by Rich Bourdeau
Cloud management platforms which automate the delivery of IT services are not standalone applications. In order to automate the deliver an IT service, cloud management platforms need to interact with existing infrastructure, tools and processes. One of the top five external systems customers ask VMware to integrate vRealize Automation (formerly vCloud Automation Center) with is their existing service desk system.
Integration requests fall into two categories:
- Calling Service Desk systems from vRealize Automation to generate a work order ticket or update a CMDB
- Requesting vRealize Automation Services from your Service Desk solution
Third party service desks software is available from a variety of vendors including BMC, CA, HP, and IBM. One of the most frequently requested third party service desk software that we get asked to integrate with is from ServiceNow. VMware and its partners have created a bunch of integration examples, vRealize Orchestrator workflows, and plug-ins that can be used to accelerate integration between vRealize Automation and ServiceNow. This blog tries to summarize some of the options available, but If you are aware of others, please drop me an email and I will be happy to update this list.
Note: These examples are specific to ServiceNow, but the techniques and even some of the workflows can be modified to integrate with other service desk solutions.
Calling ServiceNow features from vRealize Automation
Generating an incident ticket is the most common ServiceNow integration that our customers request. Other integrations examples include updating the ServiceNow CMDB throughout the lifecycle of the resource(s), change management and problem requests.
Here are some integration examples and resources that you can be used to jumpstart your efforts:
- Mark Andreopoulos, a Cloud Specialist at VMware with over 20 years of IT experience and guest blogger on the VM to Cloud Blog, put together two great post demonstrating how vRealize Automation will create and update a ServiceNow incident when a machine/service is both deployed and decommissioned. The same techniques used in this post can be also leveraged for other ServiceNow use cases.
- Tom O’Rourke, Integration Architect and former co-founder of DynamicOps (acquired by VMware) in his Clear as a Cloud Blog. Provides some details about How to Invoke Powershell Scripting from vCAC Workflows (Southbound) to integrate with applications like ServiceNow
- Interra Information Technologies has a ServiceNow Plug-in for vRealize Orchestrator (formerly vCenter Orchestrator). Their plug-in can be downloaded from the Cloud Management Marketplace on the VMware Solutions Exchange.
- Yuval Tanenbaum, VMware Systems Engineer who specializes in Enterprise Management and Automation as well as authors the Manage Your SDDC Blog, provides the details about how to Update ServiceNow CMDB As Part Of IaaS Machine Life Cycle.
Requesting vRealize Automation services from ServiceNow
Another common use case is to be able to request or manage vRealize Automation infrastructure application or custom services from the ServiceNow catalog.
Here is an integration examples and resources that you can be used to jumpstart your implementation:
- Jenifer Galvin, A former Solution Architect in VMware’s Cloud Infrastructure Management Group put together a great blog post: Provision a vRealize Automation Service from ServiceNow’s Service Catalog. This post looks at how to successfully integrated ServiceNow’s Service Catalog to provision services in vRealize Automation. It also demonstrates how vRealize Automation services could be invoked from any Service Catalog, using vRealize Orchestrator.
Where to Start
The examples I’ve shown you can help jumpstart your cloud automation implementation. However, they are very basic examples that demonstrate what is possible, but are a long way from what you will likely need for a full production deployment. I highly recommend that you contact VMware Professional Services. They have already delivered many of these integration use cases and will provide advisory and technology consulting services that will really accelerate a private and hybrid cloud deployment that meets the unique needs of your business.
2 comments have been added so far
Much appreciated article. I hope many people would have gained a lot of knowledge by reading this post!
In addition to these options listed above, there is a Scoped Application that is certified by ServiceNow and VMware, which establishes Bi-Directional communication from ServiceNow through the vRA APIs, reducing the need for PowerShell, vRO, SOAP, etc. A few features it includes are:
– Native ITSM integration with ServiceNow. CMDB is automatically updated, triggers SR/CR/Incidents.
– Provisioning or Service Request failures automatically trigger Incidents in ServiceNow and can be configured with a log parsing technology to attach to the incident the latest log errors from across a vRA Enterprise Installation.
– Export BluePrints from one vRA Instance to other vRA instances.
– Manage multiple vRA Instances from ServiceNow central pane of glass.
Here is a link to the ServiceNow store to request a trial if your interested. Its also published in the VMware Solutions Exchange.