3 Best Practices for SCSM Management Packs

Cireson management packs

This blog has been updated from its original 2020 version, SCSM Management Pack Naming Best Practice.

Management packs are used in Microsoft System Center Service Manager (SCSM), to contain information (anything from configurations, custom objects, classes, workflows, views, forms, reports or knowledge articles), required in various IT Service Management (ITSM) processes. When they are set up properly, management packs help you monitor and manage infrastructure much more effectively. We’ve compiled three best practices to guide how you create, name and use management packs in SCSM to optimize performance and make maintenance easier.

1. Base the Management Pack Naming Convention on Navigation

The first thing to do is decide on a naming convention, because it will help you:

  • Organize data into respective management packs.
  • Track said data.
  • Recognize management pack data during backups or Dev/Test environment hydration.  

There are different ways to approach a naming convention, but it can be most helpful to mirror navigation. Here’s an example.

Example: Navigation Path to the Incident Tier Queue Enumeration List

navigaion path

The navigation path to get there would involve moving through these locations:

  1. Library workspace.
  2. Lists node.
  3. Incident Tier queue.

Incorporating this path in a naming convention would look like: Library.Lists.Incident_Tier_Queue. 

You might also want to lead off the naming convention with the customer name to make referencing easier. An example would be: Cireson.Library.Lists.Incident_Tier_Queue.

2. Create as Many Management Packs as Needed

How many management packs are too many? I haven’t found a limit yet. Here is a sample list of the management packs created for an SCSM installation:

list 2

Note: it’s not the number of management packs that matters, it’s making sure each is distinct. Instead of combining all list values in one management pack, for example, separate them out. In fact, the best approach is to create separate management packs for separate actions or items managed independently, like each enumeration list, request offering or notification template type.

Performance isn’t affected by a high volume of management packs. Performance is only impacted when management packs are overstuffed with disparate elements. More management packs are better in this case.

3. Always Back Up Unsealed Management Packs

Unsealed management packs are a bit vulnerable. By nature, they don’t get pulled into the database, so they need to be specifically backed up. This is something you’ll want to do regularly to prevent database restoration or potential problems with workflows, integrations, notifications, etc. Regular backups help you recover quickly and it’s pretty easy to do using PowerShell script. The best part? These backups can be automated!

How can you use management packs? If you’re unsure or have questions, we’d be happy to help. The Cireson team can help you troubleshoot and brainstorm. Visit us in the Cireson Community!

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