Service Manager for beginners – from a beginners point of view

Second Service Manager post, this is getting scary… But anyways, I got the self-service portal up and running yesterday and were able to provision a Windows 10 VDI through it. I can’t tell you how proud I was when I received the confirmation e-mail… But, it took some time to get around it. I don’t know how many different tabs I have open currently in several different browsers. So, I thought that I could collect them all into one post that will hopefully save other SCSM-beginners some time. Also, I hope to share the knowledge of some great people that have created the post referenced in this post.

First of all, the setup of service manager. This was done a while back and there are several great guides on how to do this. I used this one, and also had some assistance of this during the SSP setup:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2013/10/18/service-manager-2012-r2-quickstart-deployment-guide.aspx

I would like to add two things to this: First, give it the hardware it asks for! Or, at least more than you think it will need and you can spare. For money reasons it’s not possible for me, atm, to give them as much punch as I would like, but they have about 3-4GB RAM each per server, and it feels quite slow sometimes.

Second, that will drive you nuts if you don’t know about it… (This may have been fixed in some CU, but I haven’t looked into it that much yet). If you maximize the console-windows and open either a Service or Request offering, it will be either blank. In some instances it may also just mess up the windows and give you strange drop-down menus all over the place. So, don’t maximize the windows, you could just drag it to “almost” the full size and it will work. Got help with this through this blog:

http://systemcentertech.com/2012/07/04/editing-scsm-service-offerings-or-request-offerings-shows-a-blank-window/

Ok, so next up. The self-service portal. First, you need to install Sharepoint! As Stefan Johner (@scsmlab) pointed out to me on Twitter, this is supported using Sharepoint 2010 on Windows Server 2012 R2. I’m using Sharepoint Foundation and I think that should be enough for most folks, at least in lab and demo.

I started the installation by following this post, linked from the SCSM-installation guide at the top of this post:

http://blogs.perficient.com/microsoft/2012/10/service-manager-2012-self-service-portal-step-by-step-part-1/

I’m running Sharepoint on the included SQL Express for now, I think that should be enough for lab and demo. If you already have a Sharepoint site up and running, I guess this could be incorporated into that.

When Sharepoint is installed, it’s time for the SSP. I followed this Technet guide with some support from the second link below:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh495659.aspx https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh914195.aspx

During the installation I ran into an issue with the SQL-version of the server hosting the SCSM-DB. Even thought my SQL-server were running the correct version, I got an error and was unable to continue. This was fixed using the below blogpost and Technet-article:

http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2012/06/05/service-manager-scsm-2012-the-sql-server-is-not-running-version-sql-2008-or-sql-2008-r2/#!prettyPhoto

http://support2.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3bEN-US%3b956013

Note! This should be run on your SCSM server, not the SQL server. After this, I were able to move on.

So far so good! Everything went well and the portal opened for me, with and admin-account… Using a regular user account I got an access denied error. Don’t forget that you’ll need to add permissions both for the Sharepoint-site and for the SSP itself. More on that later on.

For the Sharepoint error i found this post explaining how to do it properly: http://systemcenter.no/?p=136 and of course it worked.

Ok, now I were able to display the portal but nothing showed up. I had created several Service and Request offerings, and they (to me) looked published. But remember that you need to grant access to them! The below post will help you big time and actually gives you an understanding about how Service Manager works, so read them carefully.

http://schadda.blogspot.se/2012/08/how-to-fix-system-center-portal-if-it.html (great long post with step-by-step instructions) http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2011/11/09/faq-why-doesn-t-my-request-offering-show-up-in-the-category-view-of-the-service-catalog.aspx (the first post is based partly on this, but this one gives you a basic understanding of how service offerings, request offerings and categories works.)

http://www.concurrency.com/blog/scsmportalpermisions/ (Overview of how to set permissions for end-users and administrators)

That’s basically it. I just want to wrap up by pointing out something that I have read ALOT of times during my travel with SCSM. Think before you do, plan what you do and do it in the correct order! It will get much easier if you plan your Service and Request offerings before you implement them. Think about how to arrange MPs. Finalize and test out your Runbooks before adding them to Service Manager. It’s much harder to change stuff after implementation than taking 2 minutes more in planning and testing before putting them into “production”.

Long post, but I hope it will help someone at least. Big thanks to everyone that I have linked to from this post. Please let me know if anything isn’t correct and ill correct it at once. And thank you for taking the time to read.

I got stuck on the permissions part at first but were soon ready to reload the page and behold! There was the service offerings and they even worked!

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