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Multitenancy in System Center: Alert Connector between Operations Manager 2012 and Service Manager 2012

October 20, 2013

Before I start writing this post i would like to mention that most System Center 2012 and System Center 2012 R2 products are not really created for mulitenancy. The only exception in my opinion is Virtual Machine Manager. When we do try to achieve this in System Center please test thoroughly. You would not want information from customer A to be visable for customer B…

Some days ago i was working with a collegue on a solution to create a connector between a Operations Manager 2012 SP1 and Service Manager 2012 SP1. Normally no biggie as this is a simple wizard. In our case both Operations Manager and Service Manager are configured for serving several customers. Yep, this is Multitenancy!! Customers servers are monitored by Operations Manager. This is done with gateway servers and certificates. In Service Manager a self service portal is available to these customers. Service manager is used with the self service portal where the different customers can add and view the status off their own  incidents.

One challenge we have is “connect” Operations Manager to Service Manager so that alerts are forwarded and incidents are created automaticly.  We need to keep these incidents seperated for each customer.
As there are more mulitenancy challenges within the System Center suite this post will only focus on the alert connector.

The things we need to do:

  1. Create templates in Service Manager
  2. Create Alert connectors
  3. Create Operations Manager groups
  4. Configure Alert connectors in Operations Manager

Let’s roll….

Create templates in Service Manager

When all is done you will need a unique value in the incident for hooking it up to a customer. This value can be defined in a template. This template will be used for the specific Alert connector we create later.
A template is created in the Library section. When you select templates you have the option in the right pane to create a new one.

srvmgrtemplate1

Create a clear name that contains the customer name and select the “Operations Manager Created incident” class and a management pack where you want to save the template. When you click ok more options will be presented to you if the checkmark is set. (default)

You can use many fields in this template for setting a unique value. In this screenshot you can see we created an extra field named customer, which is the one we like to use.

srvmgrtemplate2

I will not go into all the available settings here as it won’t add any value for this procedure. There is a lot that can be configured. (Be sure to do this with the company processes in mind!)
When you are done save the template and repeat these steps for each customer.

Create Alert Connectors

For each customer that is monitored in Operations Manager a separate Alert connector needs to be created. Creating these connectors is done from Service Manager.

In the Service Manager console go to the administration section and select connectors. In the right pane you have the option to create a new connector:

AlertConnector1

The wizard will open and will ask you for information about this Alert Connector. You will need to provide the following:

  • Name for the connector. (use a name with the customer name in it like “OpsMgr Alert Connector Customer 1“)
  • Server name for de OpsMgr server
  • Define a service account or create a new one. The account used needs to be a OpsMgr administrator
  • Configure the alert routing rules. For this setup we leave the rules empty and define the template we created before:
    AlertConnector2
  • The last step is creating a schedule. I leave the polling time default and check both available fields in this case:
    AlertConnector3

Now when all is well the connector is created. You can double check this in Operations Manager. The created connector should show up under administrations -> connectors. The name will be something like “Alert Sync: OpsMgr Alert Connector Customer 1

These steps need to be repeated for each customer.

Create Operations Manager groups

In Operations Manager we need to find a way to separate the objects for each customer. This is something I always like to do with using the Operations Manager groups. Filling the groups can be done by specifying all the objects for the specific customer or fill them dynamicly. This last one is preferable as it has less administration when adding servers. I will not go deeper in how this can be done but if you are interested please let me know.

Configure Alert connectors in Operations Manager

Only one more part to go.
Now we want to configure each of the created Alert Connectors so that the correct alerts are forwarded to Service Manager. By default nothing is forwarded form Operations Manager to Service Manager until it is configured.
Now open the alert connector properties for the alert connector you want to configure in Operations Manager. You now need to add a subscription:

AlertConnector4

You will be presented the Alert Subscription Wizard where you will need to provide the following:

  • Subscription name.
  • Groups. This is part where you configure the group created in the previous step. Uncheck the top box, look for the group you created and check that box.
  • Targets. You can configure specific targets here.
  • Criteria. Here you specify specific alert severity, priority and resolution states.

These steps need to be done for each customer Alert Connector.

You are now set and done. If any questions arise please let me know.

System Center Rocks!!

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