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Configure Data Center Process Automation Using System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Contents
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  1. Objective 1.1: Implement workflows
  2. Objective 1.2: Implementing service offerings
  3. Answers

Objective 1.2: Implementing service offerings

Another important aspect of private cloud automation is implementing as much self-service functionality for users as possible. Rather than having to always ring the service desk to log a job, self-service allows many routine IT requests to be initiated by the user through a web browser interface. In some cases, these requests can be resolved without requiring the direct intervention of a member of the IT team, and in others they can be resolved subject to approval.

Creating custom workflows

Earlier in this chapter you learned how to configure change management and activity management workflows, functionality for which is built into Server Manager 2012 R2. You can create new custom workflows for Service Manager using the System Center 2012 - Service Manager Authoring Tool. By building custom workflows, you can further automate Service Manager processes. You can download the Service Manager Authoring Tool from Microsoft’s website.

To create a new workflow that runs on a scheduled basis, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Service Manager Authoring Tool, select the management pack that will store the workflow or create a new management pack.
  2. Right-click Workflows, and click Create. This will launch the Create Workflow Wizard as shown in Figure 1-27. Provide a name for the workflow. If you want to modify the default values for the workflow, retry intervals and time to run, click Advanced. The maximum time to run must be greater than 60 seconds and less than 24 hours.

    FIGURE 1-27

    FIGURE 1-27 Create workflow

  3. On the Trigger Condition page, select Run At A Scheduled Time Or At Scheduled Intervals as shown in Figure 1-28. You can also custom workflows to run in response to database object changes.

    FIGURE 1-28

    FIGURE 1-28 Trigger condition

  4. On the Trigger Criteria page, configure the schedule for running the custom workflow.
  5. On the Summary page, click Create.

Once you’ve created the workflow, you can use the Service Manager Authoring Tool to edit the workflow. You do this by dropping and configuring activities in a manner similar to configuring an Orchestrator runbook. Figure 1-29 shows the Service Manager Authoring Tool.

FIGURE 1-29

FIGURE 1-29 Custom workflow authoring

To add a custom workflow to Service Manager, copy the workflow files, which will have the name of the management pack with the .xml and .dll file name extensions, to the Service Manager installation folder. In the Service Manager console, import the management pack from the Administration workspace. Once imported, you can use the workflow with Service Manager.

Self-Service Portal

The Service Manager 2012 R2 Self-Service Portal is a SharePoint 2010 website that customers can use to submit requests for service offerings and request offerings using their web browser. The Self-Service Portal leverages Service Manager user roles, meaning that users will be presented with different request and service offerings depending on role membership. Users are able to submit requests and view the status of those requests using the portal. Figure 1-30 shows the Service Manager 2012 R2 Self-Service Portal.

FIGURE 1-30

FIGURE 1-30 Self-Service Portal

When a user submits a request using the self-service website, the request is forwarded to the Service Manager server where the information submitted through the self-service website is processed. You can publish Service Manager requests and service offerings to the Self-Service Portal. Many organizations use the Self-Service Portal to allow users to submit their own incident tickets as an alternative to contacting the help desk.

This functionality is only the tip of the iceberg. If you integrate Service Manager with other System Center products, such as Operations Manager, Orchestrator, and Virtual Machine Manager, you can offer services that leverage these products through the Self-Service Portal. For example you could create a service offering that:

  1. Allows users to request and deploy virtual machines through System Center Virtual Machine Manager, with the details of that request and subsequent deployment all logged within Service Manager.
  2. Allows users to put SQL Server databases into protection, or perform self-service recovery by leveraging Service Manager integration with Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator.
  3. Allows users to trigger Orchestrator runbooks. Since runbooks can be created to perform almost any task within your organization’s Windows-based infrastructure, you can provide users with the ability, through the Self-Service Portal, to trigger any task for which you can build a runbook.

The Self-Service Portal can be hosted on a separate computer from the Service Manager server. One important thing to note is that you can only use SharePoint 2010 to host the Service Manager 2012 R2 RTM Self-service website. You cannot use SharePoint 2013 to host the Service Manager 2012 R2 RTM self-service website. This is important as you can deploy SharePoint 2010 on a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2, but cannot deploy it on computers running the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems. This means that you must deploy at least one computer running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SharePoint 2010 even if all of the other server operating systems in your environment are running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Service catalog

The service catalog is a collection of Service Manager items, assistance, actions, or groupings of items, assistance, or actions. You make service catalog items available through the Self-Service Portal by publishing them either as request offerings or service offerings. Figure 1-31 shows the Service Catalog node of the Service Manager console.

FIGURE 1-31

FIGURE 1-31 Service catalog

You use the Request Offerings node to create service catalog items that are available to users. Request offerings allow you to specify what information you want to prompt the users to provide and any knowledge articles that you’ve created within Service Manager that might be related to the request offering. Service offerings allow you to create service catalog items that assign categories to request offerings.

Request offerings

Request offerings are items or actions that you can make available to users through the service catalog. You usually collect request offerings in groups termed service offerings. You can publish service offerings and request offerings to the Self-Service Portal. To give users access to these service and request offerings, you need to assign them to Service Manager user roles that are associated with a catalog group that contains these items.

To create a request offering, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Library workspace of the Service Manager console, expand the Service Catalog node, click the Request Offerings node, and in the Actions pane, click Create Request Offering.
  2. On the Before You Begin page of the Create A Request Offering Wizard, click Next.
  3. On the Create Request Offering page, shown in Figure 1-32, provide the following information:

    FIGURE 1-32

    FIGURE 1-32 Create request offering

    • Title Use this to specify the name of the request offering.
    • Image Allows you to associate an image with the request offering. This image will be present with the request offering in the Self-Service Portal.
    • Description Use this to provide a description of the request offering. This description will be present with the request offering in the Self-Service Portal.
    • Template Use this drop-down menu to select an existing service request template.
    • Management Pack Use this option to specify an unsealed management pack in which to store the request offering.
  4. On the User Prompts page of the Create Request Offering Wizard, shown in Figure 1-33, provide prompts that users can respond to when accessing the request offering.

    FIGURE 1-33

    FIGURE 1-33 Configure user prompts

    You can configure the following prompt types:

    • Date
    • Decimal
    • File Attachment
    • Integer
    • MP Enumeration List
    • Query Results
    • Simple List
    • Text
    • True/False
  5. On the Configure Prompts page, you specify additional required information to assist the user in providing information to the prompts. For example, if you specified one of the prompts as a simple list, you would create the list options that the user would be able to select from as shown in Figure 1-34.

    FIGURE 1-34

    FIGURE 1-34 Configure lists

  6. On the Map Prompts page, associate the prompts with the service request template. The prompts required will depend on the service request template.
  7. On the Knowledge Articles page, you can specify knowledge articles that will appear with the request offering in the Self-Service Portal. This allows you to associate useful documentation with the service offering. For example, you might associate a knowledge article listing the top problems submitted as service requests by users and their solutions.
  8. On the Publish page, shown in Figure 1-35, you can configure whether the Offering Status is Published, and the Offering Owner.

    FIGURE 1-35

    FIGURE 1-35 Publish settings

  9. The Summary page provides summary information about the request offering. The completion page will confirm the creation of the request offering.

You can configure a request offering’s status to either Draft or Published. A request offering assigned the draft status won’t be available to the service catalog and cannot be requested by users. Setting a request offering’s status to Published will make it appear in the catalog to users that have been granted access to the catalog item group that has the request offering as a member.

Service offerings

Service offerings are collections of request offerings. A single request offering can be associated with multiple service offerings. Self-service users are only able to access service offerings and their associated request offerings if:

  • Both the service offering and request offerings have their status set to Published.
  • The end users are assigned to a user role associated with a catalog item group that contains the service offering and request offering catalog items.

To create a service offering, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Service Offerings in the Library workspace of the Service Manger console.
  2. In the Tasks pane, click Create Service Offering.
  3. On the General page of the Create Service Offering Wizard, shown in Figure 1-36, provide the following information:

    • Title The name of the service offering.
    • Image An image that will be associated with the service offering on the Self-Service Portal.
    • Category Allows you to specify a category to associate with the service offering. You can create your own custom categories.
    • Language Allows you to specify a language for the service offering.
    • Overview This short overview will be displayed on the Self-Service Portal home page.
    • Description This lengthier description will be available on the service offering’s page in the Self-Service Portal.
    • Management Pack Allows you to specify the unsealed management pack in which the service offering will be stored.
    FIGURE 1-36

    FIGURE 1-36 Create service offering

  4. On the Detailed Information page, you can specify the following information:

    • Service level agreement information
    • Link for additional information
    • Cost information
    • Link for additional information
  5. On the Related Service page you can specify business services associated with the service offering.
  6. On the Knowledge Articles page, you can specify Service Manager knowledge articles associated with the service offering.
  7. On the Request Offering page, shown in Figure 1-37, you specify the request offerings that self-service users will see grouped with this service offering.

    FIGURE 1-37

    FIGURE 1-37 Create service offering

  8. On the Publish page, select between assigning the service offering the Draft or Published status.
  9. On the Summary page, review the information related to the service offering.

Catalog item groups

You use catalog item groups to restrict access to service manager catalog items. You add service manager catalog items to the catalog item group, and then configure access to the catalog item group by configuring a Service Manager user role. Service manager catalog items can be members of multiple catalog item groups. By default Service Manager has two catalog item groups:

  • Generic Incident Request Catalog Items Group
  • Global Operators Group

To create a catalog item group, perform the following general steps:

  • In the Library workspace of the Service Manager console, click the Groups node.
  • In the Tasks pane, click Create Catalog Group.
  • On the General page of the Create Catalog Items Group Wizard, specify a group name, group description, and a management pack in which to save the group as shown in Figure 1-38.

    FIGURE 1-38

    FIGURE 1-38 Catalog items group

  1. On the Included Members page, specify the items that will be included as members of the group as shown in Figure 1-39. You can view by Catalog Item, Offering, Request Offering, or Service Offering.

    FIGURE 1-39

    FIGURE 1-39 Included members

  2. On the Dynamic Members page, you can have items added automatically on the basis of class and criteria.
  3. On the Subgroups page, you can select existing groups as members of the new group that you are creating.
  4. On the Excluded Members page, you can automatically exclude a class and specific objects based on class and criteria.

To provide access to members of a specific user role, edit the properties of that role and specify the catalog item groups to which the user role should have access as shown in Figure 1-40.

FIGURE 1-40

FIGURE 1-40 Edit user role

Orchestrator and Service Manager

Earlier in this chapter you learned how to connect Orchestrator to Service Manager, which allows you to use Orchestrator runbooks to perform tasks in Service Manager. You can also configure a connector that works the other way, between Service Manager and Orchestrator, which allows Service Manager to make reference to and utilize Orchestrator runbooks. To configure the connector between Service Manager and Orchestrator, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Administration workspace of the Service Manager console, click Connectors.
  2. In the Tasks pane, click Create Connector, and then click Orchestrator Connector.
  3. On the General page of the Orchestrator Connector Wizard, enter a name for the connector.
  4. On the Connection page, specify the Orchestrator Web Service URL as shown in Figure 1-41, and the operational database account. The URL of the Orchestrator web service will be http://computer.fqdn:81/Orchestrator2012/Orchestrator.svc. The Run As account you use must have the right to connect to Orchestrator. Ensure that you click Test Connection to verify that the connection is successful.

    FIGURE 1-41

    FIGURE 1-41 Orchestrator connector

  5. On the Sync Folder page, select a Sync Folder, and click Next.
  6. On the Web Console URL page, shown in Figure 1-42, specify the URL for the Orchestrator web console. The URL will be http://computer.fqdn:82.

    FIGURE 1-42

    FIGURE 1-42 Web console URL

  7. On the Summary page, review the settings, and click Create.

You will be able to verify that the process has worked by navigating to the Library workspace and clicking the Runbooks node. Any runbooks that you’ve created on the Orchestrator will be present in this node. Figure 1-43 shows this node with a runbook present.

FIGURE 1-43

FIGURE 1-43 Synchronized runbooks

Using Orchestrator runbooks with Service Manager

Once information about runbooks is imported from Orchestrator into Service Manager by configuring the Orchestrator connector for Service Manager, you can trigger the runbooks from Service Manager by configuring runbook automation activity templates.

To create a runbook automation activity template, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Library workspace of the Service Manager console, click Runbooks, and click the Orchestrator runbook for which you want to create an activity template.
  2. On the Tasks pane, click Create Runbook Automation Activity Template.
  3. In the Create Template dialog box, specify a name for the template as shown in Figure 1-44, ensure the class Runbook Automation Activity is selected, and select a management pack to store the runbook in.

    FIGURE 1-44

    FIGURE 1-44 Create template

  4. When you click OK, the Runbook Activity Template will open. Provide a title for the template and ensure that the Is Ready For Automation option is selected, as shown in Figure 1-45.

    Figure 1-45

    FIGURE 1-45 Runbook Activity Template

  5. On the Runbook tab, there will be a list of parameters that are used for runbook input and output. You can edit mappings and specify default values to be used when Service Manager triggers the runbook.
  6. Click OK to close and save the runbook automation activity template.

Self-service provisioning of virtual machines

When you enable self-service virtual machine provisioning, users are able to navigate to a specially configured portal and are able to use the portal to request virtual machines by filling out a form providing relevant details. The type of portal and the details required will depend on the self-service strategy that you choose. There are three basic strategies that you can pursue when providing self-service virtual machine provisioning to users when using Hyper-V and the System Center products. These are:

  • Self-service with Virtual Machine Manager, and App Controller
  • Self-service with Virtual Machine Manager, Service Manager, and Orchestrator
  • Self-service with the Windows Azure pack

Self-service with VMM and App Controller

System Center App Controller provides users with self-service virtual machine deployment functionality for VMM 2012 SP1 and VMM 2012 R2. App Controller runs as a web application, shown in Figure 1-46. To perform self-service virtual machine deployment using App Controller, a user must be a member of a VMM self-service user role.

FIGURE 1-46

FIGURE 1-46 App Controller

To create a self-service user role in VMM, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Create User Role on the ribbon when in the Settings workspace of the VMM console.
  2. On the Name And Description page of the Create User Role Wizard, provide a name for the role and an optional description.
  3. On the Profile page, click Application Administrator (Self-Service User), as shown in Figure 1-47.

    FIGURE 1-47

    FIGURE 1-47 Create User Role

  4. On the Members page of the Create User Role Wizard, click Add, and add an Active Directory security group that will host the user accounts of the people who you want to grant self-service privileges to.
  5. On the Scope page, shown in Figure 1-48, select the private cloud into which self-service users will be able to deploy VMs.

    FIGURE 1-48

    FIGURE 1-48 Create User Role

  6. On the Quotas page, specify the quotas for the self-service user role. You can configure role level quotas, which apply to all users of the role, or individual quotas, that apply to individual users. For example, Figure 1-49 shows member level quotas configured so that each role member can use a maximum of 2 virtual CPUs, 8192 MB of RAM, 50 GB of storage, and deploy a maximum of 2 virtual machines.

    FIGURE 1-49

    FIGURE 1-49 Member level quotas

  7. On the Networking page, select which networks, if any, to which you will restrict the self-service users. If you don’t specify any networks, self-service users can use any configured VM network.
  8. On the Resources page, select which resources, if any, to which you will restrict the self-service users. If you don’t specify any resources, self-service users can use any available VMM resources.
  9. On the Permissions page, shown in Figure 1-50, configure the permissions that you want to assign to the users.

    FIGURE 1-50

    FIGURE 1-50 Permitted actions

  10. On the Run As accounts page, select which VMM Run As Accounts that members of the user role can utilize.

Users assigned the appropriate permissions through the VMM role are able to sign in to the App Controller portal, connect to the private clouds hosted through VMM to which they have been assigned access, and deploy and manage virtual machines.

Self-service with VMM, Service Manager, and Orchestrator

By integrating VMM, Service Manager, and Orchestrator, you can configure self-service virtual machines as Service Manager request offerings. To be able to perform this action, you’ll need to configure the VMM Connector for Service Manager, and the VMM Connector for Orchestrator. When the user requests the VM through the Self-Service Portal, an Orchestrator runbook will start, which performs the necessary activities to trigger VMM tasks deploying the virtual machine.

Configuring the VMM connector for Service Manager will provide Service Manager with information about the VMM environment. To configure the VMM connector for Service Manager, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Administration workspace of the Service Manager console, click Connectors.
  2. In the Tasks pane, click Create Connector, and then click Virtual Machine Manager connector.
  3. On the General page of the Virtual Machine Manager Connector Wizard, type the connector name.
  4. On the Connection page, shown in Figure 1-51, typeenter the FQDN of the VMM server, and specify a Run As account. This account needs to have permissions to access VMM. Click Test Connection to verify this account.

    FIGURE 1-51

    FIGURE 1-51 VMM connector

  5. On the Summary page, review the configuration information, and click Create.

To create Orchestrator runbooks that can use activities that perform tasks in VMM, you configure VMM integration for Orchestrator. To configure the VMM connector for Orchestrator, perform the following steps:

  1. Ensure that the VMM integration pack is installed on the Orchestrator server.
  2. Ensure that the VMM Administration console is installed on the Orchestrator server. It is possible to configure the connector without a local deployment of the VMM console, but this is a more complicated process than installing the console on the Orchestrator server.
  3. Ensure that the Windows PowerShell initiation policy on the Orchestrator server is set to Remote Signed.
  4. In the Options menu of the Orchestrator Runbook Designer, click SC 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.
  5. On the SC 2012 Virtual Machine Manager dialog box, click Add.
  6. On the Add Configuration dialog box, specify the name of the connection. Next to type, click the ellipsis (...).
  7. On the Item Selection page, click System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
  8. In the Properties section of the Add Configuration dialog box, shown in Figure 1-52, configure the following settings:

    • VMM Administrator Console Address of the server with the VMM console
    • VMM Server Address of the VMM server
    • User User account of user with permissions to the VMM server
    • Domain Domain that hosts the user account
    • Password Password associated with the account
    • Authentication Type (Remote Only) Needs to be configured if the VMM Administrator console is not installed on the Orchestrator server. You need to enable the authentication method for WinRM using Group Policy.
    • Port (Remote Only) Only required if the Orchestrator runbook server doesn’t have an instance of the VMM Administrator console.
    • Use SSL (Remote Only) Only required if the Orchestrator runbook server doesn’t have an instance of the VMM Administrator console.
    • Cache Timeout Amount of time in minutes before the session times out
    FIGURE 1-52

    FIGURE 1-52 Connect VMM to Orchestrator

  9. Click OK on the Add Configuration dialog box, and the SC 2012 Virtual Machine Manager dialog box.

    As shown in Figure 1-53, the VMM integration pack contains 45 activities.

    FIGURE 1-53

    FIGURE 1-53 VMM activities for Orchestrator

These activities allow you to do the following:

  • Apply Pending Service Update Apply a pending service update to a VMM service.
  • Configure Service Deployment Configures a VMM service for deployment. Requires the service configuration name, service template name, and deployment target.
  • Create Checkpoint Create a VM checkpoint. Requires the GUID of the VM.
  • Create New Disk Creates a new virtual hard disk. Requires you specify IDE/SCSI, Dynamic or Fixed, File Name, Size, and VM GUID of VM to which the disk should be attached.
  • Create New Disk From VHD Creates a new virtual hard disk from an existing virtual hard disk. Requires you specify IDE/SCSI, Dynamic or Fixed, file name of new disk, path to original disk, VM GUID of VM to which the disk should be attached.
  • Create Network Adapter Creates a new network adapter and attaches it to a VM. Requires the VM GUID. You can also configure additional network adapter properties such as MAC Address, MAC Address Pool, Network Tag, Virtual Network ID, VLAN ID, and Logical Network.
  • Create User Role Creates a VMM user role. Requires that you specify a role name and the VMM user role profile that the role will use.
  • Create VM From Template Allows you to create a VM from an existing VMM template. Requires the Type Of VM, Destination, Path, Source Template Name, Cloud Capability Profile, and VM Name.
  • Create VM From VHD Use this activity to create a VM from an existing virtual hard disk. Requires you to specify IDE or SCI, name of destination VHD, path, location of VHD from which you will be creating the VM, the name of the VM host, and the VM name.
  • Create VM From VM Use this activity to create a new VM from an existing VM. Requires that you specify the type of VM to create, destination, VM path, the VM GUID of the source VM, and the name to apply to the newly created VM.
  • Deploy Service Use this activity to create a VMM service using a VMM service template. Requires that you specify the new service’s name, and the VMM template name.
  • Get Checkpoint Use this activity to retrieve VM checkpoint information.
  • Get Cloud Get information to view information about clouds on the VMM management server.
  • Get Network Adapter View information about VMM virtual network adapters.
  • Get Service Use this activity to return data on all services on the VMM management server.
  • Get Service Configuration You use this activity to generate information about service configurations on the VMM management server.
  • Get Service Template This activity allows you to generate a list of all VMM service templates.
  • Get Tier Provides information about all VMM tiers.
  • Get User Role Use this activity to extract information about VMM user roles.
  • Get User Role Quota Use this activity to return information about all user role quotas on VMM management server.
  • Get VM This activity provides information on a specific VM.
  • Get VM Host Use this activity to extract information about a virtualization host.
  • Get VM Network This activity allows you to extract information about a VMM VM network.
  • Get VM Subnet Use this activity to provide Orchestrator with information about a VMM VM subnet.
  • Manage Checkpoint You can use this activity in an Orchestrator runbook to revert a VMM VM to a specific checkpoint, or to remove checkpoints that are no longer required.
  • Move VM This activity allows you to move a VM to a new location.
  • Remove User Role This activity deletes a user role from VMM.
  • Remove VM Use this activity to delete a VM. This activity can only target a VM that is in a shutdown state.
  • Repair VM Use this activity to issue a retry, undo, or dismiss action on a VMM VM.
  • Resume VM This activity allows Orchestrator to resume a VM that is in a paused state.
  • Run VMM PowerShell Script Use this activity to trigger a PowerShell script.
  • Scale Tier In This activity allows Orchestrator to remove a virtual machine instance from a specific service tier.
  • Scale Tier Out This activity allows Orchestrator to add a virtual machine instance to a specific service tier.
  • Set Pending Service Update Use this activity to set a specific VMM service template as the pending service update.
  • Shut Down VM This activity allows Orchestrator to shut down a stopped VM, taking the VM offline.
  • Start VM Use this activity in an Orchestrator runbook to start a VM that has been paused, shut down, or stopped.
  • Stop Service This activity will stop a VMM service.
  • Stop VM Use this activity in an Orchestrator runbook to place a VM into a stopped state.
  • Suspend VM This activity will place a VM into a suspended state.
  • Update Disk This activity allows an Orchestrator runbook to change the properties of an existing disk.
  • Update Network Adapter Use this activity to update the properties of an existing network adapter.
  • Update User Role Property Updates the properties of a VMM user role.
  • Update User Role Quota Updates the quota for a user role.
  • Update VM Use this activity in an Orchestrator runbook to update a VM.

To configure self-service deployment using VMM, Service Manager, and Orchestrator, you need to perform the following general steps:

  1. Create an Orchestrator runbook that takes inputs to create a VM. At a minimum this would involve the Create VM From Template Orchestrator Runbook activity, but more complex runbooks might extract more information about the VM, the template, and the Private Cloud to which the VM is deployed. You use the Initialize Data activity to collect parameters to be used with the runbook.
  2. In Service Manager, create a runbook automation activity template, ensuring that the template is configured as Ready For Automation. Configure the runbook automation activity template to collect the parameters that will be used with the Orchestrator runbook. For example, this might be the VM template name and the private cloud name.
  3. In Service Manager, create a service request template. In the template’s Activities tab, link the runbook automation activity that you configured, which leverages the Orchestrator runbook that deploys the VM.
  4. Create a Request Offering and use it to collect the parameters from the person using the request offering that will be passed to the Orchestrator runbook to perform VM deployment.
  5. Create and publish a Service Offering that links the request offering. This will update the Self-Service Portal. When complete, a user will use the portal to enter the parameters needed by the Orchestrator runbook to leverage VMM to deploy the requested VM.

Self-service with Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server

An additional method to provide self-service virtual machine deployment to users in an organization is to deploy the Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, and provides a self-service multi-tenant cloud that uses the same interface as Microsoft’s public cloud. Although not explicitly addressed by the 70-246 objectives, the Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server provides a pre-built alternative for organizations that want to provide on premises self-service virtual machine deployment.

Objective summary

  • Custom workflows allow you to further automate Service Manager processes. You create custom workflows with the Service Manager Authoring Tool.
  • The Service Manager 2012 R2 Self-Service Portal is a SharePoint 2010 website that customers can use to submit requests for service offerings and request offerings using their web browser.
  • The service catalog is a collection of Service Manager items, assistance, actions, or groupings of items, assistance, or actions.
  • Request offerings are items or actions that you can make available to users through the service catalog.
  • Service offerings are collections of request offerings.
  • You use catalog item groups to restrict access to service manager catalog items.
  • You can configure a connector between Service Manager and Orchestrator, which allows Service Manager to make reference to and utilize Orchestrator runbooks.
  • You can trigger the runbooks from Service Manager by configuring runbook automation activity templates.
  • System Center App Controller provides users with self-service virtual machine deployment functionality for VMM 2012 SP1 and VMM 2012 R2.
  • By integrating VMM, Service Manager, and Orchestrator, you can configure self-service virtual machines as Service Manager request offerings.

Objective review

Answer the following questions to test your knowledge of the information in this objective. You can find the answers to these questions and explanations of why each answer choice is correct or incorrect in the “Answers” section at the end of this chapter.

  1. Which of the following Service Manager items do you use to collect together request offerings for publication on the Service Manager Self-Service Portal?

    1. Catalog item groups
    2. Incident templates
    3. Change Management workflows
    4. Service offerings
  2. Which of the following server and software configurations support hosting the System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager Self-Service Portal?

    1. Windows Server 2012 R2
    2. Windows Server 2008 R2
    3. SharePoint Server 2010
    4. SharePoint Server 2013
  3. You want to use an Orchestrator runbook as part of a Service Manager Change Management workflow. You have configured the Orchestrator connector for Service Manager. Which of the following must you also create to use the runbook with the workflow?

    1. Manual activity
    2. Review activity
    3. Runbook automation activity
    4. Sequential activity
  4. Which of the following tools do you use to create a custom workflow for Service Manager?

    1. Service Manager Authoring Tool
    2. Orchestrator Runbook Designer
    3. Service Manager console
    4. Operations Manager console
  5. Which of the following steps must you take prior to configuring a connection between Orchestrator server and a Virtual Machine Manager server?

    1. Install the VMM Management Console on the Orchestrator server.
    2. Install the Service Manager Authoring Tool on the Orchestrator server.
    3. Install the VMM integration pack on the Orchestrator server
    4. Install the Service Manager console on the Orchestrator server.