This is another guest blog post from one of our partners.  Dennis Rietvink is one of the founders of Savision which is a long time partner of System Center Operations Manager.  Dennis used the information provided in these blog posts to create a custom administration setting, task handlers, and console tasks to enable this integration scenario between Service Manager and their product Live Maps for Operations Manager 2007.   IT analysts using the Service Manager console to resolve alerts from Operations Manager will be able to use the Live Maps to visualize the alert-generated incident in the context of a  map or other diagram.

Thanks for writing this up Dennis! I’ve always been a big fan of Live Maps and it’s great to see it being integrated with Service Manager in such a useful way!

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Background

For those who don’t know our solution, Live Maps is a visualization add-on for System Center Operations Manager 2007. Live Maps allows users to simplify the complexity of their IT environment by creating custom (nested) health state aware maps in the context of their business. More information can be found here.  

Goal

We have been working with a number of Service Manager TAP customers that had a strong need for automatically generated information about the impact and cause of an incident. Service Manager already adds the affected Operation Manager objects to the incident but we wanted to take it one step further.

In case the affected objects are part of one or more views created with Live Maps, we wanted these dependencies to be available at the fingertips of the Service Manager console user. By a single click it should be clear which Live Maps the affected objects are on and allow the user to directly open the real-time Live Maps display.

Example Scenario

So let’s walk through a simple use case to explain the Live Maps integration in detail. In this scenario we have Operations Manager with Live Maps deployed and we have used Live Maps to model our business applications and to visualize our datacenter.  We have a business application named LOB 1 which contains database Corp App. Now the following happens:

  1. The database ‘Corp App’ is taken offline
  2. An alert is generated in Operations Manager
  3. The alert is picked up by the Alert connector in Service Manager and an incident is created
  4. The incident contains the affected database and its host 
  5. Now it gets exciting!  With the Live Maps integration for Service Manager, the user can launch the Show Affected Live Map task
  6. In this case the affected database is on the LOB 1 business application Live Map and the host of the affected database is on the Amsterdam datacenter Live Map
  7. By simply selecting the Live Map a real-time view is opened to the Live Maps display which gives the user contextual information combined with the latest health state. Additionally the user can diagnose and resolve the problem by opening one of the detailed Operation Manager views (Health explorer, performance view,…)

Implementation

For this integration we created two custom Task Handlers: 1) to configure the Live Maps web console URL setting which is exposed in the Administration\Settings area and 2) the Show Affected Live Map task which is targeted to the Incident class.

The console task management pack and the task handler assembly files behind this integration are stored in a single management pack bundle which makes it extremely easy to deploy because the task handler assembly will be automatically downloaded to the console computers from the management server. I can strongly advise other partners to take a good look at the extensibility features of Service Manager! In my humble opinion this level and ease of extensibility will be a major success factor for Service Manager. Great work!

Availability

The Live Maps integration for Service Manager will be part of the next Live Maps release which will be available at the Microsoft Management Summit next April. For more information feel free to send an email to info@savision.com.