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Note: This article applies to Fuji. For more current information, see Orchestration at http://docs.servicenow.com

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1 Overview

Orchestration automates simple or complex multi-system tasks on remote servers that are normally done manually. An Orchestration process can cross all management disciplines and interact with all types of infrastructure elements, such as applications, databases, and hardware. Orchestration combines the ServiceNow graphical workflow with the MID Server to run Orchestration-specific workflow activities.

2 Why Use Orchestration?

Orchestration enables an IT organization to automate complex tasks on remote computers quickly and reliably, with best practices every time. Orchestration workflows employ the skills and knowledge of an entire organization, while requiring less skill and labor to execute.

3 What Systems Can Orchestration Automate?

4 How Orchestration Works

When an Orchestration activity starts within a workflow, Orchestration launches a probe and writes a probe record to the ECC Queue. The workflow pauses as the MID Server picks up the request and executes the probe. When the probe reports back, the workflow resumes as the results are analyzed. The workflow can exit or continue at this point.

The orchestration workflow

4.1 Orchestration Examples

Request the Orchestration - Examples plugin to install sample Orchestration workflows on your instance. The following Orchestration example workflows are installed in an inactive state to prevent them from running unexpectedly during routine operations:

  • Request Password Reset Incident
  • MySQL - Get processlist

4.1.1 Activating a Workflow in Version Prior to Fuji

  1. Navigate to Workflow > Workflow Editor.
  2. Select Open in the title bar and select an inactive workflow from the list.
  3. Click the gear icon in the title bar, and then select Set Active from the workflow menu.

    Activating a workflow

4.1.2 Activating a Workflow in Fuji

  1. Navigate to Workflow > Workflow Editor.
  2. Select the Workflows tab in the palette and click on an inactive workflow in the list.
    The selected workflow opens in the workflow canvas.
  3. Click the menu icon and select Set Active from the context menu.

    Activating a workflow

5 Orchestration Activities in Workflow

The Orchestration plugin adds these types of activities for use with workflows:

6 Activating Orchestration

Orchestration is available as a separate subscription from the rest of the ServiceNow platform.

To purchase a subscription, contact your ServiceNow account manager. The account manager will arrange to have the plugin activated on your organization's production instance, generally within a few days.

Note: If you do not have an account manager or decide to delay activation after purchase, use the steps below when you are ready to activate.

You can evaluate the feature on a sub-production instance without charge by requesting it from the HI Customer Service System.

7 Enhancements

7.1 Fuji

7.2 Eureka

  • The Active Directory activities Change AD User Password, Is AD Account Locked, Unlock AD Account, and Enable AD User Account are available.
  • Exchange activities are available for working with Microsoft Exchange servers.
  • The Run PowerShell activity can run a predefined script file and pass additional parameters to the script.

7.3 Dublin

  • Runbook Automation is now called Orchestration. See Orchestration Concepts for more information.
  • Several new Active Directory activities are now available. The Create AD Object, Update AD Object, and Remove AD Object activities replace the Create AD User Account, Update AD User Account, and Remove AD User Account activities, respectively. The new activities can create, modify, and delete Active Directory data other than user accounts, such as computers or groups.
  • The new activity Create Tag adds metadata in the form of key/value pairs to Amazon EC2 instances provisioned with ServiceNow cloud provisioning.
  • PowerShell activities no longer contain inline PowerShell scripts. PowerShell activities now reference PowerShell scripts for improved readability. ServiceNow stores the referenced PowerShell scripts in MID Server > Script Includes.
  • All activities that extend Run PowerShell can interpret HResult codes.

7.4 Calgary

The following Orchestration activities are added as of the Calgary release:

  • Change State: An Orchestration Amazon EC2 activity that sends commands to an instance to start, stop, or reboot the instance.
  • Select Datacenter, Network, and Folder: An Orchestration VMware activity that selects a vCenter datacenter, network, and folder for a virtual machine (VM) being provisioned.
  • Select ESX Host and Datastore: An Orchestration VMware activity that selects a specific ESX host and a vCenter datastore for a virtual machine (VM) being provisioned.
  • Select IP Address: An Orchestration VMware activity that selects an IP address for a virtual machine (VM) being provisioned.
  • Select Name: An Orchestration VMware activity that selects a name for a virtual machine being provisioned.
  • Activity variable: The Snapshot MOR id variable is added to the Revert to Snapshot activity. This variable reverts the virtual machine to the snapshot with this ManagedObjectReference ID.
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