Since the last release, you might have noticed that NetApp® Active IQ® Unified Manager has shifted paradigms. No longer just a monitoring solution, Unified Manager now helps with automation, active management, intelligent provisioning, and zero touch management, which I wrote about in previous blogs:

Why integration with Active IQ Unified Manager?

At NetApp, we’ve developed a reference solution that lets you create NetApp ONTAP® workloads by using Unified Manager’s service-level objective (SLO)–based provisioning capabilities within ServiceNow. You can use this integration solution as a reference workflow for using Unified Manager’s REST APIs in developing workflows with ServiceNow. You can also extend this solution to create custom workflows.

 

This solution is developed to showcase the ease at which an existing ServiceNow instance can integrate with AIQUM and manage storage resources. This Service-Now Integration with AIQUM will enable you to provision ONTAP workload using AIQUM Rest API through the Service-Now front. You can start the provisioning with very minimum knowledge and without any ramp-up of AIQUM and ONTAP in your ecosystem. The objective of developing this reference solution is to ease user experience to effectively manage storage, in a time- and cost-effective manner.

 

The pack is available for download from the NetApp Storage Automation Store, as shown here:

 

The pack contains a .zip file with XML binary and a readme text to help you understand how to successfully integrate with ServiceNow and deploy the solution.

 

Use Active IQ Unified Manager REST APIs for Provisioning, Reporting, and More

With this solution, you can integrate the ServiceNow portal with Unified Manager’s REST APIs to:

  • Enable RBAC: Module to onboard a ServiceNow user group with provisioning capabilities, and even integrate with LDAP (Windows organizational units, or OUs)
  • Provision various ONTAP operational tasks such as creating and mapping LUNs, and creating NAS (and CIFS) shares
  • Report on provisioned Unified Manager (ONTAP) workloads through customized ServiceNow dashboards

The pack contains a .zip file with XML binary and a readme text to help you understand how to successfully integrate with ServiceNow and deploy the solution.

Configuring a ServiceNow Instance

The XML file is the system update set that must be imported into a ServiceNow instance. After it’s imported, you must commit the changes onto the instance.

 

For our test in ServiceNow, we selected the latest release, “Orlando.”

 

When you click through the prompts, your instance is created with a URL assigned, as shown here:

 

Active IQ Unified Manager – ServiceNow Instance

By this time, you should have downloaded the XML package from the Storage Automation Store and have it ready for use on your system. After launching the ServiceNow instance, enter the search term “update.” Then use the Import Update Set from XML feature to locate and import the Unified Manager XML file.

Active IQ Unified Manager XML file

After you import the file, use Update Set Preview to see if there are any compatibility issues, and then commit the changes by using Commit Update Set. Now you can see the Unified Manager objects in a dashboard view in ServiceNow; more views with other available modules are available on the left side, as shown here:

 

Active IQ Unified Manager and Service Now Integrated Dashboard

User Onboarding Process

Now it’s time to assign ServiceNow users appropriate roles for provisioning use cases. Be careful with the roles you’re assigning, because each privilege works differently.

ServiceNow User Onboarding

 

The role-based access control (RBAC) roles are as follows:

  • AIQUM Onboarding Privilege. Users with this role have the permissions of the Active IQ Unified Manager administrator. All modules are visible to this user.
  • AIQUM Provisioning Approval Privilege. Users with this role can approve provisioning, and their names appear as approvers during provisioning.
  • AIQUM Provisioning Privilege. User can access only the modules available for Active IQ Unified Manager resource creation (Creating Mapped LUN, Creating NAS File Share).

AIQUM User Group Onboarding Process

AIQUM admin needs to onboard the user group to which the user belongs by executing the AIQUM User Group Onboarding module. The onboarded group role is attached to the user group by a ServiceNow admin.

 

With access controls configured, you can start provisioning ONTAP workloads by using Unified Manager’s workflows. The Approval privilege follows ITIL best practices, so any user requesting more than 1GB of storage needs approval from the approvers in the RBAC group. Provisioned workload appears in the ServiceNow dashboard, as shown in this example:

 

The dashboard provides the following details:

  • Total size, in Gigabytes, provisioned through the ServiceNow AIQUM integration
  • Daily trend of provisioned size, which can be drilled down to Performance Service Levels, Users, or User Groups.
  • Total size (bar graph) that can be grouped according to Performance Service Levels, Users, or User Groups, which can then be further be stacked according to Performance Service Levels, Users, or User Groups.
  • Tabular data that can be drilled down to Performance Service Levels, Users, or User Groups.

Summary

The Active IQ Unified Manager and ServiceNow integration solution is a reference for ServiceNow users to take advantage of REST APIs for SLO-based provisioning workflows. You can extend this functionality further by modifying the XML as required by your organization. You can practically create the whole infrastructure to manage all kinds of supported resources, consuming the required APIs. You can even design workflows for deleting and updating resources. This solution shows how easy it is to integrate with Active IQ Unified Manager and harness the simplified, service-centric, data center scoped RESTful APIs exposed by AIQUM. The powerful functionalities of ServiceNow, such as monitoring, notification, access control, approval process, and much more, combined with AIQUM REST APIs, make storage management a breeze!

 

So, go ahead, use this solution to improve and simplify storage management using AIQUM.

 

Feel free to provide your feedback and let us know how you extended this solution for your enterprise. To learn more about Active IQ Unified Manager, visit our Active IQ Unified Manager Documentation Resources page.

Hemant Agrawal

Hemant is a member of technical staff at NetApp, where he is working as a software developer.

He is also responsible for providing different DevOps tools(Puppet, Ansible, ServiceNow, Terraform, etc) integration with current product Active IQ Unified Manager which helps customers to consume ONTAP in their existing ecosystem.

He has a passion for R&D in the cloud and big-data technologies. Apart from work, Hemant is keen to explore modish things around and travel to new places.
He has passion in finding issues and solution in cloud and big data technologies. Apart from work Hemant has keen to exploring modish things around and travelling new places.

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