vRealize Automation

vRealize Automation 7.4 and ServiceNow integration, displaying Cloud Services Price: Part 1 -vRA Blueprint T-Shirt Size

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Customers who are using ServiceNow extensively for automation of their Service Management & Operations may want to extend it further as their primary interface for deployment and automation of Cloud Service provided by VMware vRealize Automation.

The good news is that they can use vRA ITSM 2.0 plugin which can do the heavy lifting for them and is supported for ServiceNow Helsinki & Istanbul versions.

The plugin provide OTOB integration between vRA and ServiceNow and allow customers to use ServiceNow Self Service portal for initial deployment of cloud services as well as for limited Day-2 operations.

Although plugin integration is outside the scope of this post,  but you can download the plugin and related documentation from following VMware Marketplace link.

https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/vmware-vrealize-automation-plug-in-for-itsm-2-0-0#summary

This post will focus on displaying the Blueprint price in ServiceNow self-service portal based on T-Shirts sizes leveraging Custom Forms in vRA 7.4

The plugin allow ServiceNow to sync with vRA Catalog on a pre-defined schedule and imports the Blueprint items along with their entitlements & “Custom Properties” defined on the Blueprint.

But in case you have integrated vRealize Automation with vRealize Business for Cloud and want to display the price of the Blueprint in the ServiceNow self Service portal it becomes a challenge as the plugin does not import and sync these details.

vRA Blueprint Price based on vRBC Pricing Policies

As the pricing details are not a property of the vRA Blueprint and are provided by vRBC integration.

To work around this issue and without delving into complex API and other custom integration, you can leverage vRA Blueprint T-shirt sizing and custom forms which is a new feature in vRA 7.4

On a high level the solutions looks like this..

  1. Use the “Component Profiles” in vRA to create custom T-Shirt sizes for your Blueprints.
  2. Create a “Custom Property” for Blueprint Price and add it to your Blueprint
  3. Get the CPU and Memory price for your vRA Reservations/Clusters from vRBC
  4. Calculate the price of your Blueprints based on T-Shirt size configuration and CPU/Memory daily price in vRBC.
  5. Using vRA “Custom Forms” set the value for the “Blueprint Price” custom property for each T-Shirt size.
  6. As the price of Blueprint is recorded as “Custom Property”  it will get passed on to ServiceNow portal and will be available to the end user at the time of request.

This will provide an accurate costing for cloud service in ServiceNow portal based on your actual “Cost Drivers” & “Pricing Policies” defined in vRBC.

In case you do not have vRBC deployed or configured in your environment you can also calculate daily price for vCPU and Memory for your vRA reservations and use it as an alternate 🙂

I will cover these steps in 2 parts , in this post we see how to use vRA Blueprint T-Shirts sizing using “Component Profile” and then in the next post I will cover how we can use “Custom Forms” in vRA 7.4 to pass on the Blueprint cost to ServiceNow.

Let’s first see what we need to do to create T-Shirt size based blueprint in vRA .

Step 1: Use the “Component Profiles” in vRA to create custom T-Shirt sizes for your Blueprints.

Go to Administration –>Component Profiles

Click on the “Size” and define the “T-Shirt” sizes of your choice and their respective configurations.

It is important to note that “Name” is the actual property which will be used inside ‘Custom Forms” later. Hence give it a proper value as by default vRA will prefix “Value.Set” before every Name filed. You can change it to more logical values like “Medium_4vCPU_16GB” or simply “Medium”

You can also define the “Image” for your “Component Profile”. Which will provide additional flexibility to the end user  to select Operating System/version from a dropdown.

Finally go to your “Blueprint”  to which you want to attach T-Shirt sizes and add “Component Profile” to it.

You can choose which “T-Shirt Sizes” and “Image” options  you want to provide to your end users in a drop down.

Component Profile “Size”

Component Profile “Image”

All Done.. now if you go and request your Blueprint now, you can see the “T-Shirt” Size in the dropdown.

 

The remaining steps for associating the Blueprint Price and passing on to ServiceNow Portal using vRA 7.4 Custom Forms are covered in part-2.

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