Automating Incident & Problem management – Part II: Configuring the SCOM–SCSM connector

The first part covered how to setup a SCOM monitor and trigger a fake alert. This post will focus on configuring the connector between SCOM and SCSM. The goal is to have incidents that are auto-generated from SCOM events.
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Automating Incident & Problem management – Part I: Creating a SCOM monitor and generating fake alerts

This is the first part of a series of posts which will demonstrate how automation can be implemented in Incident and Problem Management. For this, fake SCOM alerts will auto-generate incidents in SCSM, triggering specific Orchestrator runbooks that will provide a fix for the generating issue.

This first part walks through the steps of configuring a Monitor in SCOM and creating fake alerts to be used in future posts.

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While modifying a runbook, I deleted some of my activities / links

Bad news: There is no “Undo” button. So what do you do when this happens?

You have two options:

  1. Since you deleted part of your runbook, you are probably still in “check out” mode with it. So, in order to see how the runbook was before check-out, log on from a different machine, to Orchestrator Runbook Designer. Select everything inside the runbook and copy it to a new runbook, then start modifying again.
  2. If you just want everything restored in the same runbook, verify the time when you deleted your activities / links (let’s say it was 10:00 a.m.), then go to your Orchestrator database, and run the following query:

use Orchestrator

Select * from OBJECTS where Deleted = 1 and LastModified > ‘2013-11-22 09:55:00.000‘ and LastModified < ‘2013-11-22 10:05:00.000

Update OBJECTS set Deleted = 0 where Deleted = 1 and LastModified > ‘2013-11-22 09:55:00.000‘ and LastModified < ‘2013-11-22 10:05:00.000

In case you deleted the entire runbook, or worse, an entire folder of runbooks, you should check this post, which covers well the rest of the available undeleting tricks.

Child runbooks in Orchestrator: Automating an uniquely named,fully patched VM with basic apps installed.

I always see people comparing PowerShell with Orchestrator, or thinking of Orchestrator as a GUI for PowerShell. From my point of view the real power of Orchestrator lies in its capabilities to integrate at different levels to multiple systems and bring them together in a simple “runbook”.

Finally in this post, we can bring together all the previous runbooks and get to experiment with child runbooks. For this all the previous runbooks have to be ready:

Another prerequisite for this runbook is having a VM template (with Windows 7 in my case) ready for deployment.

Scenario

The main idea, when creating these little runbooks, was to have a VM that:

  • Was auto generated
  • Has an unique name that complies with a specific standard
  • Is fully patched
  • Has a minimum of applications installed

Following this scenario, we easily get to connect to Active Directory, Exchange, SCCM and SCVMM. And we could go even further, by integrating this runbook with SCSM, for change management (future post).

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Orchestrating Software Updates and Applications Deployment

This scenario continues the idea of the automatically generated virtual machine, adding automatic patching and basic application deployment. All the pieces will fit together in the next post.

With this example I want to point out that you don’t necessarily have to do everything in Orchestrator. Since it relies a lot on SCCM, there is a lot of flexibility in this runbook, it’s up to you how much do you automate in Orchestrator and what it remains to be done in SCCM.

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Invalid Runbook in SCSM

Changing parameters in a runbook after it was synced in SCSM may change its state to “Invalid”. To fix this you need to go in SCSM and delete the synced runbook and run the Orchestrator connector again. If your SCSM machine is slow ( like mine :) )  you need to wait a little until the “Delete” action appears in the console, on the first instance you get only “Refresh”

More on this topic: Runbook States in Service Manager
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