Custom Attributes to SCSM

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Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby cYrus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:34 pm

i'm trying to get some custom attributes from the VMs into System Center Service Manager (through the SCOM CI connector).
our custom attributes are named: Class, Customer, OrderNR, ... and are of the type "Virtual Machine". According to the help center (http://www.veeam.com/veeam-mp/help-cent ... butes.html) there should be the possibility to import such attributes. But it's not clear how it actually works. Are we supposed to name our attributes Veeam.CustomTag1, ... or is there a way to map our own attributes to those CustomTag attributes?
cYrus
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Re: Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby sergey.g » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:01 pm

Hello Daniel,

To answer your question let me descibe how we receive VM properties. Our solution includes a collector which connects to vCneter or ESX(i) host and retreive all necessary information. Then SCOM agent should process received configuration to create your virtual topology in SCOM. We have to be very carefull with what we collect and publish to SCOM agent, if there is too much data, operations manager agent may fail to process it in a reasonable time. That's why we extract only necessary properties of virtual machine. However we always wanted to have a flexibility of collecting extra information which can be specified by a customer. That's why we have these custom tags functionality.

With respect to your situation, please correct me if I didn't get your point correctly - you have certain properties as custom attributes of Virtual Machine in vCenter and you want to get them in SCOM and SCSM, right?

In this case I'm afraid you have to rename your properties to Veeam.CustomTag1, Veeam.CustomTag2, etc. These are the only custom attributes our collector extracts and publishes for SCOM agent(due to performance considerations). Once you renamed them - everything should work automatically - collector is already collecting them, but when you put your data there - they will be published for the agent, then the agent will automatically collect custom tags and you will see them in SCOM as CustomTag1,2,3 properties of a virtual machine.

You can also create a custom attribute with friendly name in SCOM and you can even get the same custom tags from WMI (VMProperties.customTag0,...), but I would not recommend this - such a customization will create and additional(extended) class for a virtual machine and some native Vmware views maybe be broken because of that. Maybe if you are using SCOM as a "service layer" between VI and SCSM this may work.

Let me know if you have any additional questions about using custom VMWare tags in SCOM.

Thanks.
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Re: Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby Alec King » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Hello Daniel,

I'd say you don't need to rename your current Custom Attributes - all you need to do is to copy them to the attributes used by Veeam MP. You could do this manually of course, but the best way would be a script to automate this. Just query your existing vCenter attributes (Customer etc) and copy them to the attributes that we need (Veeam.CustomTag1 etc).

You could do this in a pretty simple script, and run it regularly (perhaps once daily) as a scheduled task to keep attributes in sync. In fact, I'm thinking such a script would be a useful addition to our Veeam MP Resource Kit :D - so I'll get our team to investigate that. Will update this post soon!

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby cYrus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:36 am

thanks for the response! the downside I have with those custom attributes is that we currently use the vsphere client as UI and the attributes have self explaining names. if we use those universal names the UI is not that well organized anymore. the copy approach would be one possible solution especially if there would be an option to hide the additional attributes from the UI (but i guess there's no option for this with vsphere?!)
the perfect solution for me would be an attribute-mapping within your MP. e.g. collect the property "Customer" and map it to CustomTag1 in SCOM.

for us if we use a script solution the better option would be to collect them from vsphere and save them directly into the CMDB. it would be more efficient than to prepare the information to pass through the MP.
cYrus
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Re: Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby Alec King » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:57 pm

Hi Daniel,

I don't think there is any way to hide Custom Attributes in the vCenter UI....so, I can see that having double attributes would be inconvenient for you.

So, I've been thinking further on this topic - because using our MP as a data source for Service Manager CMDB /Inventory sync is a great use case.

We could add some settings to our Veeam UI, that would allow you to 'map' your own custom attributes to the ones used in the MP. You could type your own chosen attribute names, as free text. That way you would not need to modify vCenter at all, no need to add new attributes. Just change the setting in our UI, for example map 'Customer' to 'Veeam.CustomTag1'. Then our Collector would automatically feed attributes called 'Customer' into the MP, and then SCOM would synchronise them automatically in Service Manager.

Would that work for you?
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Re: Custom Attributes to SCSM

Veeam Logoby cYrus » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:54 am

Hey Alec,

that would be a very good solution for us! I guess this added flexibility would help a lot of customers who already have vCenter attributes in use.

And maybe one day there's a chance to add more than three custom VM attributes (five would be really nice for us). But I guess that would mean quite a bit more work to implement and the performance concerns Sergey wrote about.

I would be very thankful for custom mapping! Thanks for considering it.
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