Windows Azure Pack: GridPro – Installation and Overview

April 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

You are now used to manage your WebSites, VMs, SQLs with Windows Azure Pack? But what about your Service Manager (SCSM) activities and requests?

 A company named GridPro released a few weeks ago a Windows Azure Pack extension that will let you manage your Request Management directly from the WAP Portal. How cool is that? Windows Azure Pack is really becoming THE portal for all the System Center Produtcs.

If you just installed Windows Azure Pack, you certainly noticed that the GridPro extension is already available from the resources column in the management portal.

If not, just start the Web Platform installer that you used to install WAP and install the 2 GridPro extensions.

When done, you need now to download the GridPro application itself. Go to the following URL and fill in your information. After a few seconds, you will get a mail that is containing a download link.

In my lab, I will install the GridPro application directly on my WAP Server.

Provide information about your SCSM installation (SCSM Server, SQL instance, DB, Service account).

Create an account to let WAP connects to the GridPro WebService. (This is not a domain account or Windows account, just an account that you create here directly here in the GridPro setup).

Accept the license agreement.

Start the installation process.

Done :-) Easy no?

Go to your Windows Azure Pack management portal and click on New at the bottom of the page.

There you need to specify information about your GridPro installation. Basically, the GridPro WebService URL (https://server:30033) and the credentials that you just created earlier during the setup.

Now, in connections, you could see a new entry that represent the GridPro connection to your SCSM server.

By clicking on the connection, you will be able to edit some extra settings. Click on the Edit button at the bottom.

GridPro has 2 running Modes, Subscription and User. Subscription means that all the Service Requests and Activities created will be visible to all the users that are sharing the same Subscription (Ideal when you are working as a Team). User mode means that the Requests and Activities will be available only for the user that created them.

As GridPro extension is fully integrated with the Plan feature, you need first to add your GriProd service to a plan/subscription to be able to use it. Open one of your existing plans and click on add service.

From there, select the Request Management service and the instance that your created.

After a few seconds, the Request Management service is added to your plan.

GridPro Configuration is done, it’s now time to test it.

Incident Request

Start the Service Manager Console and ensure that your have at least one Service Offering published. If not, just create a new one.

Add a Request Offering to your Service Offering. If you don’t have any, you could use the Generic Incident Request, which is a good candidate for that job.

Now, start the TENANT portal and you should see two new services, Requests and Activities. Click on Request and select Create A New Request.

A new window will pop up with your Service Offerings in the left-side column. Clicking on one of the Service Offerings will let you chose one of the available Request Offerings. Below, I selected the Generic Incident Request.

You have now to fill in the exact same information that you should have to if you were directly using the Service Manager Console or the SMPortal.

Confirm your inputs.

As you could see, a new Incident Request has been created.

Of course, the same incident is also visible directly from the Service Management console.

In the WAP portal, if you click on the Request itself, it will show you the details information.

The tracking page displays information from the SCSM Request Log entry. From there, you could directly add a comment and speak with the analyst that is managing your request.

It’s also there that your could see when you request is changing status.

Tacking information also available directly from the SCSM Console.

What do you think of that?

Just a few words about licensing, there is two version of GridPro that are available for WAP, the Express and the Premium. If you want more information about licensing, contact directly:

 Below a small table to see the different features included in each versions.

As you could see, one of the most interesting feature, the Approve/Reject activity, is part of the Premium version. I kindly received a Premium Trial version, so let see how it works. The idea here is to be able to create a new request for the creation of a VM CheckPoint/Snapshot. The approval of this request will automatically trigger an Orchestrator Runbook which will create the VM CheckPoint.

Service Request with Approval Process

In Service Manager, I created a new Service Request, which include a Review Activity and a Runbook activity.

In my review activity, I added my WAP user as reviewer.

My Runbook Activity is triggering an Orchestrator Runbook which will create the VM CheckPoint.

I created a new Request Offering which is using my SR template created above.

When done, I added this Request Offering to an existing Service Offering.

Now, just go to the Tenant WAP Portal and create a new request. I’m now able to select my Create VM CheckPoint (with Approval) request.

Fill in the needed information.

And confirm the request.

After a few seconds, my new request will be created.

In this case, I’m also the reviewer, so in the Activities, I could see that a Review Activity has been created.

By opening this Review Activity, I’m able to directly Approve or Reject this task.

This will automatically release my Orchestrator Runbook, which will create my VM CheckPoint.

Finally, I could see my Request Completed :-)

Have a good weekend!