Jim Pitts and I presented a session at Tech Ed Europe 2010 last week on how to use Service Manager and Opalis together to automate the process of provisioning VMs. The session was the #4 rated session for the entire event last time I checked. Apparently people really like this integration and the power of Opalis + SCSM (because a score that high is certainly not reflective of our presentation skills! )! Since it was such a hit we decided to record it again and post it here on the blog so everybody could see it.
In this demo we show how you can automate the provisioning of Virtual Machines using Service Manager to control the automated part of the process and using Opalis to do the automated provisioning of the VMs via SCVMM. This pattern of creating automation can be repeated over an over to automate all kinds of other things like:
- User provisioning/de-provisioning
- VM moves
- VM clones
- New VMs
- Start/Stop VMs
- Software distribution via SCCM
- Maintenance Windows with SCOM
- and on and on….
The pattern is this:
- Create a new automated activity work item class in the SCSM data model using the SCSM Authoring Tool. Derive this new class from the ‘Activity’ class so that it can be included in the Change Request process as an activity.
- Define the properties you need to have the user input information for that will be used by the workflow activities (either SCSM workflow or Opalis workflows).
- Optionally, create a custom form in the Authoring Tool to make data input easier. You can also skip this step and just use the generic form.
- Import the MP into SCSM.
- Create a new template (or templates) for your new automated activity work items.
- Create new change request templates that use the new automated activity work item templates you created in step #5.
- Author your Opalis workflow by using a monitor activity to look for objects of your new automated activity work item class to have their status updated to ‘In Progress’.
- Author the rest of the Opalis workflow as needed to automate things. Use the properties on the new custom automated activity work item class as inputs to the workflow activities so that the user input can be used to do exactly what the user wants.
- When the automation is done successfully change the status of the activity work item in SCSM to ‘Completed’ so the next activity (if any) in the change request process can start.
Here’s the demo video:
Note: there is even a (intentional ?) chance to see how to debug a workflow when there is a mistake in the workflow.
P.S. – check out Ander’s recent blog post on SCSM + Opalis to automate the creation of new users in AD:
Huge thanks to Adam Hall and Sean Christensen for taking the time to capture this demo video again and encode and post it for us!