Try out Microsoft System Center Service Manager in a free, online virtual environment:
The scenarios in this lab will demonstrate an overview of a Microsoft System Center Service Manager installation and initial configuration, covering the following topics:
- Installing Service Manager
- Importing data from Active Directory,System Center Configuration Manager, and data and alerts from Operations Manager 2007 SP1 and above
- Configuring User Roles within Service Manager
- Manually adding users that were not imported from Active Directory
- Creating several templates, configuring initial parameters, creating queues, lists, and groups, and then creating a management pack to save any custom objects
- Installing Service Manager in a production environment in a scenario where Service Manager is installed on four computers
Lots of good posts on the beta product, and the blog is shiny new:
Hi. I’m Bill Anderson, a technical writer for System Center Service Manager. I’ve been working with PM Vladimir Bakhmetyev to put this blog post together to show you a little about how you can use change management features found in Service Manager to help model process frameworks such as MOF.
I really wanted to sub-title this entry as: “Microsoft wants me to run how many System Center servers?!?!?” so I will.
I have been working with System Center Service Manager (Microsoft’s foray into the service desk arena), in some form or another, since it’s original announcement and beta release going on 2 years ago. Therefore, I am very excited that Service Manager is looking like it should see a release sometime in 2009 or 2010. And while I have found the latest iteration of Service Manager to be an excellent product (you can get info about downloading the latest beta of SM here: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/service-manager.aspx), what I really want to get into today is not SM’s capabilities (these may change over the next 12 or so months at least a little, plus most of it is still under NDA anyway) but the basic underlying architecture that Microsoft has chosen. Service Manager is built using the System Center Configuration Manager database. At first glance this may seem to be a good thing, Microsoft has found a way to consolidate databases making it possible to run 2 products SCSM and SCCM using only 1 database. But…The old (and new) version of Forefront, Microsoft’s anti-malware product, is built on the Operations Manager database. And again I hear you say “Great! Now I can run 4 products with only 2 databases.” And once I again I say, “But wait there’s more.” We still need WSUS to complete the management puzzle. So now we can manage our entire network using Microsoft’s System Center suite of products using (by my count) 5 products and a bare minimum of 6 servers, some of which may be virtualized against Microsoft’s recommendations. Awesome! Except I’m a mid-sized business so use Systems Center Essentials…
So what are we Mid-Biz’s to do? As of right now I am sorry to say that I cannot find a way to put all the pieces together so that they fit. Obviously, for a mid-biz 6 servers just for management is not a realistic solution and that’s not even mentioning the overkill that SCCM and SCOM would be for someone with under 500 clients on their network. As I covered back in September, making SCE and Forefront work together is very possible, but trying to add Service Manager to the mix just does not work well right now.
I have been testing Change Management in System Center Service Manager beta 1.
ITIL defines the change management process this way:
The goal of the Change Management process is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes, in order to minimize the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently improve the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Change management is responsible for managing change process involving:
* Communication equipment and software
* System Software
* All documentation and procedures associated with the running, support and maintenance of live systems
System Center Service Manager has a connector to System Center Configuration Manager that synchronizes hardware information and other relevant information to Service Manager. When creating a change request it is possible to pick/select objects syncronized from Configuration Manager. For example if you want to create a change request, regarding a security group in Active Directory, then you can select the group from the list. You can also open the object direct from the change request form, that is a convenient method when you need to verify some information.
Another alternative to start a change request is to select a object and then click create change request from the task bar. Then related items are already filled in. In the example below we want to create a change request involving Vista Service Pack 2.
When creating a new change request there are a couple of templates delivered out of the box. It is possible to create your own templates with pre-defined attributes like area, priority, people to notify, risk level and impact.
On the Related Items tab, of the change request, the creator can add related items like objects from Configuration Manager, Active Directory, documents and files and other work items. Work items can be for example incidents that are related to this change request.
When a change is submitted the creator can track the change request on then process tab.
When all activities are carried out and the change request is filled in you can close the change request from the console.
It is possible to configure notification to get notified when something is happening. For example if someone creates a new change request you want to send a notification to all change reviewers.
It is reasonably easy to configure change management templates and notifications based on them. But it is a number of steps to take and a name standard has never been more important. If you don’t have a good name standard you will lose yourself pretty quick. Something that I think most Operations Manager 2007 administrators recognize. There are a couple of notification scenarios where I could see a need of more detailed criteria parameters. But as this is Service Manager beta 1 I guess we will see a lot more features in later beta versions and the RTM version. I think that the biggest obstacle will not be to how to configure Service Manager but instead how to plan and design all your workflows within your organization before you can input them into Service Manager.
If you are interesting in change process flow there is a lot of good information here at TechNet.
You’ve heard the rumors, hoped them to be true, but have been left holding an empty bag. Is System Center Service Manager a real product, developed by real people, in a land that you don’t have to dream about to visit?
Here’s some proposed dates for when you’ll be able to see more of System Center Service Manager:
- 2008 H2, Beta 1 (early December or end of November, will not include the self-service IT portal)
- 2009 H1, Beta 2 (summer 2009, will include the self-service IT portal and will also be feature complete)
- 2009 H2, RC
- 2010 H1, RTM