HP ITSM Automation Contest: A Winning Solution for ITSM Data Center Automation

Thank you to everyone who participated in our HP ITSM Automation Contest. We’d like to congratulate Richard Whitaker on his award winning ideas, presented below.

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As an IT Professional, and a Technical Consultant, I have used many, if not all, commercial ITSM solutions available in the enterprise. And yes, I have fought through my share of home-grown ticketing systems as well. My experience in the field is that customers often consider ticketing systems a nuisance, and sometimes completely ignore them - especially when large-scale data center projects are concerned.

 

The recent technology shift towards cloud-based systems means that most data center automation spawn parallel projects These new projects often push other projects to the side. Often one of those sidelined projects is an installation or upgrade of HP Service Manager (SM).  Because these new projects are so visible and exciting, I find customers are more than willing to devalue the need for better ticketing integration in lieu of the more glossy Business Service Management (BSM) and HP Operations Orchestration (OO) projects.

 

My answer, when asked, is to not avoid the client’s ticketing system, but to embrace it.  I recommend to my clients that they lead a data center project with a state-of-the-art system, rather than running a side project to upgrade.  They should start projects the right way by either installing HP Service Manager or upgrading their existing implementation.  Why?  Is it because all things lead to Service Manager (SM)?  No, to the contrary, all things begin with Service Manager.

 

A project that begins with Service Manager will lay the foundation for an entire ITSM data center automation project that can completely change the OSS implementation layout. For example, the process for building out a new server need not have multiple parties vying for time and materials. 

 

1. Develop a plan and have that plan begin execution with HP Service Manager Change Management.  Once change management gets all the necessary approvals, then HP Service Manager can continue to manage the implementation of the server operating system (OS) build.

 

2. The server hardware arrives at the data center, gets installed in the proper rack, and gets plugged into the Installation VLAN.  When those servers are plugged into the proper VLAN, HP Server Automation takes over and installs the proper OS, depending on which VLAN the server is plugged into and what OS is supposed to be installed).

 

  • Once the OS is installed, HP Service Manager calls an HP Operations Orchestration flow that checks the server against the HP uCMDB to determine if the server is DEV, TEST, or PROD. 

 

  • If it is marked for PROD, then the flow calls HP Server Automation to install the HP Operations Manager Agent.  From there the PROD server is monitored with HP Operations Manager.  All critical events are automatically ticketed within HP Service Manager.

3. The completion of OS installation launches an HP Operations Orchestration flow to check the status (using HP Service Manager Change Control). If an OS build is in the ‘Ready’ state, then HP Server Automation is launched to transfer the company’s gold image to the server.

 

4. Once the image is transferred, the server is named per the information in change control, and the implementation task is set to ‘Complete’.

 

At this point, you have completed a physical server build out, beginning and ending with HP Service Manager. Voila!

 

Richard Whitaker

Independent Consultant

rwhitaker@datacenterems.com

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