Documenting operator-initiated changes for servers for ServiceNow

This topic describes how to execute the operations-initiated change use case for the Continuous Compliance for Servers solution. It includes the following sections:

Overview

When operations changes are implemented, operators need to document these changes in ServiceNow Change Management. To automate this change tracking process, a change request is automatically created in ServiceNow when a BMC Server Automation operator submits a job that requires ServiceNow tracking and approval. After the change is approved in ServiceNow, the job is scheduled for execution in BMC Server Automation.

After the job has run, the ServiceNow change task is closed with an associated completion status and any changed configuration items (CIs). The ServiceNow user can launch the BMC Server Automation Console from the task to view the details of the job and to verify the change actions.

Benefit

The main benefit of this integration is to enforce continuous compliance to the change process without introducing labor intensive activities. The integration reduces the risk of unauthorized and unplanned changes through enforced change tracking.

To document operator-initiated changes

The following table provides an overview of the user tasks involved in this use case. Details for each of the steps are provided in the referenced BMC Software documents, available by clicking the links provided for each step.

To view a basic scenario involving operations-initiated changes, see User scenario - Operations-initiated changes.

Step

Product involved

Description and reference

Step 1: Create a new BMC Server Automation job with Change Management approval

BMC Server Automation

When you create a job with a job type that requires ServiceNow approval, you are prompted to select the approval type and enter the approval parameters when you configure the schedule. You can specify an approval type when you execute a job or schedule a job for execution. 

See Executing a job with ITSM approval in the BMC Server Automation documentation.

Step 2: Set the approval type

BMC Server Automation

The Approval Information tab enables you to select an Approval type and enter the ServiceNow parameters needed to create a new change ticket or use an existing one. On the Enter approval information dialog or the Approval Information tab, do the following:

  1. Choose the Approval type from the list of pre-defined options.
  2. Enter the additional information that is used in the change request, for example Change type, Impact, and Risk Level.
  3. Either select Create new Change Ticket or select Use existing Change Ticket

See Executing a job with ITSM approval in the BMC Server Automation documentation.

Step 3: Verify the job

BMC Server Automation

After the job definition is completed, BMC Server Automation schedules the job and requests that a new change request be created in ServiceNow. The new change request is created using a specific change template and includes one task, even if multiple servers are used as targets. The change request ID and task ID are sent to the BMC Server Automation system and the values are attached to the job schedule. The servers that have been specified as targets are associated to the change and task requests as CIs. 

You can check to see if the interaction with the change management system was successful by reviewing the job schedule log, which is displayed under the job until the job starts running. For information, see Viewing job schedules in the BMC Server Automation documentation

The job schedule log makes it easy to see when the job has been approved and is waiting to run and if the attempt to schedule the job has failed (for example, failed to create or update the change ticket). After the job starts executing after approval the information in the job schedule log is rolled into job log.

Step 4: Review the status of the job

BMC Server Automation

When you select one of the execute options (Execute now, Execute against, and Execute against failed targets) for a job that requires ServiceNow approval, the job is blocked until approval notification is received from ServiceNow. The job displays a status of Waiting for Approval until the approval notification is received. When the approval is received, the job is executed automatically (for Execute now) or at the scheduled time (for scheduled jobs).

When you display job results, an approved schedule is shown with the yellow Completed with Warnings icon. Failed schedules are displayed with the red Completed with Errors icon. The status types that apply to jobs configured for ServiceNow approval are:

  • Waiting for approval - The job is submitted for approval in ServiceNow and execution is blocked pending approval notification.
  • Request approved, Waiting for schedule - The change request is approved in ServiceNow and job execution is pending according to the job schedule.
  • Request approved, Executed (success or failure) - Shows the job run instance with a status of success or failed.

Possible reasons that a red failure icon appears for jobs submitted for ServiceNow approval include:

  • The schedule is rejected by ServiceNow
  • The job fails to create the ServiceNow change ticket when the schedule was created and saved
  • The job is canceled while in Waiting for approval state

After the job execution is complete, the ServiceNow change ticket is closed and the Work Info note is updated with the job completion status (success, failed, canceled, or aborted).

Note: If the text exceeds 100 characters in length, the summary text of the work log for Task, Incident, and Change is truncated.

Step 5: Review the status of the change request

Service
Now 

After the BMC Server Automation job execution completes successfully, the ServiceNow user opens the change ticket to review the following items:

  • Status of task (Completed)
  • Status of change record
  • The actual start and end Date of the Change
  • The servers that were updated  
    By reviewing the Dates tab of the task ticket, the operator can review the details of when the job was executed.

Where to go from here

You can also execute the Closed-loop compliance for servers for ServiceNow use case.

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