Note

 

This documentation supports the 20.16.01 version of Remedyforce.

To view the latest documentation, select the latest version from the Product version menu.

Managing service outages

You can create service outages to help users plan their tasks based on the occurrence of the service outages. The following topics are provided:

Overview

Service outages are likely to affect the working in your organization and lead to increase in downtime. If you inform the users about service outages before they occur, it helps them to plan their tasks accordingly. If you know about some service outage, the users can be informed about it and you can prevent unwanted and unplanned change requests during that period. Sometimes, service outages are not planned but a service may be degraded.

Consider some examples such as sending and receiving mails is taking longer than usual, a service may become unavailable suddenly, or the mail server is down. BMC Remedyforce enables you to create current and future service outages with a status that indicates whether the service is degraded or disrupted. BMC Remedyforce also enables you to configure a service outage which is marked as a blackout period to prevent change requests from being created or modified during the service outage.

Depending on how the system administrator has configured your user settings, you may be able to create service outage and mark it as a blackout period by overriding open and active change requests which conflict with the selected Start Date and End Date of the service outage.

As a Change Manager or a staff user, you must be aware of all change requests taking place and can coordinate change requests appropriately, thereby minimizing any conflicting change requests. You must have the details of services or configuration items involved with various change requests, and record the relevant details on the Service Outage form for this data to be displayed on the change schedule.

In the change schedule, the start and end dates of blackout periods are represented by black vertical bars and the start and end dates of service outage are represented by gray vertical bars. Outage records that do not have a blackout period, an end date, and the outage status is not maintenance, will not be displayed on the change schedule.

To create a service outage

As a Change Manager or a staff member, you must create and manage service outages and inform change coordinators and other users of periods during which they cannot create or modify change requests. By default, the change coordinators and other users cannot create or modify change requests during a service outage, which is marked as a blackout period. However, depending on how the system administrator has configured the user settings, change coordinators and other users may be able to create or modify change requests by overriding blackout periods.

  1. Click the Remedyforce Administration tab.
  2. On the Home page, click the Manage Workflows and Other Processes tile, and from the menu, select Service Outage.
    Alternatively, you can also navigate to Remedyforce Workspaces > Change Management > Service Outage.
  3. In the Service Outages list view, click New.
  4. On the Service Outages form, the Name field is automatically generated when you save the record.

     Considerations when naming a service outage

    If you want to give a name, consider the following points:

    • You must give an alpha-numeric name. A service outage name consisting of numbers only is not supported.
    • Two outage records with the same name can exist only if they have different start and end dates.

    Also, on a business service configuration item (CI), you cannot create multiple outage records with overlapping dates.

  5. Specify the following details on the form:

    Note

    The Created Date, Created ByLast Modified Date fields are automatically filled after you save the record.

    FieldDetails
    Affected ServiceFrom the Select from Business Services window, select the service that is affected by the outage.This window displays CIs of the Business Service class only.
    Blackout period

    Select this check box if you want to prevent change requests from being created between the outage start and end dates.

    If any open change requests exist during the blackout period specified by the Start Date and End Date fields, you cannot save the record.

    Outage Status

    Select the status of the service outage.

     The types of outage available are:

    • Degraded—The service has degraded performance, however, the service is available.
    • Disrupted—There is a total outage on the service, making it unavailable to users.
    • Maintenance—The outage is planned for system maintenance, such as installation of patches or code deployment.

    This field is mandatory only when you select any Affected Service and do not select the Blackout period check box.

    Service outage records can also be created to inform when a service has a degraded performance or has stopped working. In this case, you can use the outage status value as degraded or disrupted.

    Note: BMC Remedyforce does not support addition of custom values or change in the out-of-the-box status values of the Outage Status field. However, if you change any of the out-of-the-box status values through the Translation Workbench, it is supported. For information in overriding terms through the translation workbench, see Salesforce Help.

    Start DateSelect the date when the service outage starts. This field is mandatory for all records.
    End Date

    Select the date when the service outage is planned to end.

    The Outage Status field is mandatory only when you select the Blackout period check box or the outage status is Maintenance.

    Although, the end date is not mandatory for degraded or disrupted services, BMC recommends that you give an end date after the outage ends. If this is not done, the service continues to appear as degraded or disrupted in Service Health.

    Note: For a service, you cannot create multiple outage records with overlapping dates.

    Root Cause

    Type the description of the cause of the service outage.

    For example, you might want to perform backup of the email server due to which email communication will not be possible for some time. The system having this service has high CPU usage. Hence, the outage is created with status as degraded and shows the service as degraded to the users.

    Description

    Type the description of the service outage, such as the reasons for creating the blackout period or planning the maintenance.

    For example, you might be conducting an audit of how many approved change requests have been implemented in the current financial year. If new change requests are approved and implemented during the audit period, it might affect the results of your audit.

    Display in Self Service

    Select this check box if you want this service outage and its related services to be displayed in Service Health in Self Service.

  6. Click Save.

    Note

    You can create service outage records on a CI of a Business Service class only.

To manage conflicts between change requests and service outages

The following conflicts between change requests and service outages which are marked as a blackout period might exist:

Conflict typeDetails
Conflicting change requestYou are trying to create a service outage which is marked as a blackout period, and conflicting open and active change requests exist in between the selected Start Date and End Date of the service outage.
Conflicting service outage

You are trying to create a change request, and conflicting service outages which are marked as a blackout period exist in between the selected Scheduled Start and the Scheduled End dates of the change request.

You can manage conflicts between change requests and service outages based on how the system administrator has configured your user settings.

  • If the system administrator has not enabled your user settings to override a conflicting change request, or service outage which is marked as a blackout period, the record that you are trying to create is not saved. 
  • If the system administrator has  enabled your user settings to override the conflicting change request, or service outage which is marked as a blackout period, the UI displays a message that a conflicting change request, or service outage which is marked as a blackout period exists in between the start and end date of the record that you are trying to save. You can view the details of the conflict by clicking the click here link in the message which opens the change schedule.
    If you are creating a service outage which is marked as a blackout period, and conflicting open and active change requests exist in between the selected Start Date and End Date of the service outage, the change schedule displays the following views when you click on the click here link of the message:

     Change schedule views
    • If the period is more than seven days, the change schedule displays a monthly view, starting with the month of the Start Date.
    • If the period is more than one day and less than seven days in the same week, the change schedule displays the corresponding weekly view.
    • If the period is more than one day and less than seven days, and in different weeks, the change schedule displays the corresponding monthly view.
    • If the period is for a maximum of 24 hours and on the same day, the change schedule displays the corresponding daily view.
    • If the period is for a maximum of 24 hours and on different days, the change schedule displays the corresponding weekly view.

    You can review the details of the conflicting records in the change schedule and decide whether you wish to override the conflict and create the record, or not.

To copy a service outage

To prevent change requests from being created on weekends to allow you to consolidate your audit data over the weekends, you can create a service outage, mark it as a blackout period, and make copies of it for the required weekends.

  1. Click the Remedyforce Administration tab.
  2. On the Home page, click the Manage Workflows and Other Processes tile, and from the menu select Service Outage.
    Alternatively, you can also navigate to Remedyforce Workspaces > Change Management > Service Outage.
  3. In the Service Outages list view, select the service outage that you want to copy.
  4. Click Copy .
    A copy of the service outage is opened in a new Service Outage form.
  5. In the new Service Outage form, make the required modifications.
  6. Click Save.
    If conflicting open and active change requests exist in between the selected Start Date and End Date of the service outage, you can create the service outage depending on how the system administrator configured your user settings. For more information, see To create a service outage.

To delete a service outage

Based on your requirements, you can either inactivate or delete a service outage that is no longer available in your company. To perform either action, you must navigate to Remedyforce Administration > Manage Workflows and Other Processes > Service Outage. Alternatively, you can also navigate to Remedyforce Workspaces > Change Management > Service Outage.

GoalAction to be performed

Allow change managers to create change requests during a service outage.

From the service outages list, open a service outage, select the Inactive check box, and click Save .

Permanently delete a service outage from BMC Remedyforce.

In this case, the service outage will not be seen in the change schedule as well in Service Health.

Note: Although the service outage is deleted, services associated with it might be seen in Service Health because they might be associated with other service outages.

From the service outages list, select a service outage and click Delete .

To add actions to a service outage

When you create an action, you must select the Service Outage check box in the Applies To section on the Action form for the actions to be available to be added to a service outage. You must also select the Display in Self Service check box in the Details section on the Action form to make the action available in Service Health in Self Service.

The following table lists the options that are available in the Actions menu for a service outage:

GoalSelect optionAdditional steps to be performed
To add notes to a recordAdd Note

In the Add Note window, perform the following actions:

  1. Enter the note details.
  2. Click Add.
To add user-defined or system-defined actions to a recordNew Action

In the Actions window, perform the following:

  1. Select the action that you want to add to the record.
  2. A new browser window is displayed.Enter the description and additional notes.You can also select the date and time and Client ID.
  3. Click Save.

Note: By default, only Notes and Service Health Update are available as out-of-the-box actions to be added to a service outage.

To view the history of all actions that are performed on a record.View Action HistoryIn the Service Outage History window, view the list of actions that are performed for the record.

Related topic

Enabling Change Managers to manage emergency change requests and service outages

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