The San Diego release is upon us and we are thrilled. Not only does the release bring a whole new UI to the platform, but it also introduces some very interesting and long-wanted features for the ITOM suite – features that ease security concerns and provide value to Event Management without complete service maps. Intrigued? Continue reading!
We can divide the updates into three areas: ITOM Visibility, ITOM Optimization, and ITOM Health.
Remarkable updates for ITOM Visibility
Group Management Service Accounts (gMSAs) are available
Another update is that Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs) can be used for Discovery. A gMSA is a centrally managed domain account, so the services it runs are secured and controlled, and that functionality ServiceNow leverages for its credential-less Discovery. The benefits are: firstly, the passwords are managed (set password, reset interval) by the Windows operating system, no need to share and store the credentials in the instance of ServiceNow so hopefully some security roadblocks can be avoided, secondly the account does not have to be a member of the domain admin group or the local admin group, hence it can be used as a Service account for MID servers too.
New workspace for Cloud infrastructure
In the past, we could see Workspaces popping up here and there on the platform. Now is the time when Cloud operation and discovery can also benefit from this core feature.
It is in the new Cloud Operation Workspace application, which is available on ServiceNow Store for those who have ITOM Visibility entitlement. The application has two modules.
Don’t be confused, the first module has the same name as the application itself: Cloud Operation Workspace. This is, let’s say, a dashboard where we can see aggregated information about the running cloud infrastructure. There are widgets for the total number of configuration items, the latest events that occurred and discovery errors, and, obviously, there is the possibility to drill down by provider.
But, for us the second module looks much more interesting, it is called Cloud Discovery. It provides a new noise-free platform to manage Cloud discovery in one place. On the new UI, we can easily navigate, consult data and make minor changes on the discovery components like MID servers, Credentials, Service Accounts. First of all, there is a useful dashboard, that gives a preview of the latest discoveries, we can see the upcoming Schedules, discovered CIs, occasional errors, summary of registered credentials, MID servers, Service accounts. With just a few clicks we can reach the desired tables and start updates or configuring schedules as we do in the original platform.
Agent Client Collector Supports IPv6
Regarding ACC, a small but significant addition for its evolution is that from the San Diego release IPv6 is supported. In practice, it means that the Agent can do its job either on dual-stack (IPv4 + IPv6) or IPv6 network only. However, if we run the agent in the IPv6 environment, the MID Servers still need to be configured on a dual-stack.
Last but not least, pattern updates
New releases come with new patterns in order to respond to industry evolution. The ServiceNow® Discovery and Service Mapping Patterns version 1.0.76 has the following newcomers:
- Citrix Xen Hyper-V
- Cloudian Storage
A significant update for ITOM Optimization in San Diego
As we know the Cloud Provisioning and Governance application is a tool for provisioning the cloud infrastructure of the organization and a management platform of cloud resources. As the Cloud is developing, this application is also continuously enhanced to meet the growing expectations, so here is one nice improvement in the release:
With Pattern-based targeted discovery, we can quickly discover the newly provisioned resources. How does it work? When a new resource is created (or a resource is modified) by template, the Cloud Provisioning and Governance application is getting notified, which triggers a so-called targeted discovery on the specific resource, and eventually, the CI in the CMDB is updated accordingly. In the background, the discovery process uses a new pattern called the “single-resource-discovery pattern” for this task. But you need to know that this feature should not be applied if Cloud API-based targeted discovery is already in place for the given resource, you will need to investigate which solution fits your needs better.
A few highlights of ITOM Health
Event Management is a stable product that has a proven track in daily IT operations in many companies. Together with the baseline product, ServiceNow offers additional highly specialized products loaded with intelligent functions, like Health Log Analytics, Metric Intelligence, and lastly with its newest acquisition, AIOps platform LightStep. More on these AI superpowers next time.
Today we would like to highlight the Tag-based alert clustering, which is officially supported with the latest release. This is a revolutionary feature because it allows a simple way of grouping the alerts by the fact that it does not expect the usage of the CMDB and it has a zero-code approach.
First, you define meaningful tags – called ‘Alert clustering tags’ – here you specify criteria when to apply a tag on an alert. There are different matching criteria: an exact match or an approximate (‘fuzzy’) match, or a character pattern match, whichever fits your environment better. Then you create the so-called ‘Alert clustering definitions’, which are the tag-based filtering conditions for the incoming alerts. If there is a match, an alert group is formed in order to ease the investigation of the operation teams.
Tag-based alert clustering is available for those who activate the Tag-Based Alert Clustering Engine application via the ServiceNow Store.
Other remarkable updates for ITOM Health in San Diego:
- You can create a KB article from an Alert
- Improvements in the Alert grouping capabilities
- Improvements in the Health Log analytics and Agent Client Collector for Log analytics
- New connectors – e.g. ThousandEyes, Prometheus and Oracle Cloud
- Ability to receive events from Azure and Google Cloud via a MID server
- Key-based mutual authentication with the MID server for the push integrations
San Diego ITOM: Conclusion
This concludes our glance at some of the most important new features for ITOM in San Diego. Not that we were very much in doubt, but these new features also show ServiceNow’s commitment towards ITOM. The market, trend, and demand is changing, and with the San Diego release, ServiceNow shows that they are completely on their toes in regards to supporting the market and new technologies on the rise.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to receive the most actual information regarding ServiceNow and its products. Feel free to reach out in case you are interested in a demo or professional services.
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