Are there certain IT Service Requests that you wish users could perform themselves to free up some of your time?
This month, we’re joined by Nathan Mertz, Principal Consultant at Bennett Adelson in Cleveland OH. In this first article in a 5-part series, Nathan will walk us through the process of leveraging System Center 2012 to automate common IT Service Requests using System Center 2012 Service Manager and Orchestrator.
Hope you enjoy!
If your shop is like ours, I’m sure there’s lots of little tasks that end users request that tie up a good portion of your day, probably because many of those requests require Admin rights to complete. What if you could automate those requests so that these tasks could be safely completed without requiring your manual intervention?
Wow! I could get back all sorts of time to spend on other projects!
This is exactly the kind of automation that System Center 2012 can provide! In this article series, we’ll look specifically at two components of System Center 2012:
Together, these components can be used to quickly define and automate routine admin tasks to empower users with the ability to safely complete their own service requests.
In my environment, we have lots of developers and frequently they need to add special service accounts to the local Administrators group on a set of pilot development PCs. Of course, my developers don’t have local Admin rights to these PCs themselves, and I’d like to automate this process so that I don’t need to do it myself. Once I’m done automating this process, I’d like developers to be able to submit the request via a Service Request form in System Center 2012 Service Manager and have the request performed automatically for them.
Note that this is just one example in my environment of a real-world application for Service Request automation. I'm sure that you have lots of other common examples of IT Service Requests in your shop that you can automate using this same approach.
To automate this process, we can use the following 5 tasks:
In this article, as part 1 of a 5-part article series, we’ll focus on an overview of the first task above. Be sure to follow this series for a walk-through of all of the other tasks above to complete this scenario.
To begin this scenario, please make sure you have the System Center Integration Pack for Active Directory installed in the System Center 2012 Orchestrator Deployment Manager as shown below. The AD Integration Pack can be downloaded for FREE in the Microsoft Download Center.
The final Runbook layout for the controls and activities we’ve added should resemble the below diagram. We’ll be leveraging this Runbook in the future articles in this series to complete the automation of our scenario.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll be continuing with the second task in our scenario to define a connection between System Center 2012 Service Manager and Orchestrator. Be sure to follow this series on our technical blog at: http://bennettadelson.wordpress.com/.
Do It: In the meantime, below are resources that you may leverage to complete the Runbook steps above using System Center 2012 Orchestrator in your own lab environment …
Nathan Mertz is a Principal Consultant at Bennett Adelson in Cleveland OH. Throughout his career, Nathan has focused on architecting and implementing solutions for Identity and Access Management using Active Directory, System Center and Forefront technologies. Nathan is a regular contributor to the IT Pro community within the US Heartland and is also a Subject Matter Expert on Bennett Adelson’s technical blog at http://bennettadelson.wordpress.com/.
Be sure to check out these additional resources:
Keith Mayer is a Principal Technical Architect at Microsoft, focused on helping ISV partners leverage the Azure cloud platform. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of customers and partners worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Azure, Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL Server and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.