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by kurtvh

SCUG session with Nigel Cain: System Center Service Manager Integration

10:29 am in Uncategorized by kurtvh

Hello,

Last week we had the pleasure to attend to the Microsoft partner session with Nigel Cain and in the evening there was the SCUG session where Nigel talked about the integration possibilities of System Center Service Manager.

In this post I want to high light some information that is provided during these sessions:

  • In both sessions an overview is provided of the functionality in SCSM. Change management, problem management, incident management and compliance management are part of the product. Asset management can be integrated via custom management pack – http://www.provance.com/en/Solutions/Provance_and_Microsoft_System_Center.html
  • SLA management is not included in SCSM V1 and will not be available in RTM version. Let’s say it with Nigel his words “Let’s ship the V1 version and start then thinking about the V2 version”
  • End of February there will be a release candidate available:
    • “Line manager” concept will be integrated in that version. Nice for the Review activities.
    • less empty fields in management console, for the moment we have sometimes some empty action fields in the GUI.
  • Populating the CMDB is an important task in the setup of an SCSM infrastructure
    • SCCM and SCOM are important sources for populating the CMDB, but SCSM is not limited to that. CSV import is an easy method for importing CI’s. Simple CSV import via the mgmt console can already do the task or you can create a CSV connector.
    • Important for the import of the CI’s is that the source is clean. Keep in mind to clean up the source before you do an import of the CI’s
    • Ok, currently there are connectors available for importing CI’s from Windows platform, but SCSM is certainly not limited to that. SCSM is service management for your whole environment. If you want to have your beamer as a CI in SCSM, create the proper class and start importing. If you need UNIX, LINUX,… system in SCSM, import them in SCSM and so on…
  • Configuring SCSM is for a big part the translation of the defined processes. It will be important to have a clear overview of this information before starting configuring SCSM.

A lot more information is provided during the sessions, thank you Nigel for sharing this information with us.

We had a “little” after session with Nigel where we discussed the service provider scenario. Below you can see the result of the brainstorm…

CCE26012010_00000

Another nice functionality that is discussed during the after session was the compliancy measuring. The integration with SCCM DCM is explained during the sessions, but there is an additional check that can be performed against different frameworks. Readers who are interested in this kind of functionality, please post a reply on this post. If I can gather some interest on this topic, Nigel wants to give dedicated session about it. I will start gather info about the compliancy regulations that are included in SCSM…

 

Hope this post provides some info for those who were not in the possibility to attend the sessions.

 

Kind regards,

 

Kurt Van Hoecke

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by kurtvh

Configure SCSM email incident support

4:18 pm in Uncategorized by kurtvh

We know that we can create incidents via the console; support people can handle a phone request and create an incident in the SCSM console.

This blog provides some info about the email incident support in SCSM. Users can submit incidents by sending an email to a dedicated email address. Several email addresses can be used, one for hardware incidents, one for software incidents, and one for printers and so on… When an email is sent to report an issue, the Exchange Server will send it to the SMTP server, the SMTP server will copy the message to a “drop folder” on the computer that is hosting an SMTP Server service. Service Manager monitors this share and processes the message into an incident. Service Manager parses the ”From address” and attempts to match the user in the Service Manager database. If Service Manager cannot find the user in the Service Manager database, the message is moved into a “bad folder” and no incident is created.

The configuration of this functionality consists of 4 blocks:

  • Configuration of the mail server to route the emails to the SCSM SMTP server.
  • Setup and configuration of the SCSM SMTP server.
  • Configuration of the template for emailed incidents.
  • Configuration of the Inbound email settings in Service Manager.

Flow overview:

emailincidents flow

 

Configuration of the mail server to route the emails

I’m not going to cover this configuration in detail. You can use the information that is provided in the admin guide or work together with the Exchange team to configure this. The goal of this configuration on the Exchange server is to define the email address as an accepted email domain and route emails for that domain to the SMTP server.

Overview of the configuration:

  1. Open the Exchange Management console.
  2. Expand Organization Configuration, and then click Hub Transports.
  3. In the Hub Transport pane, click Accepted Domain.
  4. In the Actions pane, click New Accepted Domains.
  5. In the New Accepted Domains dialog box, create a new accepted domain of the type Internal Relay. For example *.helpdesk.demo.local
  6. In the Hub Transports pane, click Send Connectors.
  7. In the Actions pane, click New Send Connector.
  8. In the New SMTP Send Connector wizard, create a new send connector by using the following information:
    1. Address space = *.helpdesk.demo.local
    2. Add Smart Host by using the IP Address of the computer that will host the SMTP Server service defined in the following procedure.
    3. Set smart host authentication settings to None.

 

Setup & Configure the SCSM SMTP server

The SMTP server is a functionality on server 2008 (R2) and is configurable via the Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Manager. (So don’t forget to tick this option also when installing the IIS role)

Setup of the SMTP server

  • On the computer that will host the SMTP Server service, on the Windows desktop, click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Manager.
  • Right-click the local computer node, select New, and then click SMTP Virtual Server.
  • In the New SMTP Virtual Server Wizard, in the Name field, type the name for the SMTP server, and then click Next. In this example, type helpdesk.demo.local.
  • On the Select IP Address page, click the drop-down list and select the IP address of the computer that is hosting the SMTP Server, and then click Next.
  • On the Select Home Directory page, click Browse and click to the folder for your home directory. For example, select C:\inetpub\mailroot. You will create a share for this folder in the next procedure.
  • On the Default Domain page, type the domain name for this virtual SMTP server, and then click Finish. The domain name you enter must match domain name that is configured on the Exchange server in previous procedure. In our example, type helpdesk.demo.local.

Create a share for the mail root folder

  • On the Windows desktop, right-click the Start button, and then click Explore.
  • In Windows Explorer, drill down to the folder that you specified as the home directory in step 5 from the previous procedure. For example, drill down to C:\inetpub\mailroot. If needed, create two sub folders, Badmail and Drop.
  • Right-click the home folder, and then click Share.
  • In the File Sharing dialog box, select the domain user that you specified for the Service Manager account, click Contributor, click Share, and then click Done.
  • You can double check this account in the SCSM console
    • In the Service Manager console, select Administration.
    • In the Administration pane, expand Administration, security, and then select “Run As Accounts”

 clip_image002

  • Make sure that the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service is set to Automatic and has started.

 

Configuration of the template for emailed incidents.

One of the items that we have to take in to account in this scenario is that incidents created via email are not assigned to a group or user and have the impact & urgency set on medium. I don’t like to have incidents created without an assignment on it. So, a template must be created to correct this setting.

As specified before, we can have multiple email addresses configured for this functionality. In that case we have to create multiple templates in order to set the assignment for emailed incidents.

Configuration of the template

  • In the Service Manager console, select Administration.
  • In the Administration pane, expand Library, and then select Templates.
  • In the Settings pane, click create template. Template creation wizard starts
  • On the Create template page, specify the following items:
    • The name of the template, for example emailed incidents
    • Class of the template, in our case this is Incident
    • Select the management pack to store the template in. I have created a dedicated mgmt. pack for templates.

 clip_image004

  • Click OK and the incident form is presented.

 clip_image006

  • On this page you can make the adjustments that you need. Assignment, impact, urgency and Primary owner are items that can be specified in the template.
  • Click on Apply and OK to close the page and save the settings.
  • Template is created and should appear in the list of template in the SCSM console.

clip_image008

 

Configure Inbound Email settings in Service Manager

Enable the inbound email functionality in SCSM console

  • In the Service Manager console, select Administration.
  • In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then select Settings.
  • In the Settings pane, double-click Incident Settings.

clip_image010

  • In the Incident Settings dialog box, select Inbound Email.

clip_image012

  • In the SMTP Service Drop Folder Location field, type the path, share, and folder to the drop folder. In this example, type \\<computer_name>\mailroot\Drop where <computer_name> is the name of the computer that is hosting the SMTP Server service, mailroot is the share name, and Drop is the sub folder.
  • In the SMTP Service Bad Folder Location field, type the path, share, and folder to the bad mail folder. In this example, type \\<computer_name>\mailroot\Badmail where <computer_name> is the name of the computer that is hosting the SMTP Server service, mailroot is the share name, and Badmail is the sub folder.
  • In the Maximum number of e-mails per cycle field, enter a number of e-mails that you want Service Manager to process during an email processing cycle.
  • Select Turn on inbound emails processing, and then click OK.

 

 Configure the template for incoming emailed incidents

  • In the Service Manager console, select Administration.
  • In the Administration pane, expand Administration, select Workflows and select Configuration.
  • In the Configuration pane, select the Incident Event Workflow Configuration and select properties from the task pane.

clip_image014

  • On the Incident events page, click Add. A Wizard starts for the creation of the event.
  • Click Next on the “Before you begin” page.
  • On the Workflow Information page, specify the name of the event and make sure that you have selected “When an incident is created”.

 clip_image016

  • Click Next to proceed.
  • In the Specify Event Criteria, drill down in the available properties section and select Source.
    • Click Add and specify the criteria. In our case, specify “Equals” EMail. (In this way we will apply the template to all emailed incidents).
    • If multiple email addresses are available you can add the Title criteria with a contains <email address>. (red square in screenshot)

clip_image018

  • Click Next.
  • On the Select Incident Template page, specify the just created template and click Next.

clip_image020

  • On the Select People to Notify page, configure the notification for these kinds of incidents.
  • Click Next to proceed.

clip_image022

  • Click Next on the Summary page.
  • Click Close on the Confirmation page.

 

Result of the emailed incident configuration

So, in this scenario I have to send an email to helpdesk@support.demo.local.

image (simple example)

SCSM will pick this up and make an incident from it.

image

You can see that the assignment is made and the support group is set on the incident form.

This blog post is a simple example of what we can do with this emailed incident functionality. Multiple emails can be used, they can be filtered and we can apply an template on it. In the template we can specify several items for the emailed incident.

That’s it!

 

Enjoy,

 

Kurt Van Hoecke