Integrating with ServiceNow

As a tenant administrator, it's important that you can monitor the connected systems and quickly identify and resolve any issues. The BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations   ServiceNow  connector  collects topology  data from ServiceNow .

You can view the collected data in various BMC Helix application and  derive the following benefits:

BMC Helix applicationType of data collected or viewedBenefits

BMC Helix Discovery

Topology

Collect all CIs from ServiceNow as is in BMC Helix Discovery. 

Collect services from ServiceNow in BMC Helix Discovery in a format that can be consumed by BMC Helix AIOps  

For more information, see Managing your IT infrastructure. Open link

BMC Helix AIOps

Services (created from topology)

Monitor the overall health of a service. When the service gets impacted by any factor, view the events generated because of the impact, analyze the causes of the impact, and quickly remediate those events to restore the health of the impacted service.

For more information, see  Monitoring services. Open link

As a tenant administrator, perform the following steps to configure a connection with ServiceNow, verify the connection, and view the collected topology data in various BMC products.


Watch the following video (05:55) to learn how to collect topology data from ServiceNow and view the collected data in BMC Helix applications .

https://youtu.be/HbQXNcGkCEA

Supported versions

This connector supports the following versions of ServiceNow for data collection:

  • Rome

  • San Diego

  • Tokyo
  • Utah (starting version 23.1.01)

Planning for the connection

Before you configure a connection with ServiceNow , ensure that the following prerequisites are met.

ServiceNow prerequisites

You have read permissions for the following REST API endpoints in ServiceNow:

  • /api/now/table/cmdb_rel_ci
  • /api/now/table/cmdb_rel_type
  • /api/now/cimodel/cmdb_ci/fullclasshierarchy
  • /api/now/table/[type], where type is determined by querying fullclassheirarchy
  • /api/now/cmdb/instance/cmdb_ci
    For information about APIs, see the ServiceNow API documentation. Open link

You have permissions to access the ServiceNow UI.

You have been assigned the ITIL role. For information about the ServiceNow roles, see Base system roles in the ServiceNow documentation. Open link

BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations prerequisites

  • Depending on the location (SaaS, on-premises) of the third-party product, choose one or more BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations deployment modes and review the corresponding port requirements. For information about various deployment modes and port requirements, see Deployment scenarios.
  • Based on the deployment modes, use the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations SaaS deployment or the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations on-premises gateway or both. For more information about the gateway, see Deploying the BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations on-premises gateway.

  • The on-premises gateway must be able to reach the third-party product on the required port (default is 443).
  • You have the latest Technology Knowledge Update (TKU) required to collect the topology data from the third-party product. To obtain the latest TKU, see Schedule and Roadmap Open link

In the preceding list, third-party product refers to ServiceNow

Configuring the connection with ServiceNow

  1. Access BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations:

    • BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations SaaS – Log on to BMC Helix Portal, and click Launch on BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations.
    • BMC Helix Intelligent Integrationson-premises gateway – Use one of the following URLs to access BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations:
      • http://<hostName>:<portNumber>/swpui
      • https://<hostName>:<portNumber>/swpui
  2. On the CONNECTORS tab, click  in the SOURCES panel.
  3. Click the ServiceNow tile.
  4. Specify the following source connection details:
    1. Specify a unique instance name.

      Best practice

      We recommend that you specify the instance name in the following format: 

      <sourceType>_<sourceControllerServerName>{_<InstanceQualifier>}                                      

      The instance qualifier helps you to distinguish among the multiple instances configured from the same source server; for example, SN_Host_PROD and SN_Host_TEST.

    2. Specify the ServiceNow host name and port number (default value is 443).
    3. Specify the ServiceNow HTTP or HTTPS port number depending on the connection protocol (default port number is 443).
    4. Select the HTTPS check box if you plan to use an https connection to the ServiceNowhost.
    5. Specify the user name and password for the ServiceNow instance and ensure that the specified user can access the ServiceNowREST API.
  5. Click VALIDATE AND CREATE.
    The specified connection details are validated and the corresponding source connection is created in the Source Connection list.
  6. Select the source connection that you created from the list if it is not selected already.

    Important

    The destination host connection is created and configured automatically when you create a connection for a source. 

  7. Ensure that the options for the datatypes for which you want to collect data are selected.
  8. Click the topology data type and specify the configuration parameters in the Collectors section as described in the following table:

    Parameter name and description

    Collection Schedule

    Specify the data collection frequency (in minutes). 

    Default: 60 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins. 
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected every 5 mins, first at 00:30 and next at 00:35, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data collection schedule.

    Data Collection Window

    Specify the historical time period (in minutes) from the current time for which the data should be collected from ServiceNow

    Default: 5 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins.
    Data Collection Window is set to 5 mins.
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected first at 00:30 for the interval, 00:25 - 00:30, and next at 00:35 for the interval, 00:30 - 00:35, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data collection window .

    Data Latency

    Specify the time (in minutes) by which the data time window should be shifted far back on the timeline.
    This parameter is useful in delayed data availability situations.

    Default: 0 minutes

    Example:

    Collection Schedule is set to 5 mins.
    Data Collection Window is set to 10 mins.
    Data Latency is set to 2 mins.
    Current time is 00:30.

    If you run the collector just after 00:30, data is collected first at 00:30 for the interval, 00:18 to 00:28 and next at 00:35 for the interval, 0:23 to 00:33, and so on.

    For more information about this parameter, see Data latency.

    Service Name Filter

    Specify a string if you want to retrieve a list of services that match the string pattern.
    The services that match the string pattern are displayed in the Services list.

    Services

    Select the required services from the list.

    This list is updated automatically from ServiceNow. 

    If you have specified a string in the Service Name Filter list, the services matching the string pattern are displayed.

    Important: Data only for the root-level CIs and its relationships is collected. 

    Business Application Filter

    Specify a string if you want to retrieve a list of business applications that match the string pattern.

    The business applications that match the string pattern are displayed in the Business Applications list.

    Business Applications

    Select the required business applications from the list.

    This list is updated automatically from ServiceNow. If you have specified a string in the Business Application Filter list, the business applications matching the string pattern are displayed.

    Important: Data is collected only for the root-level CIs and its relationships. 

    Load Balancer Service Filter

    Specify a string if you want to retrieve a list of load balancer services that match the string pattern.

    The services that match the string pattern are displayed in the Load Balancer Services list.

    Load Balancer Services

    Select the required load balancer services from the list.

    This list is updated automatically from ServiceNow. If you have specified a string in the Load Balancer Service Filter list, the services matching the string pattern are displayed.

    Important: Data is collected only for the root-level CIs and its relationships. 

    Specify a string if you want to retrieve a list of vCenter servers that match the string pattern. The vCenter servers that match the string pattern are displayed in the vCenters list.

    vCenters

    Select the required vCenter servers from the list.

    This list is updated automatically from ServiceNow. If you have specified a string in the vCenter Name Filter list, the vCenter servers matching the string pattern are displayed.

    Important: Data is collected only for the root-level CIs and its relationships. 

    Collect All CIs

    Select the Collect All CIs option to collect data for all the CIs present in ServiceNow

    If you select this option, the values selected in the Services, Load Balancer Services, and vCenters lists are ignored and data for all the CIs is collected. 

    If you don't select an option, no data is collected. 

    Important : Data collection might take longer if you select this option.

  9. Click CREATE COLLECTORS  to create the required collector streams for the topology data type.
  10. Click the topology data type and specify the configuration parameters in the Distributors section as described in the following table:

    Parameter name and description

    Max Batching Size

    Specify the maximum number of data items to send in a single POST request to the destination API.
    The batch size
    depends on the destination’s ability to buffer the incoming data.

    Default: 250

    Max Batching Delay

    Specify the maximum time (in seconds) to wait before building a batch and processing.

    Default: 3 seconds 

    Base Retry Delay

    Specify the initial time (in seconds) for which to wait before retrying to build a batch and processing.
    The waiting time increases in the following sequence: n1, n2, n3, and so on, where n indicates the number of seconds.

    Default: 2 seconds

    Example:

    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Retry is performed after 2, 4, 8, 16, ... seconds.

    Max Intra-Retry Delay

    Specify the maximum limit for the base retry delay. 

    Default: 60 seconds

    Example:

    Max Intra-Retry Delay is set to 60 seconds.
    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Retries are performed 2, 4, 8, 16, 32,... seconds later.

    Max Retry Duration

    Specify the total time for retrying a delivery. For REST destinations, a delivery is a batch of data items in one POST request. 

    Default: 5 minutes

    Example:

    Max Retry Duration is set to 8 hours.
    Base Retry Delay is set to 2 seconds.

    Requests are sent for 2+4+8+16+32+64+132... until 8 hours in total duration is reached. After that, no subsequent attempts are made to retry the delivery.

    The assumption here is that if there is an outage or other issue with the destination tool, recovery should take less than the value of the Max Retry Duration parameter to be completed.

    Attributes To Be Dropped When Updating Events

    Specify the event attributes that you do not want to be updated in BMC Helix Operations Managementwhen events are updated. 

    For example, if you do not want an event's severity, source address, source category, and subcategory to be updated in BMC Helix Operations Management, you need to specify those attributes in a comma-separated format: severity,source_address,source_category,source_subcategory.

    Important:

    You can obtain the event attribute names in BMC Helix Operations Management, by exporting any event data in JSON, BAROC, XML, or CSV format. The exported file contains all attributes of the event data, and from there you can identify the attributes to be dropped. 


  11. Click CREATE DISTRIBUTORS to create the required distributor streams for the topology data type.
  12. Click one of the following buttons:
    • SAVE STREAM : Click this button if you want to edit the integration details before creating the instance. After you save the stream, the instance that you created is listed in the SOURCES panel. Move the slider to the right to start the topology data stream.
    • SAVE AND START STREAM : Click this button if you want to save the integration details and start receiving topology data immediately.

          For more information about data streams, see Starting or stopping data streams.


Verifying the connection

In BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations , on the SOURCES panel, confirm that the topology data stream for the integration you created is running. Data streaming is indicated by moving colored arrows.

A moving light blue arrow () indicates that the topology stream is running. Topology data will be pushed according to the configured Collection Schedule interval.

Viewing data in BMC Helix applications

View data collected from ServiceNow in multiple BMC Helix applications.

Important

If the event or metric data is ingested by using BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations, and the topology data is ingested through some other means, all the use cases in BMC Helix AIOps might not work as expected because the external IDs generated by BMC Helix Intelligent Integrations and BMC Helix Discovery differ. In addition, host name might differ in both the products. 

To view topology in BMC Helix Discovery

  1. In BMC Helix Discovery, select Explore > Data.

    Important

    Service models for business services, technical services, and business applications for which you have collected topology data from ServiceNow are automatically created in BMC Helix Discovery and BMC Helix AIOps.

  2. Click the folder link corresponding to the entity for which you have collected data from ServiceNow.
    For example, if you have collected topology for a business service, click the <count> Business Services link.
    The <entity> List page shows the list of entity names and its other attributes received from ServiceNow. For information about entities in the infrastructure, see Managing your IT infrastructure. Open link .

  3. Click the entity name to view its topology.

The following figures show the topology for the Blackberry service in the ServiceNow UI and in the BMC Helix Discovery UI:

    

To view services in BMC Helix AIOps

  1. In BMC Helix AIOps, go to the Services page.
    This page shows the Blackberry_Service, for which you have collected data from ServiceNow.

  2. To view the impact on the service, hover over the service.
    The impact score in percentage and Situations, events, incidents, or configuration items (CIs) associated with a service are displayed.  
  3. Click the service to view the health summary, causal analysis, health insights, and other key metrics of interest.

For more information about services, see Monitoring services. Open link

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