vRA 7.3–Installing and configuring vRA plugin for ITSM–ServiceNow–Part 1

It seems like everyone these days wants to use ServiceNow as their catalog for vRA.  It use to be that everyone just wanted to create or update CI records.  Before I get into the weeds on how to get vRA and ServiceNow talking together I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the integration, the pros, the cons, and it’s limitation.

The vRA ITSM plug-in has come a long way from the original version 1.0.  The latest release VMware vRealize Automation Pug-in for ITSM 3.0 now supports Azure Blueprints, XaaS Catalog Items, Dynamic property lists, as well as the already supported vSphere and AWS machines.  It also now works with Jakarta and still supports Istanbul.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  It kinda is, but it’s not without it’s limitations.  To be clear I’m not talking about limitation in vRA, or in the ITSM plugin, but rather limitations in general.

You are unable to get access to all the Day 2 operations that vRA has to offer so more often than not your customers still need to have access to vRA.  Even though in version 3.0 you don’t technically have to use SAML integration, the reality is you most likely still will want to use it for a more seamless experience for your consumers.  Which leads to my question.  If your users will ultimately have to use vRA for some more advanced day 2 operations, to get access to log files, or granular deployment status why do it at all?  I know, I know everyone wants a standardized catalog for the initial request.  I really do get, but at the same time does it really matter?  Will having to support a more complex install, the extra issues with making sure vRA, ServiceNow, and the ITSM plugin are all compatible when any of the components are to be upgraded be worth it?

Make no mistake about it, you will be taking on technical debt by integrating the SNOW catalog to your provisioning process.  Ah, I feel better now that I got that off my chest.  So if you still want to use ServiceNow(SNOW) as your catalog read on and I’ll gladly guide you through racking up that technical debt.

First things first

Ok first we need to check a few things out.  What version of ServiceNow are you running.  ITSM 3.0 supports Istanbul and Jakarta.  The instructions I will be giving are based on the following:

  1. vRealize Automation 7.3 build 5604410
  2. ServiceNow Jakarta
  3. ADFS 3.0
  4. ITSM 3.0

When you download the ITSM plugin make sure you download the version for your ServiceNow version.  If using Istanbul please make sure you download the full version, not the upgrade.


To begin I will first be showing you how to configure the integration with the default vRealize Automation Authentication and then later I will show how to integrate with ADFS.

Prerequisites

Mid Server

1. You must have a MID server running in your local environment.  If you do not, please visit this link to set one up http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=MID_Server_Installation#gsc.tab=0

2. You must validate your MID server to be sure it can properly communicate.

vRA

1. You must have vRA configured for Active Directory.

To configure Active Directory in vRA go to Administration –> Directory –> Add Directory –> Add Active Directory over LDAP/IWA.

2. You must not be using ADFS or other Identity Provider with vRA.

Installing ITSM Plugin into ServiceNow

1. In ServiceNow go to System Update Sets –> Retrieve Update Sets and select Import Update Set from XML.

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2. Select the downloaded ITSM Plug-In and say upload.

3. Select vRealizeAutomationPluginForITSM Jakarta.

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4. Choose Preview Update Set

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5. If you are running Jakarta you will get the following error.

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6. Close the error and then select Accept Remote Update at the bottom of the screen.

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7. Select Commit Update Set.

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8. You should then see the Update Set successfully commit. Click Close.

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9. Select Retrieved Update Sets.

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10. Verify it has been committed.

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That completes installing the Plugin.  In Part 2 we will start configuring the plugin for use.


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