISCO_PHONE_AUTO_SMARTPORT
Other common event triggers that can be viewed and modified are:

In certain cases, the device you connect to the switch may not be able to use CDP or LLDP to identify itself to the switch. In these instances, you can create a custom macro that uses a BASH-like language syntax. Another interesting use case utilizes the MAC address OUI to identify and properly configure various devices on the switch. The following example shows a custom macro for a printer, using the MAC address OUI as a classifier.

Switch(config)# macro auto mac-address-group OUI_PRINTER_PORT
 oui list 0000AA

Switch(config)# macro auto execute OUI_PRINTER_PORT  {
 if [[ $LINKUP -eq YES ]]
  then conf t
  interface $INTERFACE
  description OUI_PRINTER_PORT macro
  switchport mode access
  switchport access vlan data_vlan
  power inline never
  spanning-tree portfast
 if [[ $LINKUP -eq NO ]]
  then conf t
  interface $INTERFACE
   switchport access vlan data_vlan
   no spanning-tree portfast
   no description

AutoSmart Ports are a great start to automating specific tasks when it comes to managing your campus LAN. It should be noted that even though AutoSmart Ports are not the most granular way to automate port configurations based on device, it is still a very powerful solution to help reduce some of the more arduous tasks that relate to day-to-day moves, additions, and changes (MACs).

Cisco Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Cisco Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Cisco Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@ciscopress.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Cisco Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.ciscopress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020