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Configure Incident Management in Service Manager

Bill Anderson|Last Updated: 3/23/2017
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1 Contributor

Applies To: System Center 2016 - Service Manager

This article provides an overview of how to configure Incident management in Service Manager. This article also contains procedures that cover incident management configuration scenarios, including configuring incident settings, configuring email incident support, and creating an incident template.

Several features in Service Manager let you streamline the creation of incidents. You can configure incident settings such as the following in Service Manager:

  • Priority calculations that are based on impact and urgency

  • Target resolution time

  • Prefixes that are used for incident numbers

  • Length of time a closed incident remains in the Service Manager database

You can create an incident template to populate certain fields for a specified incident type, such as email-related problems. Help desk personnel use templates when creating incidents. The template prepopulates some of the fields in the incident, such as the name of the support analyst who handles email-related problems.

You can configure incident management to automatically generate incidents based on desired configuration management for configuration items that are not in compliance. This works only if Configuration Manager with desired configuration management baselines is installed in your environment.

The procedures in this section describe how to configure incidents. You can define incident priority based on impact and urgency, specify resolution times based on incident priority, create an incident template, and create a new incident based on desired configuration management.

Configure incident settings

You can use the procedures in this section to configure settings for incident number prefixes, file attachment limits, incident priority calculations, resolution times, and System Center Operations Manager Web settings.

In Service Manager, all incident numbers start with "IR". However, you can change the prefix that is used for your incident numbers.

The policy at your organization might limit the number of files that can be attached to each incident to no more than five and to limit the maximum file size for each file at 500 kilobytes (KB).

Note

The maximum number of attached files and maximum file size settings that you configure also apply to the attached files in the Related Items tab for configuration items.

Incident priority calculation is rated on a scale from 1 to 9. A priority of 1 is the highest priority. It is based on a combination of impact and urgency. Impact and urgency settings are defined as High, Medium, or Low, and they are configured when the incident is created. The following table shows how to define the incident priority for each possible combination of impact and urgency.

calculation table

The resolution time defines how much time it should take to resolve an incident. Resolution time is based on priority. Typically, you should set resolution times for higher-priority incidents. The procedures in this section describe how to set the values for file attachments, incident priority, and resolution time.

You can create a connector to import alerts and configuration items from Operations Manager. By using the Operations Manager alert connector, Service Manager can create incidents based on alerts. When you view these incidents in Service Manager, you can click a link to obtain more information about the alert or about the health state of the configuration item. Service Manager uses the Operations Manager Web console server to provide this information. Service Manager uses the URL that you specify in the Operations Manager Web setting to connect to Operations Manager.

Create an incident template

You can use the procedures in this section to create incident templates in Service Manager for problems that are, for example, related to email and printers.

When an analyst at the help desk receives a call, there are many pieces of information that the analyst must gather to create an incident, such as a summary of the problem; the name of the user to whom the incident will be assigned; the impact; the urgency; and whether this is a Tier 1, 2, or 3 incident. For some systems in the enterprise, this information might already be known.

For example, if a problem occurs with the e-mail system, the incident is classified as high-impact and high-urgency, handled at a Tier 2 level, and assigned to a specific analyst. You can create an incident template that, when it is applied to a new incident form, populates many fields in the new incident. This reduces the required time to create an incident, and it ensures accuracy and consistency.

Incident templates are also used as part of the Incident Change workflow. For example, your company might have determined that if the urgency of a printer-related problem changes from Low to High, that incident should automatically be elevated to the Tier 2 level.

You can use the procedures in this section to create two incident templates, one to create email-related incidents and another to use with the Incident Change workflow for printer-related problems.

Configuring incident support for email

Instead of placing a call to the help desk, your end-users can submit incidents by sending an email message to a dedicated email address. Several email addresses can be used, one for hardware, one for software, and one for printers. For example, when a message is sent to Helpdesk@Helpdesk.Woodgrove.com, Microsoft Exchange Server copies the message to a "drop folder" on the computer that is hosting an SMTP Server service. Service Manager monitors this share and processes the message into an incident. Service Manager parses the From address and attempts to match the user in the Service Manager database. If Service Manager cannot find the user in the Service Manager database, the message is moved into a "bad folder", and no incident is created. An administrator monitors the "bad folder".

The infrastructure that is required to handle incidents generated by email includes an existing server running Exchange Server or an SMTP Server and a new server that runs the SMTP service for Service Manager. For this new server, use Internet Information Services\(IIS)\SMTP services (which is included with Windows Server) on either the computer that is hosting the Service Manager management server or on a separate remote server.

Delegate one of the existing servers that is running Exchange Server or SMTP Server in your enterprise to route all email messages addressed to the help desk, and then configure the IIS SMTP service for use with Service Manager. Providing precise instructions for various versions of Exchange Server or SMTP Service is beyond the scope of this guide.

Set file attachment limits in Service Manager

Use the following procedure to limit the number and size of files that can be attached to an incident in Service Manager. In this example, set the maximum number of files to 5 and the maximum file size to 500 kilobytes (KB).

To set file attachment limits

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, click General.
  6. Set Maximum number of attached files to 5.
  7. Set Maximum size (KB) to 500, and then click OK.

To validate file attachment limits

  • When you create a new incident or edit an existing one, no more than five files can be attached, and each file can be no larger than 500 KB.

Set parent incident options

Use the following procedure to set default options for parent and child incidents in Service Manager. The default options determine whether child incidents automatically resolve, whether child incidents automatically activate, and whether child incident status automatically updates.

When choosing to automatically resolve child incidents or automatically reactivate child incidents when its parent is resolved or when its parent is reactivated, you can prompt the resolving analyst for their decision. When prompted, an analyst can choose a resolution category or activation status. Otherwise, when incidents are automatically resolved or activated, the analyst is not prompted and the changes are effectively immediately using the parent incident settings.

To automatically resolve child incidents

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, click Parent Incident and then choose one of the following actions:
    • If you want to automatically resolve a child incident when its parent is resolved without any analyst interaction, set Auto resolution of child incidents to Automatically resolve child incidents when parent incident is resolved, and then choose either Same as parent incident category or Choose a child incident category and a default resolution category.
    • If you want to automatically resolve a child incident when its parent is resolved and have an analyst review and verify the incident resolution category, select Auto resolution of child incidents to Let the analyst decide when resolve the parent incident and then choose either Same as parent incident category or Choose a child incident category and a default resolution category.
    • If you do not want child incidents to automatically resolve, select Auto resolution of child incidents to Do not resolve child incidents when parent incident is resolved.
  6. Click OK.

To automatically activate child incidents

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, click Parent Incident, and then choose one of the following actions:
    • If you want to automatically activate a child incident when its parent is activated without any analyst interaction, set Auto reactivation of child incidents to Automatically reactivate child incidents when parent incident is reactivated, and then choose a default reactivation status.
    • If you want to automatically resolve a child incident when its parent is resolved and have an analyst review and verify the incident reactivation status, select Auto reactivation of child incidents to Automatically reactivate child incidents when parent incident is reactivated, and then choose a default reactivation status.
    • If you do not want to automatically activate child incidents, set Auto reactivation of child incidents to Do not reactivate child incidents when parent incident is reactivated.
  6. Click OK.

To automatically update child incident status

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, click Parent Incident, and then choose one of the following actions:
    • If you want to automatically update child incident status when it is linked to a parent incident, set Status of active child incidents when linked to parent to Automatically change the status of active child incidents when linking to parent, and then choose an available incident status.
    • If you do not want to automatically update child incident status, set Status of active child incidents when linked to parent to Do not change the status of child incidents.
  6. Click OK.

Set incident priority

Use the following procedure in Service Manager to define a priority calculation table based on impact and urgency settings that are defined during the creation of an incident.

To set incident priority

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, select Priority Calculation.
  6. For each of the High, Medium, and Low settings for both impact and urgency, select an incident priority value from 1 through 9, and then click OK.

To validate incident priority

  • When you create a new incident or edit an existing one, the resulting priority setting must match the value that is entered in the table for a specific High, Medium, and Low setting that is defined for impact and urgency.

Set the default incident resolution time

Use the following procedure to set a resolution time based on incident priority in Service Manager.

To set resolution time

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, select Resolution Time.
  6. For each of the priority settings of 1 through 9, specify the amount of time for incident resolution.
  7. Click OK.

To validate resolution time

  • When you create a new incident or edit an existing one, the resulting resolution times for an incident matches the values that are defined in the preceding procedures.

Set Operations Manager web settings in Service Manager

Use the following procedures to set the web settings of System Center Operations Manager in Service Manager and validate the settings.

To set Operations Manager web settings

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, click Incident Settings.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under Incident Settings, click Properties.
  5. In the Incident Settings dialog box, click Operations Manager Web Settings.
  6. In the Web Console URL box, type the URL of the Operations Manager 2007 web console server, and then click OK. For example, type http://servername:51908, where servername is the name of the computer hosting the web console server.

To validate Operations Manager web settings

  • Make sure that you can access the web console server by entering http://servername:51908 into your browser, where servername is the name of the computer hosting the web console server.

Configure email incident support for Exchange Server

Use the following procedures to configure your Microsoft Exchange Server infrastructure to support the creation of incidents through email.

To install and configure the SMTP server

  1. Log on with administrative credentials on the server that will host the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server role.

    Note

    A server running Exchange Server cannot be your SMTP server.

  2. Click Start, navigate to All Programs, Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

  3. In Server Manager, click Features, and in the Features pane, click Add Features.
  4. In the Select Feature window, click SMTP Server.
  5. The Add Features Wizard appears. If the dependent role services are not already selected, you are prompted to add role services and features for the SMTP server. Click Add Required Role Services.
  6. On the Select Features page, click Next.
  7. On the Web Server (IIS) page, click Next.
  8. On the Select Role Service page, click Next.
  9. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.
  10. When the Installation Results page appears, click Close to exit the wizard.

To configure the IIS SMTP server service for Service Manager

  1. On the server that is hosting the SMTP server service, open Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. Expand the SMTP server until you see SMTP Virtual Server #1. The SMTP server might have a different name, but it appears with an email icon.
  3. Right-click SMTP Virtual Server #1, click Rename, and then type the name of your server.
  4. Expand Domains, and then rename the domain to the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the server or the domain name that you want to use.

    Note

    This cannot be the same domain that the server is a member of. However, it can be a child domain.

    For example, if the domain name is contoso.com, you use a server name that resembles server.contoso.com.

  5. Using the server name from step 3, right-click the server name, and then click Properties.

  6. Click the Access tab, and then click Relay.
  7. On the Relay Restrictions tab, click All except the list below, click Allow all computers which successfully authenticate to relay regardless of the list above, and then click OK.
  8. Click the Delivery tab, and then click Advanced.
  9. In the Advanced Delivery window, type the values as shown here:
    1. For Masquerade Domain, type your root domain name, for example, contoso.com.
    2. For the FQDN, type your Exchange server name, for example, exchange.contoso.com.
    3. For Smart host, type your Exchange server name, for example, exchange.contoso.com.
    4. Click OK, and then click OK again to close the Advanced Delivery window.
  10. Close IIS Manager, open Windows Explorer, and navigate to SystemDrive:\Inetpub\Mailroot.
  11. Create two child folders. Name the first folder Badmail, and name the second folder Drop.
  12. Right-click the SystemDrive:\Inetpub\Mailroot folder, and then click Share.
  13. For sharing permissions, select the domain user that you specified for the Service Manager account, click Contributor, click Share, and then click Done.
  14. Restart the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service, ensure that it is set to Automatic, and verify that it has started.

To configure Service Manager for email

  1. Open the Service Manager console, and then select Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Settings.
  3. In the Settings pane, double-click Incident Settings.
  4. Scroll to Incoming E-mail.
  5. In The SMTP Service drop folder location, type the path, share, and folder for the Drop folder. In this example, type computer_name\mailroot\Drop, where computer_name is the name of the computer that is hosting the SMTP Server service, Mailroot is the share name, and Drop is the subfolder name.
  6. In SMTP Service bad folder location, type the path, share, and folder to the Badmail folder. In this example, type computer_name\Mailroot\Badmail where computer_name is the name of the computer that is hosting the SMTP Server service, Mailroot is the share name, and Badmail is the subfolder name.
  7. In Maximum number of e-mails to process at a time, type a number for the emails that you want Service Manager to process during an email processing cycle.
  8. Select Turn on incoming e-mails processing, and then click OK.

To configure email notifications

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.
  2. In the Administration pane, expand Notifications, and then click Channels.
  3. In the Channels pane, click E-Mail Notification Channel.
  4. In the Tasks pane, under E-Mail Notification Channel, click Properties to open the Configure E-Mail Notification Channel dialog box.
  5. Click Enable e-mail notifications, and then click Add.
  6. In the Add SMTP Server dialog box, type the FQDN of the SMTP server that you want to use. For example, type Servername.domain.com.
  7. In Port number, type or select the SMTP port number that you want to use. For example, select 25.
  8. Click Add, and in the Add SMTP Server dialog box, type the FQDN of the SMTP server that you want to use. For example, type Exchange.domain.com, and replace the information with your Exchange domain name information.
  9. In Port number, type or select the SMTP port number that you want to use. For example, select 25.
  10. In Authentication method, click Anonymous, and then click OK.
  11. In Return e-mail address, type the email address of the service account that was used during Setup. For example, type Helpdek@Servername.domain.com.
  12. In Retry primary after, type or select the number of seconds that you want Service Manager to wait before trying to resend outgoing email notifications. For example, select 25.
  13. Click OK to close the dialog box.

To validate email notification configuration

  1. In the Channels pane, click E-Mail Notification Channel.
  2. In the Tasks pane, under E-Mail Notification Channel, click Configure to open the Configure E-Mail Notification Channel dialog box.
  3. Confirm that the configuration you entered is correct.

Configure Exchange Server for use with Service Manager

In the following procedures, you configure Exchange Server for use with Service Manager. You perform these procedures on the server that hosts Exchange Server.

To configure the Organization Hub Transport

  1. In Exchange Server, click Organization Configuration, and then click Hub Transport.
  2. In the Hub Transport window, click the Accepted Domains tab.
  3. In the Actions pane, click New Accepted Domain.
  4. In the New Accepted Domain Wizard, on the New Accepted Domain page, in the Name box, type a descriptive name. For example, type From SMTP Server, and in Accepted Domain, type the SMTP domain name that you created for Service Manager. For example, type *.Servername.domain.com.
  5. Click Authoritative Domain, and then click New.

To configure the Server Configuration Hub Transport

  1. In Exchange Server, navigate to Server Configuration, and then click Hub Transport.
  2. In the Actions pane, click New Receive Connector to open the New Receive Connector Wizard.
  3. In Name, type a name that identifies the Service Manager SMTP server, select Custom for the intended use, and then click Next.
  4. On the Local Network Settings page, accept the default value, leave the FQDN box empty, and then click Next.
  5. On the Remote Network Settings page, remove the existing IP address, type the IP address of your Service Manager SMTP server, and then click Next.
  6. On the New Connector page, click New to complete the wizard.
  7. Double-click the newly created Receive Connector to open its properties, click the Authentication tab, and then clear any items that are selected.
  8. Click the Permissions Groups tab, click only Anonymous users, and then click OK.
  9. To grant relay permission to anonymous connections on the new receive connector, open Exchange Management Shell, type the following, and then press ENTER:

     Get-ReceiveConnector "Anonymous Relay" | Add-ADPermission -User "NT AUTHORITY\ANONYMOUS LOGON" -ExtendedRights "Ms-Exch-SMTP-Accept-Any-Recipient"
    
  10. Close Windows PowerShell.

To configure the mail contact in Exchange

  1. In Exchange Server, navigate to Recipient Configuration, and then click Mail Contact.
  2. In the Action pane, click New Mail Contact.
  3. In the New Mail Contact Wizard, click New contact, and then click Next.
  4. In Name, type the name that you want to use as the Service Manager return email address, without @domain.com. For example, type Helpdesk.
  5. In Alias, type the name that you want users to use as the Email Alias name. For example, type Helpdesk.
  6. Edit the External e-mail address, and type the FQDN for the email address. For example, type helpdesk@server.domain.com.
  7. Click Next, and then click New to complete the wizard.

To test email functionality between the SMTP server and the Exchange server

  1. Using Windows Explorer on the SMTP server, create a new text file named TESTEMAIL.
  2. Remove the TXT file name extension from the new file.
  3. Right-click the TESTMAIL file, and then click Open.
  4. When you are prompted to open the file with a program, click Notepad, and then click OK.
  5. In the file, type the following using your own information, similar to the following example:

    to:username@domain.com
    
    from:Helpdesk@servername.domain.com
    
    Subject:This is an email test.
    
    This is a test
    
  6. Save the file without a file name extension, and then close Notepad.

  7. Copy the file to a location where you can use it in the future for testing.
  8. Copy the file into the SystemDrive:\inetpub\mailroot\Pickup folder.

    Note

    The file should be removed automatically. This indicates that the Exchange server is using it.

  9. Using the user credentials for the To recipient that you typed previously, open Outlook and confirm that the email was received.

Create Service Manager incident templates

Use the following procedures to create two incident templates in Service Manager. The first you use to create email-related incidents, and the second you use with the Incident Change workflow for printer-related problems.

  1. In the Service Manager console, click Library.
  2. In the Library pane, expand Library, and then click Templates.
  3. In the Tasks pane, in the Templates area, click Create Template.
  4. In the Create Template dialog box, complete these steps:
    1. In the Name box, type a name for the incident template. For example, type E-mail Incident.
    2. In the Description box, type a description for the incident template. For example, type Use this template to start all email-related incidents.
    3. Click Browse to choose a class.
    4. In the Choose Class dialog box, click Incident, and then click OK.
    5. In the Management Pack list, select Service Manager Incident Management Configuration Library, and then click OK.
  5. In the incident template form, complete these steps:
    1. Leave the Affected user box empty.
    2. Leave the Alternate contact information box empty. Alternate contact information for the affected user is entered when the incident is created.
    3. In the Title box, type a title for the template. Or, type a preface, such as Email:.
    4. In the Classification Category box, select the category that reflects the problem to report. For example, select E-mail Problems.
    5. Leave the Source box empty. The Source box is automatically populated when the incident is created.
    6. In the Impact box, select a value. For example, select High. In the Urgency box, select a value. For example, select High.
    7. In the Support Group box, select a tier. For example, if you want all email-related issues to be assigned to the tier 2 support group, select Tier 2.
    8. Click OK.
  1. In the Service Manager console, click Library.
  2. In the Library pane, expand Library, and then click Templates.
  3. In the Tasks pane, click Create Template.
  4. In the Create Template dialog box, complete these steps:
    1. In the Name box, type a name for the incident template. For example, type Escalate Printer Problems to Tier 2.
    2. In the Description box, type a description for the incident template. For example, type Use this template to assign high-urgency printer-related problems to tier 2.
    3. Click Browse to choose a class.
    4. In the Choose Class dialog box, click Incident, and then click OK.
    5. In the Management Pack list, select Service Manager Incident Management Configuration Library, and then click OK.
  5. In the incident template form, follow these steps:
    1. In the Support Group box, select a tier. For example, if you want all printer-related issues to be assigned to the tier 2 support group, select Tier 2.
    2. Click OK.
    3. Press F5 to refresh the Templates pane.

To validate that the new incident template was created

  • Verify that the new incident templates are listed in the Templates pane.
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