Connect Azure to ITSM tools using IT Service Management Connector

IT Service Management Connector symbol

The IT Service Management Connector (ITSMC) allows you to connect Azure and a supported IT Service Management (ITSM) product/service.

Azure services like Log Analytics and Azure Monitor provide tools to detect, analyze and troubleshoot issues with your Azure and non-Azure resources. However, the work items related to an issue typically reside in an ITSM product/service. The ITSM connector provides a bi-directional connection between Azure and ITSM tools to help you resolve issues faster.

ITSMC supports connections with the following ITSM tools:

  • ServiceNow
  • System Center Service Manager
  • Provance
  • Cherwell

With ITSMC, you can

  • Create work items in ITSM tool, based on your Azure alerts (metric alerts, Activity Log alerts and Log Analytics alerts).
  • Optionally, you can sync your incident and change request data from your ITSM tool to an Azure Log Analytics workspace.

You can start using the ITSM Connector using the following steps:

  1. Add the ITSM Connector Solution
  2. Create an ITSM connection
  3. Use the connection

Adding the IT Service Management Connector Solution

Before you can create a connection, you need to add the ITSM Connector Solution.

  1. In Azure portal, click + New icon.

    Azure new resource

  2. Search for IT Service Management Connector in the Marketplace and click Create.

    Add ITSMC solution

  3. In the OMS Workspace section, select the Azure Log Analytics workspace where you want to install the solution.

  4. In the OMS Workspace Settings section, select the ResourceGroup where you want to create the solution resource.

    ITSMC workspace

  5. Click Create.

When the solution resource is deployed, a notification appears at the top right of the window.

Creating an ITSM connection

Once you have installed the solution, you can create a connection.

For creating a connection, you will need to prep your ITSM tool to allow the connection from the ITSM Connector solution.

Depending on the ITSM product you are connecting to, use the following steps :

Once you have prepped your ITSM tools, follow the steps below to create a connection:

  1. Go to All Resources, look for ServiceDesk(YourWorkspaceName).
  2. Under WORKSPACE DATA SOURCES in the left pane, click ITSM Connections. ITSM connections

    This page displays the list of connections.

  3. Click Add Connection.

    Add ITSM connection

  4. Specify the connection settings as described in Configuring the ITSMC connection with your ITSM products/services article.

    Note

    By default, ITSMC refreshes the connection's configuration data once in every 24 hours. To refresh your connection's data instantly for any edits or template updates that you make, click the Sync button on your connection's blade.

    Connection refresh

Using the solution

By using the ITSM Connector solution, you can create work items from Azure alerts, Log Analytics alerts and Log Analytics log records.

Create ITSM work items from Azure alerts

Once you have your ITSM connection created, you can create work item(s) in your ITSM tool based on Azure alerts, by using the ITSM Action in Action Groups.

Action Groups provide a modular and reusable way of triggering actions for your Azure Alerts. You can use Action Groups with metric alerts, Activity Log alerts and Azure Log Analytics alerts in Azure portal.

Use the following procedure:

  1. In Azure portal, click Monitor.
  2. In the left pane, click Action groups. The Add action group window appears.

    Action Groups

  3. Provide Name and ShortName for your action group. Select the Resource Group and Subscription where you want to create your action group.

    Action Groups detail

  4. In the Actions list, select ITSM from the drop-down menu for Action Type. Provide a Name for the action and click Edit details.

  5. Select the Subscription where your Log Analytics workspace is located. Select the Connection name (your ITSM Connector name) followed by your Workspace name. For example, "MyITSMMConnector(MyWorkspace)."

    ITSM Action details

  6. Select Work Item type from the drop-down menu. Choose to use an existing template or fill the fields required by your ITSM product.

  7. Click OK.

When creating/editing an Azure alert rule, use an Action group, which has an ITSM Action. When the alert triggers, work item is created/updated in the ITSM tool.

Note

For information on pricing of ITSM Action, see the pricing page for Action Groups.

Visualize and analyze the incident and change request data

Based on your configuration when setting up a connection, ITSM connector can sync up to 120 days of Incident and Change request data. The log record schema for this data is provided in the next section.

The incident and change request data can be visualized using the ITSM Connector dashboard in the solution.

Log Analytics screen

The dashboard also provides information on connector status which can be used as a starting point to analyze any issues with the connections.

You can also visualize the incidents synced against the impacted computers, within the Service Map solution.

Service Map automatically discovers the application components on Windows and Linux systems and maps the communication between services. It allows you to view your servers as you think of them – as interconnected systems that deliver critical services. Service Map shows connections between servers, processes, and ports across any TCP-connected architecture with no configuration required other than installation of an agent. Learn more.

If you are using the Service Map solution, you can view the service desk items created in the ITSM solutions as shown in the following example:

Log Analytics screen

More information: Service Map

Additional information

Data synced from ITSM product

Incidents and change requests are synced from your ITSM product to your Log Analytics workspace based on the connection's configuration.

The following information shows examples of data gathered by ITSMC:

Note

Depending on the work item type imported into Log Analytics, ServiceDesk_CL contains the following fields:

Work item: Incidents
ServiceDeskWorkItemType_s="Incident"

Fields

  • ServiceDeskConnectionName
  • Service Desk ID
  • State
  • Urgency
  • Impact
  • Priority
  • Escalation
  • Created By
  • Resolved By
  • Closed By
  • Source
  • Assigned To
  • Category
  • Title
  • Description
  • Created Date
  • Closed Date
  • Resolved Date
  • Last Modified Date
  • Computer

Work item: Change Requests

ServiceDeskWorkItemType_s="ChangeRequest"

Fields

  • ServiceDeskConnectionName
  • Service Desk ID
  • Created By
  • Closed By
  • Source
  • Assigned To
  • Title
  • Type
  • Category
  • State
  • Escalation
  • Conflict Status
  • Urgency
  • Priority
  • Risk
  • Impact
  • Assigned To
  • Created Date
  • Closed Date
  • Last Modified Date
  • Requested Date
  • Planned Start Date
  • Planned End Date
  • Work Start Date
  • Work End Date
  • Description
  • Computer

Output data for a ServiceNow incident

Log Analytics field ServiceNow field
ServiceDeskId_s Number
IncidentState_s State
Urgency_s Urgency
Impact_s Impact
Priority_s Priority
CreatedBy_s Opened by
ResolvedBy_s Resolved by
ClosedBy_s Closed by
Source_s Contact type
AssignedTo_s Assigned to
Category_s Category
Title_s Short description
Description_s Notes
CreatedDate_t Opened
ClosedDate_t closed
ResolvedDate_t Resolved
Computer Configuration item

Output data for a ServiceNow change request

Log Analytics ServieNow field
ServiceDeskId_s Number
CreatedBy_s Requested by
ClosedBy_s Closed by
AssignedTo_s Assigned to
Title_s Short description
Type_s Type
Category_s Category
CRState_s State
Urgency_s Urgency
Priority_s Priority
Risk_s Risk
Impact_s Impact
RequestedDate_t Requested by date
ClosedDate_t Closed date
PlannedStartDate_t Planned start date
PlannedEndDate_t Planned end date
WorkStartDate_t Actual start date
WorkEndDate_t Actual end date
Description_s Description
Computer Configuration Item

Troubleshoot ITSM connections

  1. If connection fails from connected source's UI with an Error in saving connection message, take the following steps:

    • For ServiceNow, Cherwell and Provance connections,
    • ensure you correctly entered the username, password, client ID, and client secret for each of the connections.
    • check if you have sufficient privileges in the corresponding ITSM product to make the connection.
    • For Service Manager connections,
    • ensure that the Web app is successfully deployed and hybrid connection is created. To verify the connection is successfully established with the on-prem Service Manager machine, visit the Web app URL as detailed in the documentation for making the hybrid connection.
  2. If data from ServiceNow is not getting synced to Log Analytics, ensure that the ServiceNow instance is not sleeping. ServiceNow Dev Instances sometimes go to sleep when idle for a long period. Else, report the issue.

  3. If OMS Alerts fire but work items are not created in ITSM product or configuration items are not created/linked to work items or for any other generic information, look in the following places:
    • ITSMC: The solution shows a summary of connections/work items/computers etc. Click the tile showing Connector Status, which takes you to Log Search with the relevant query. Look at the log records with LogType_S as ERROR for more information.
    • Log Search page: view the errors/related information directly using the query *ServiceDeskLog_CL*.

Troubleshoot Service Manager Web App deployment

  1. In case of any issues with web app deployment, ensure you have sufficient permissions in the subscription mentioned to create/deploy resources.
  2. If you get an "Object reference not set to instance of an object" error when you run the script, ensure that you entered valid values under User Configuration section.
  3. If you fail to create service bus relay namespace, ensure that the required resource provider is registered in the subscription. If not registered, manually create service bus relay namespace from the Azure portal. You can also create it while creating the hybrid connection from the Azure portal.

Contact us

For any queries or feedback on the IT Service Management Connector, contact us at omsitsmfeedback@microsoft.com.

Next steps

Add ITSM products/services to IT Service Management Connector.