Do you currently run System Center Service Manager (SCSM) and are you looking to upgrade your existing SCSM environment to the latest 2019 version? Or, are you looking at using SCSM 2019 as your ITSM platform because your organization is already paying for it as part of your Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA)? 

It can be a daunting task, as SCSM is a very complex system with many moving parts. There are multiple things to consider and numerous prerequisites to compile and prepare before attacking such an install, upgrade or migration. 

 

System Center Service Manager 2019 Checklist 

Below is an ordered list of each of the tasks required to get SCSM installed and configured in the best possible way which will ensure many common issues are removed and do not raise their ugly heads at a later stage: 

  • Review Microsoft’s documentation to verify all Hardware, Software, SQL, Network, Sizing, and Service Account requirements are met. (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scsm/ 
  • Prepare all of the required user accounts and user groups that will be needed during and after the install. Check out this blog for an SCSM and Cireson User Accounts and Groups Checklist Worksheet.
  • Install Primary Management/Workflow Server by running through the standard setup wizard. 
  • Install any Secondary Management/Cireson Portal Servers by running through the standard setup wizard. 
  • Update Management Servers to the latest Update Roll-up. 
  • Review, and then remove the Service Manager out-of-box sample data. (https://cireson.com/blog/creating-the-perfect-scsm-cleaning-up-out-of-the-box-clutter/) 
  • Create Active Directory connector(s) to bring in users and groups.
  • Create Configuration Manager connector(s) to bring in computers. 
  • Design naming convention and create Management Packs for your organization’s content. 
    (For more detail on the best management pack naming conventions, check out this previous blog article.) 
  • Create Security Roles for Analysts and End Users. 
  • If possible, take a snapshot and checkpoint of the production environment for use later in a Test\Dev environment. 
  • Review Cireson Portal install instructions, validate all prerequisites are met and install. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/1349#/) 
  • Perform post-install configuration steps for the Cireson Portal, including setting options under Admin Settings, integrating Cireson Remote Support, importing web certificates, and configuring performance-tuning tweaks as applicable. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/1173#/) 
  • Validate Portal permissions for End Users and Analysts. 
  • Identify and create Support Group List/Enumeration values, and map them to Active Directory groups under SCSM Console > Administration > Settings > Cireson Portal Group Mappings 
  • Populate List/Enumeration values for all other work item lists.
    (Best Practice is to ensure that each enumeration list has its own Management Pack.) 
  • Style your Portal using the Portal theming tool, or manually within the /CustomSpace/custom.css file. (http://portalthemer.cireson.com/) 
  • Customize your organization’s Work Item and Configuration Item forms within the portal. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/51#/) 
  • Create/import any customizations your organization might need in the /CustomSpace/custom.js file. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/52#/ 
  • Install Cireson Advanced Request offering. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/1270#/) 
  • Create Advanced Request offerings, Service Offerings, and Catalog Item groups for your organization.
    (Best Practice is to ensure that each Request Offering has its own Management Pack.) 
  • Decide on your favorite Home/Service Catalog page layout by temporarily turning on all Home page navigation nodes under Navigation Settings; once you pick your favorite, hide the remaining nodes. 
  • Style and create a master HTML template to be used in notifications, and create required notification templates based on the master template. 
  • Map notification templates to Notify Analyst notifications, and create Subscriptions to pair with the remaining templates. 
  • Configure your notification channel to test all notifications; it is recommended to configure this to localhost initially, and use a local SMTP server for testing. 
  • Install and configure Cireson Auto Close, and configure the retention time for all Work Item types under Administration Settings. 
  • (Optional) Install the Cireson Notify Analyst App, and Console App Tier Mappings App. (https://support.cireson.com/KnowledgeBase/View/1#/) 
  • (Optional) If you require the Data Warehouse component, install and update the Data Warehouse Management Server, and then register to your Service Manager environment. 

 

Prepare and Maintain a Test\Dev Environment. 

Once the production environment has been created and as you start to create new solutions and Request Offerings and automation templates, it is a good idea to test new solutions and changes in a test\dev environment rather than in production. Creating and maintaining a test\dev environment can seem like a lot of effort, but using the Cireson Life-cycle Management Application (LMA) can make things much faster and allow you to “refresh” the test\dev environment quickly and easily when it starts to “drift” from production. 

If you were able to take a snapshot or checkpoint earlier, it is possible to rehydrate this server into a test\dev environment, but if not, it may be best to create a new environment as spelled out in steps 1 – 9 above. Again, if possible, snapshot or checkpoint the dev\test environment for rehydration at a later stage. 

Once a test\dev environment has been created, use the LMA product to migrate settings and event data to the new Test\Dev environment.  

Over time, the configuration of the test\dev environment drifts with testing, development and general playing about with ideas. This is when it is best to rehydrate the checkpoint taken when first set up. The LMA product can then be rerun against the two environments, which will return your test\dev environment as close to production as possible. 

I hope this has been helpful and you can use this checklist to build or rebuild your SCSM environment.