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Nutanix Integration with ServiceNow

 

By Paul Harb

Nutanix recognizes that enterprises need a truly hybrid cloud environment that offers a seamless experience between public and private clouds. As Nutanix leads the industry with its innovative 100% software-defined hyper-converged infrastructure and multi-cloud services, customers are deploying at scale and need to integrate with their IT operations environments. Nutanix is enabling these integrations with rich APIs and product innovations such as X-Play. In this area, we are proud to announce deeper and tighter integration with ServiceNow, a strategic partner in delivering a seamless IT operations and end-user experience. Our technical teams have worked closely to build integrations between ServiceNOW’s SaaS offering and Nutanix infrastructure with the following areas of focus:

  • ServiceNOW CMDB integration for Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure discovery and modeling
  • Nutanix Alert Integration with ServiceNOW Events and Incidents and remediation via XPlay
  • ServiceNOW Request Management and Fulfillment for Services Hosted on Nutanix via CALM plug-in
ServiceNOW and Nutanix integration flow

Figure 1: Nutanix and ServiceNOW Integration Flow

Why is this important?

The larger and more diverse an organization’s IT environment is, the more they need robust IT process to mitigate and manage risk. They also want to find a simple way for all end-users to get IT services via a single pane of glass, and they want everything automated! With many platforms in the mix, ServiceNOW is where they all come together so IT organizations can have one set of processes that leverage common approval flows for all platforms. This need to follow agreed, auditable, and repeatable processes is paramount when organizations are running critical business applications on which things like corporate profits, human lives, or financial markets may depend.

1. ServiceNOW CMDB Integration and Auto-Discovery of Nutanix

Integration between Nutanix and ServiceNOW begins with the Discovery and Service Mapping Patterns. Visibility into hyperconverged infrastructure in CMDB is vital for successful ITSM/ITOM deployments. ServiceNOW’s ITOM latest release (July 2019) adds the ability to discover Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure running Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) and VMware ESXi. The new pattern collects information about critical Nutanix infrastructure elements and their dependencies from PRISM Central. Customers can get complete visibility of Nutanix clusters, hosts, virtual machine (VM) instances, categories, controller VMs, storage pools, and storage containers.

Key Features:

  • Single pane of glass view of Nutanix topology data for AHV/VMware Hypervisor solutions.
  • Visibility into storage pools and containers (free space vs available space).
  • Near real-time visibility via event-driven discovery.
  • Visibility into Nutanix Categories.

Check out ServiceNOW’s blog, entitled “Visibility to Nutanix”, includes links to how to download the application for the ServiceNOW store as well as official documentation and the out-of-band content release announcement.

2. Nutanix Alert Integration with ServiceNOW Events and Incidents

In Prism Central version 5.11 (released Aug 2019) provides a new feature called X-Play (pronounced ‘Cross Play’) that enables a webhook associated to Nutanix Alerts. Each time a Nutanix Alert occurs, X-Play picks up the alert and runs a specialized X-Play Action to do something. Nutanix will further simplify the integration for ServiceNOW by providing a pre-configured X-Play Action specifically for ServiceNow that will push the Nutanix Alert via the ServiceNOW API to Event table.

Nutanix alert via ServiceNOW API to event table


ServiceNOW CMDB integration

This integration dovetails seamlessly into the CMDB integration by binding the event that was created with the Configuration Item (CI) that was previously auto-discovered by ServiceNOW’s ITOM pattern. If you have ServiceNOW Incident Management implemented, then the Event Management module will create the associated Incident based on rules configured in ServiceNOW.

Stay tuned for my next blog on this topic. I’ll show you how to get it up and running!

3. ServiceNOW Request Management and Fulfillment for Services Hosted on Nutanix

Nutanix Calm is a multi-cloud application management framework that provides automation, orchestration, and lifecycle management that is natively integrated into the Nutanix Platform. The Nutanix plug-in for ServiceNOW enables you create service catalog items for applications based on Calm blueprints. The Calm plug-in helps to automate the application provisioning and life-cycle management by allowing you to leverage IT Services Management (ITSM) and IT Operations management (ITOM) processes that are defined by the customers in ServiceNOW, speeding time-to-value through automation.

This plug-in automatically synchronizes Calm Blueprints, Market Place Items, and Applications allowing you to publish them as Service Catalog items in ServiceNOW.

ServiceNOW request management

Run-time attributes and variables can either be entered by the requestor at the time a service is requested, or they can be pre-populated with default values to reduce data inputs and offer T-Shirt sizing for service requested through ServiceNOW.

A convenient user dashboard provides a summarized view of assigned blueprints, opened request, request status, performed executions, execution status, incidents, and incident status.

ServiceNOW user dashboard

 

Key features:

  • Assign catalog items to users/groups to control access in ServiceNOW
  • Integration with ServiceNOW approval workflows prior to launching automation for Service Fulfillment
  • Email notifications on success or failure
  • Option to create a ServiceNOW incident if provisioning fails

A demo of the Calm Plug-in for ServiceNOW can be found here.

Click here to download the plug-in and documentation from GitHub.

What is the architecture?

Nutanix and ServiceNOW integration architecture

Figure 2: Architecture of Nutanix and ServiceNOW integration

The diagram above shows the architecture between Nutanix and ServiceNOW. If you haven’t installed a ServiceNOW Mid-Server in your Nutanix environment, then you will have to do so first. The ServiceNOW MID Server application facilitates communication and movement of data between the platform and external applications, data sources, and services.

Click here for more information on how to install and configure the MID Server. There is also a nice video on YouTube that you can watch.

The MID Server is used by both the Auto-discovery and Calm Plug-ins to move data between ServiceNOW and Nutanix. In the case of X-Play, Prism Central sends the data directly to the ServiceNOW RestAPI and does not go via the Mid Server.

Pre-requisites and Compatibility Matrix

Integration Type Nutanix Pre-Requisites ServiceNOW Pre-Requisites
Auto-Discovery

1. Prism Central v5.10.x or higher

2. AOS/PE 5.9 or higher

1. Madrid (Patch 2) or London (Patch 8)

2. MID Server

3. Discovery of ESXi clusters requires ServiceNOW Plug-in for vCenter and the Nutanix plug-in is additive.

Alert Integration

1. Prism Central v5.11.1 or higher

2. Prism Pro licensing

3. AOS/Prism Element 5.9 or higher

1. ITOM Discovery

2. ITOM Event Management

3. ITOM Incident Management

Calm Plug-in

1. Prism Central v5.10 or higher

2. Nutanix Calm v 2.4 or higher

1. Kingston or London

2. ITOM Incident Management

3. MID Server

More information

If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply at the bottom of this blog, and I’ll do my best to answer it.

If you would like assistance implementing ServiceNOW integration, Nutanix Professional Services has highly skilled and knowledgeable experts who can help you design, build, and customize your solution. Please reach out to your Nutanix Sales Representative for more information.

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