See how integrating Avnet’s ServiceNow plugin with VMware’s vRealize Automation creates a powerful solution for administering ITSM

ServiceNow is a cloud-based IT Service Management (ITSM) solution developed to provide customers with an ITIL-compliant off-premise service management process to reduce costs and improve business agility. By integrating this ITSM, or any other ITSM product into VMware vRealize Automation (vRA), customers have a cloud management and automation solution in their data center capable of automating change tickets, configuration management database (CMDB), incident management, problem management and more.

WWT put this integration to the test and thanks to the hard work of our technical solutions architects Steve Koch and Tim Elery, we now have some exciting new ways to deliver day two actions from within vRA.

This solution starts with leveraging Avnet’s ServiceNow plugin for vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) for custom development. By using this plugin for vRO, we can jumpstart the vRA instance right into sample automation workflows for adding change ticket creation and CMDB administration during the provisioning process of a new application.

Pre-requisites

Avnet’s Change Management

When the Avnet plugin is first installed and configured to communicate with the ServiceNow instance and vRA, there is a sample content folder for different ITSM tasks. The first folder is change management, which allows for a provisioned application to perform several tasks in ServiceNow during the provisioning, provisioned and disposing lifecycle states. First, as shown in the image below, there is nothing for the end user to input within the service catalog request (unless you want to add specific prompts).

Figure 1 – Creating a new application with CMDB

Creating a new application with CMDBAfter submitting the request, a VRO workflow will send a request through the ServiceNow API to create a change ticket. This change ticket can be configured to pause for an approval by a manager, help desk, IT administrator, etc. Once approved, the provisioning task in vRA will continue. In our case, we let it auto-approve for demo purposes.

Figure 2 – Reviewing the change request

Reviewing the change requestOnce provisioned, the CMDB on ServiceNow will show the new virtual machine, with the details the administrator selected to be transferred into the VM instance information. Notice VM68 shows memory, CPU, IP, MAC and current status.

Figure 3- Verifying the CMDB updates

Verifying the CMDB updatesLastly, is when the application is disposed through vRA. The vRO workflow for updating the CMDB kicks off to set the current state of the machine to a retired state. This is the basic functionality of change tickets and CMDB. Any day two requests such as reprovisioning, reconfiguring, etc. can be connected to a change ticket process for tracking purposes. Otherwise, a machine lease expiration or a user destroying the machine will be the default.

Custom Day Two Operations

So by now, ServiceNow ITSM and VMware vRealize Automation are providing the data center with complete application automation and change management automation. But what about after the machines have been provisioned? What if there’s a problem with the build?

Normally, you would go to the ITSM portal and file a ticket. Not anymore. One of the great things about delivering IT as a Service (ITaaS) from VMware vRA is the ability to script any day-to-day activity, so that instead of users manipulating a dozen or more interfaces for administration, the vRA user interface (UI) becomes a single pane of glass.

Sample Day Two Workflows

  • Create a new incident ticket (attaches ticket to VM attributes for calling later)
  • Update an existing incident ticket (add a note for example)
  • Upload event logs to an existing ticket (Windows and Linux)
  • Close an existing ticket

The workflows listed above are custom creations by WWT’s Professional Services from the Avnet plugin examples to show the full incident lifecycle within ServiceNow’s ITSM.

The images below show the process for creating a new ticket.

Use Case 1 – Creating a New Incident Ticket

Figure 4 – Create a ticket from the day two action

Create a ticket from the day two actionFigure 5 – VMware vRA description for tracking requests in vRA

VMware vRA description for tracking requests in vRAFigure 6 – Ticket summary details, including priority and description

 Ticket summary details, including priority and description

Figure 7 – Providing Additional Details and Submitting the Request

Providing Additional Details and Submitting the Request

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 8 – Viewing the incident in ServiceNow

Viewing the incident in ServiceNow

Use Case 2 – Adding a Note to an Incident

Figure 9 – Starting the day two action to add a note

Starting the day two action to add a noteFigure 10 – VMware vRA request description

VMware vRA request descriptionFigure 11 – Select the incident to update and submit

Select the incident to update and submit

Use Case 3 – Upload Event Logs to a Ticket

Figure 12 – Requesting the action from the machine details

Requesting the action from the machine detailsFigure 13 – VMware vRA request description

VMware vRA request descriptionFigure 14 – Selecting the timeframe and logs before submitting

Selecting the timeframe and logs before submitting
Use Case 4 – Closing an Incident Ticket

Figure 15 – Request the action to close the ticket

Request the action to close the ticketFigure 16 – Input the vRA request description

Input the vRA request description Figure 17 – Select the ticket and add comments before submitting

Select the ticket and add comments before submitting
The Avnet plugin combined with our resources creates a powerful way for administering ITSM from within VMware vRealize Automation. Avnet further extends this with an additional ServiceNow app that allows vRA Service Catalog Items to be added into the ServiceNow Self-Service Catalog, so users can request workloads directly from the ServiceNow user interface.

Interested in learning more about ITSM integration within vRealize Automation or other aspects of IT automation?  Contact us to not only learn about solutions to help meet your needs, but actually kick the tires and ensure that a solution or architectural idea will work and perform in your environment before making the big investment.

3 thoughts on “Integrating ServiceNow ITSM with VMware vRealize Automation”

  1. Jim Meece says:

    Curt, this is great stuff; however would you be able to walk through this from the opposite perspective? Meaning I have blueprints published as catalog items in vRA, but I want to order them from SNOW. I’ve been able to see that SNOW knows about all of my catalog items. I was even able to create entries on a portal to initiate orders from. I just haven’t been able to get snow to release it back to vRA to initiate the build. part of the issue is my lack of depth with SNOW.
    thanks, JM

  2. EIMS says:

    Jim – Yes! Avnet solution also includes a ServiceNow App that you can view here – http://bit.ly/2jLEyxT … which will allow you to consume vRA blueprints, or vRO workflows from the ServiceNow portal.

    You can reach out to IT-SOLUTIONS-EIMS@avnet.com for more information.

    Thanks.

  3. Sunitha says:

    Integration of Avnet ServiceNow plugin with VMware vRealize Automation is well explained in this step by step process in the above post. Integrating serviceNow with different enterprise apps helps quicken workflows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *