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Leverage ServiceNow Change Management to execute Turbonomic Actions

By Anand Awasthi posted Tue September 27, 2022 02:20 AM

  

Authors: Anand Awasthi, Vijaya Bhaskar R Siddareddi

 

IBM Turbonomic is an Application Resource management solution that ensures continuous application performance, while optimizing the cost and assuring the compliance at the same time across on-prem and public cloud environments.

Turbonomic actions can be configured to be executed in following modes:

  1. Recommended: In this mode, Turbonomic only recommends the actions on target entities. The actions must be executed from outside of the Turbonomic platform.
  2. Manual: In this mode, Turbonomic recommends the actions and makes them available for execution from within Turbonomic platform either from the UI or using Turbonomic APIs
  3. Automatic: In this mode, Turbonomic recommends the actions and executes them automatically 

Depending on the type of action, it may address performance congestion, improve efficiency, or save cost. Some of the actions may cause disruption in application availability or require investments to resolve performance issues. Typically, in enterprises, any changes to application resources, go through an approval process to ensure application availability, keep cost under control and record all the changes. 

ServiceNow is the de facto ITSM tool for today's largest corporations. The integration between Turbonomic and ServiceNow provides a single system of record for managing and controlling changes in customer’s IT environment.

Turbonomic provides out of the box integration with ServiceNow to leverage change management process to execute recommended actions. The following two use-cases are supported with this integration: 

1) Automatically create and track records of Turbonomic decisions and actions taken

Records of all Turbonomic decisions and actions are created and tracked in ServiceNow. DevOps, IT, and application teams have a single source of truth to track all Turbonomic trusted decisions and automated actions.

 

2) Seamlessly integrate Turbonomic into existing ServiceNow Approval Workflows

Records of all Turbonomic decisions are created in ServiceNow for approval by IT, application, and DevOps teams. Once approved, Turbonomic will take action to assure application performance. All Turbonomic decisions and actions are tracked in ServiceNow and become part of workflows.

 

 

By the virtue of Automation Policies, Turbonomic enables you to take fine-grained control to decide which actions on which entities need to go through the approval process, which ones are record only and which ones can be executed directly bypassing the approval process. 

To automate the discovery and execution of changes via ServiceNow, you must have configured:

  • a valid ServiceNow account
  • the “Turbonomic Actions” application installed in a ServiceNow account
  • an instance of Turbonomic which is configured to manage the same datacentre entities that are managed as Configuration Items (CIs) by a ServiceNow account. Also, the instance must have this ServiceNow account configured as a target, so that it can communicate with that account. One installation of Turbonomic supports only one ServiceNow target. To integrate multiple ServiceNow accounts with Turbonomic Actions, deploy a unique instance of Turbonomic for each ServiceNow target you want to support.

Let us take a quick look at the steps required to enable Turbonomic-ServiceNow integration.

 

Step 1: Deploy Turbonomic Actions application:

To install the Turbonomic Actions application, navigate to the ServiceNow Store and search for “Turbonomic Actions”.

 

Navigate to the “Turbonomic Actions” page, and GET the application.

 

This should install the application in your ServiceNow instance. To verify that the application is installed, navigate to the “Turbonomic Actions” user interface. Enter Turbonomic in the ServiceNow Navigator search bar. This should display the “Turbonomic Actions” menu.

 

Step 2: Configure Settings for Turbonomic Actions

To use “Turbonomic Actions” with your Change Management application, you must configure settings that guide how “Turbonomic Actions” create a Change Request (CR). To edit the settings:

  1. Click Settings in the “Turbonomic Actions” menu which displays the Settings view. This view has a single record that shows the current settings.
  1. Click the field entry for Matching CR Type. This opens the Settings record so you can edit its values.

 

You can make the following settings for Turbonomic Actions:

  • Matching CR Type:

The CR type to generate for Turbonomic actions. The Change Management application includes three CR types, each with different behaviours. Use the field to choose which type you want to generate when using “Turbonomic Actions”. It can be one of:

                                  i)   Normal (Default)
                                  ii)  Emergency
                                  iii) Standard

For more information about CR types, see your ServiceNow documentation.

 NOTE: You can edit your CRs in ServiceNow. In all cases, the CR that you use with “Turbonomic Actions” must include a Scheduled state. When Turbonomic Actions recognizes that the CR is in this state, it sends the action to be executed by Turbonomic.

  • Populate CR Assignee:

 When you turn this setting ON, you can then specify the users or groups for each generated CR. Click the SEARCH icon to search for valid user and group names.

  • Apply previously Rejected Actions:

If your enterprise has rejected a CR for a specific action and Turbonomic recommends that action again, you can choose to ignore it, or choose to consider it again. This setting has a global effect. If you turn it OFF, then “Turbonomic Actions” will not create new CRs for any actions that you reject.

  • Use Custom Business Rule for CR Creation:

Turn this setting ON to use custom rules when “Turbonomic Actions” generates a CR. When you turn this on, Turbonomic Actions will not create CRs. Your ServiceNow administrator must deploy a custom business rule that will generate the CR. The business rule is defined for the Turbonomic Action Approval event (x_turbo_turbonomic_turbonomic_action_approval, on insert.

Implement the rule to trigger for each insert into the approval table that  Turbonomic Actions maintains. You should also implement the global UpdateApprovalBasedOnRequestStateChanges business rule to update the  approval record when the given CR has been approved.

After you make your settings, be sure to click Update.

Step 3: Add ServiceNow target in Turbonomic

To use “Turbonomic Actions” with your ServiceNow Change Management application, Turbonomic must be configured with your ServiceNow account as a target.

        i)  In Turbonomic web console, Go to Settings --> Target Configuration
        ii) Click ‘New Target’ --> Orchestrator 

        
        iii) Choose ‘ServiceNow’ as target type:

       

 

        iv) Fill the connection details and click on ‘Add’

 

Step 4: Define Automation Policies

You must have automation policies defined for the entities that you have configured ServiceNow to manage. Let us define an automation policy for example here.

      i) Go to Settings --> Policies --> New Automation Policy
 

Let us define a ‘Virtual Machine’ policy. Click on ‘Virtual Machine’. Enter the policy name and add a scope. Here we have a VM group, named ‘Cloud_VM_Group’ selected as scope for this policy.

Now click on ‘ADD ACTION’ under ‘AUTOMATION and ORCHESTRATION’. Add the action types that you want this policy to be effective on.

 

Now click on ‘ACTION GENERATION’. It will present you two options for sending the action to ServiceNow in addition to the default option of ‘Generate Action’.

Select ‘Generate Action then Request Approval from Orchestrator’ for approval workflow. If you just want the action recorded into ServiceNow, then select ‘Generate Action then Send Record to Orchestrator’. Once ‘Generate Action then Request Approval from Orchestrator’ option is selected, you need to select the workflow.

Click on ‘SELECT WORKFLOW’. It will show all the defined workflows. Select the appropriate workflow.

Under ‘AFTER EXECUTION’, select ‘Send Action Execution Result to Orchestrator’ and select workflow to record action execution result in ServiceNow. 



Click on 'SUBMIT' and 'SAVE POLICY'.
Now actions recommended by Turbonomic, which are covered by this policy, will create CRs in ServiceNow.
When you look at an action recommended by Turbonomic, it will show you the state as ‘Waiting for external approval’ along with the CR number.

You can click on the link to CR and navigate to ServiceNow.

 

Once the CR is approved in ServiceNow, Turbonomic executes the action immediately or schedules it for future execution if there is a schedule attached to the automation policy. After action execution, the CR is closed with closure notes.

 

Summary:

Turbonomic ensures continuous application performance by leveraging machine learning algorithms and identifying the resources required to match the demand for applications. The decisions for resource adjustment identified by Turbonomic are provided as action recommendations with comprehensive details. These actions can be ingested into ServiceNow change management with the out-of-the-box integration between Turbonomic and ServiceNow. The objective is to leverage the approval workflows from appropriate stakeholders and follow the change management process before allowing Turbonomic to proceed with resource adjustment through action execution.

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Mon October 17, 2022 10:28 PM

Great job on Turbo and ServiceNow working together. Thank you!