The summer is here the snow is over and the New vRealize Automation Servicenow (vRA Servicenow) plugin is shinier than ever, equipped with quite a few enhancements.
For those who are new to that integration we would kindly remind that this is the second version of the vRA ITSM plugin for Servicenow.
If previously the northbound integrations to vRA were mainly custom and required sufficient professional services interaction, the New VMware VRA plugin for Servicenow provides an out of the box integration between the Servicenow portal and vRA catalog and governance model. It enables ServiceNow users to deploy virtual machines and perform basic day 2 operations. on their CMDB assets.
This blog post consist of following abstracts:
- Overview of the latest and greatest plugin
- High level architecture consideration
- How to order vRA AWS catalog items via Servicenow portal.
Here are a few additional benefits to consider before we start.
- Once you install and configure the plugin vRA catalog items which are entitled to Servicenow users will automatically appear in ServiceNow portal.
- When leveraging vRA’s ecosystem items via the Servicenow portal, the vRA Servicenow plugin will allow you to directly benefits from the extensibility and governance capabilities of vRealize Automation.
- You can additionally leverage all vRA Event Broker integrations and include vRA approval policies.
vRealize Automation Servicenow plugin 2.0: overview
Servicenow users who leverage the vRA Servicenow 2.0 version of the plug-in are able to request vRA Infra and Cloud services as described below
- View and request vSphere and AWS catalog Items
- Benefit from the seamless integration with the ServiceNow governance engine
- Utilize the direct import of the vRA deployment into Servicenow CMDB
- Perform Day 2 operations onto the deployment items
- Directly integrate with VRA authentication mechanism
- Optional ADFS support
- Support for dynamic Custom properties (i.e Array list calculated by vRO calls)
- Supported Releases for vRealize Automation Servicenow (ITSM) plug-in 2.0:
- vRA 7.3
- Helsinki, Istanbul ITSM versions
The overall end to end process is demonstrated on the following diagram:
For more information about the plug-in setup and configuration you can refer to following resources:
- vRealize Automation Servicenow (ITSM) plug-in 2.0 Official documentation page
- Configuring the vRealize Automation Plug-in for ITSM
- vRealize Automation ITMS plug-in community
High level Architectural Overview:
Speaking from an architecture perspective, the plug-in interconnects a few main components:
- Authentication component
- vRealize Automation Service Catalog
- vRealize Automation Resources
- Import scripts dor automatic sync up of vRA catalog items, resources and Servicenow CMBD
- vRealize Automation ITSM Plugin follows the same entitlements modes as vRA
- For other ServiceNow specific workflows, it requires specific role for certain operations as follows
- Plugin requires specific user in vRealize Automation platform called ‘integration user’ which is an analog of Bussiness Group Manager for all Business Group.
- Plugin requires local system administrator in vRealize Automation for Oauth2.0 Client Registration.
- Only ‘Approval Manager’ in ServiceNow can approve service requests for vRA catalog items request from ITSM portal
- Logged in user state is maintained by plugin in ServiceNow database in form of an authentication token which is visible to system administrator only.
- Basic Configurations are visible to ServiceNow system administrator and they are stored in ServiceNow database.
- State level managed objects are maintained in ServiceNow database.
In order to walk you through the major functionalities, we are going to demonstrate you the process of ordering and managing vRA AWS catalog item.
Consume your vRA Catalog in Servicenow
After you configure the plug-in, you can directly login with your vRA enabled users into the Servicenow portal. As a result you are able to compare the respective services in both catalogs. Servicenow end user is able to choose among the vRA Infra and Cloud catalog items in the same manner as he operates trhough the vRA catalog.
By default, the ServiceNow plug-in uses the embedded vRealize Automation authentication mechanism. It does not require Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) configuration. Therefore If you decide to use ADFS, you must confgure it for both ServiceNow and vRealize Automation. For more information you can refer to the official documentation.
After selecting the cloud services, you can order any of the available AWS machine types.
If the ITSM integration includes Servicenow approval process, you should log into your Servicenow instance as Approver user. After approving the request you can also check its status in vRA.
Once the items is successfully provisioned the Servicenow plug-in will perform a scheduled update of the vRA resources to ITSM CMDB. Please, note that this task is configurable and System admin can either fine tune the syncronization interval or force the script invocation.Once the the syncronization process is complete Servicenow users wil be able to see vRA machine deployments and launch in context day 2 operations.
- Install Tools
- Power On
Please, note that only supported Actions are visible in ServiceNow UI. As a result you can leverage all actions that does not require filling out a day2 request forms. Following action types are not supported.
- Triggering Servicenow-based approval workflows.
- Machine connectivity (e.g. VMRC / RDP) is not currently supported.
Stay tuned for additional vRA blog posts and enjoy the new vRealize Automation Servicenow plug-in.
For more information about the plugin setup and configuration you can refer to following resources: