Configuration Automation

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Configuration Automation

1 Overview

ServiceNow configuration automation enables you to automatically provision and configure new machines using ServiceNow as a provider, as well as manage third-party configuration management tools through a ServiceNow instance. ServiceNow enables you to define and manage the configuration of Chef and Puppet servers through the service catalog and CMDB. A ServiceNow instance can be configured to act as an external node classifier for these tools.


ServiceNow supports Puppet management starting with the Dublin release and supports Chef management starting with the Eureka release. Activating either Chef or Puppet configuration automation also installs the Configuration Automation plugin.

The ServiceNow Provider is supported starting with the Fuji release. Activating the ServiceNow Provider Configuration Automation plugin also installs the Configuration Automation plugin.

2 Node Definitions

Note
Note: A group of configuration items is called a configuration template in ServiceNow Provider and a node definition in Chef and Puppet.


Chef and Puppet management configurations use node definitions to group all configuration items to be applied to a group of nodes. Node Definitions allow you to automate the process of maintaining machines by applying a single definition to multiple machines. The Node Definitions form shows all of the current definitions. You can also use the form to edit node definition details.


ServiceNow configuration management uses a similar concept of configuration templates. For more information on using the ServiceNow configuration automation, see Using ServiceNow Provider.

To view or edit the current node definitions, navigate to Chef > Resources > Node Definitions or Puppet > Resources > Node Definitions. The page lists all current definitions for the Chef or Puppet configuration automation provider, grouped by publish state.

  • Click a node definition name to view or edit node definition details.
  • Click a server name in the Chef Server or Puppet Master column to view or edit server details.
Puppet Node Definitions

To define a node definition or edit additional fields, see the sections appropriate for the specific tool provider, Chef Node Definitions or Puppet Definitions.

3 Managed Nodes

Managed nodes are virtual machines (VMs) or machines that are managed by a configuration automation provider. To view a list of managed nodes, navigate to Configuration Automation > Managed Nodes. To edit an existing node, click the field in the Name column. See Managing ServiceNow Provider Nodes, Managing Chef Nodes or Managing Puppet Nodes for details on how to define or edit a node. You can also edit the provider, node definition, or management server information by clicking on the appropriate field.

Configuration Automation Managed Nodes

Field Description
Name The name to identify the node.
Provider The configuration automation provider, such as Puppet.
Management server The management server for the node.

4 Roles

Role Title [Name] Role Description
Configuration Automation user [config_auto_user] Can assign configuration templates to nodes assigned to the user through the Self Service > Service Catalog page.
Configuration Automation administrator [config_auto_admin] Can create and modify configuration template records, assign configuration templates to nodes, view all configuration automation records, request changes to existing configuration template assignments, and define new configuration automation providers using extension points.

5 Menus and Modules

The Configuration Automation application includes the following modules.

Configuration Automation application menu
  • Overview: view gauges for configuration management across all management providers.
  • Configuration Workflows: view and edit configuration workflows.
  • Configuration Templates: view and edit configuration templates and configuration template draft records.
  • Managed Nodes: view and define managed node CIs that use configuration automation.
  • Properties: configure properties that ServiceNow administrators can control, including change management for configuration templates.
  • Node Groups
  • Extensions

6 Enhancements

6.1 Fuji

  • You can now use ServiceNow as a provider to automatically provision and configure new machines.
  • Allows multiple nodes to be provisioned at the same time when they are defined as a node group. This is a foundation element for service provisioning.
  • Provides new configuration automation dashboards to quickly assess resources.

6.2 Eureka

  • Configuration automation extensions allow you to add additional configuration automation providers.
  • Chef has been added as a supported configuration automation provider.
  • Node definitions allow you to manage nodes independently of specific configuration automation providers.
  • Managed nodes allow you to manage nodes in a single UI independent of specific configuration automation providers.
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