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How to Enable Request Management Service using Cloud Assert VConnect

How to Enable Request Management Service using Cloud Assert VConnect

Learn how to enable Request Management Service using VConnect in Windows Azure Pack for Virtual Machine deployment through a multilevel approval process

Author: Arun Krishnan/Tuesday, November 27, 2018/Categories: General, Windows Azure Pack, VConnect

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The Request Management Service (RMS) helps to monitor and respond to the deployment request for a virtual machine creation within an organization.  Earlier tenants create virtual machines and use them on their own.  The tenant admin will come to know it only after the virtual machine is created.  Due to this lots of virtual machines are created unnecessarily.  To overcome this issue, Cloud Assert brings in VConnect Request Management Service (RMS). VConnect drives the Request Management Service to track and approve the requests for a VM creation.  VConnect helps in setting the structure for approving the deployment request within the organization in Windows Azure Pack.

 

Admin configures the user details as well as connection details.  The Admin also configures the plan, add the WAP users and creates the levels of tiers within the ApprovalTier setting. Windows Azure Pack will provision the resources to the users in the organization to utilize.  The tenants who utilize these resources through the RMS are workflow users.  The workflow for VConnect users can be categorized into three different roles,

  • Requestor role
  • Approver role
  • Contributor & Inform role

Roles of Tenant Requestor

Any user in the user list or employee of the organization who creates a Virtual Machine Deployment Request using Windows Azure Pack is a “Tenant Requestor”. The request will be sent to the approver by checking the approval tier.  Each user will come under an approver for VM creation in the ApproverTier setting. The approver before approving or denying the request, checks for the parameters like CPU core, memory, number of Virtual Machines. In addition, the approver will also check for file attachments and the purpose for the VM creation. The requestor receives an acknowledgment with either an acceptance or a rejection message.

Role of Tenant Approver

The approver is the person (listed in the approval tier list) who authorizes or rejects the request from the tenant requestor.  The virtual machine request reaches the approver by depending upon the “Business unit” or “Department”.  There are different levels set in the approver tier list.  Let us assume, tenant requestor as a software developer in an organization and the approver as a Tech Lead or a Senior Software Engineer.  The Department for example Engineering, and Business Unit for example IDC.  He sends a deployment request for a VM creation.  The request reaches the tenant approver as per the business unit or department.  Now the approver receives the request for a VM creation.  If the request is valid, he approves the request and the system sends a notification through an email automatically.  The approver can also add notes to his approval or denial. For example, to customize the virtual machine size, number of virtual machines, CPU size, etc.  If the request is invalid, then the approver can reject the VM creation request and system sends a notification through an email automatically.

Role of Contributor and Inform  

The system would send an email notification stating the acceptance or rejection of the request to the contributor and inform role users, whenever a virtual machine is deployed.  For example, IT Admin, Finance Lead, and Sales Lead of the company will receive an email notification once the VM is deployed.

Flowchart for VM Service Request Deployment Process


VConnect Admin Portal

Step 1: Configuring RMS users

Initially, the admin creates the list of users. The employee details like designation, department, business unit, etc. are added here.


Managing the Users

The admin can customize the user details using the buttons - “Add User”, “Edit User” and “Delete User”.

  1. Navigate to RMS  Users tab and click ‘Add User’ present at the bottom of the page.
  2. Enter the basic user details like user id, name, email id, designation, company name, manager id, country code, business unit, and department.

Business unit” and “Department” are mandatory details for approval process.  The ApprovalTierMapProvider appsetting will use “business unit” or “department name” while moderating the request. 

Step 2: Managing approval tiers

Approval Tiers List

Using this user list, admin segregates the roles and place them in different levels of tiers. Approval tiers decide the Virtual Machine Request routing to approvers. Approval tiers can be configured based on Business Unit and Department. Approval tier can be added in format of <BU Name>-Tier<Level> or <Department Name>-Tier<Level> based on business. 

  1. Navigate to RMS  Approval Tiers tab and click ‘Add Tier’ present at the bottom of the page.

  2. Enter the approval tier name in the format of <BU Name>-Tier<Level> or <Department Name>-Tier<Level>


Step 3: Add approval Participants

Approval Participant is a workflow user for specific tier who will approve/reject virtual machine request, receive email notifications based on roles configured.

  1. Navigate to RMS  Approval Tiers  specific Approval tier and click on Add Participant present at the bottom of the page.

  2. Enter the participant details in Approval participant wizard.


VConnect Tenant Portal

Request Management Service initiates with a tenant request for a virtual machine deployment.  The tenant user can login through the login portal by entering their email id and password. Once the user gets logged in, the user can send a request for deployment.  Requestor can create the deployment request from the tenant portal for a single Virtual Machine or for a bulk Virtual Machine deployment. It will be automatically notified to approver.  Approver can approve or reject the request.

Creating a Deployment Request

  1. Navigate to the VConnect → Create Deployment Request to create a Deployment Request.
  2. Select the Subscription and resource group in which the Deployment request needs to be created.
  3. Fill in the details in the Create Virtual Machine Request wizard with the Title, Description, Purpose and Duration in months. In the Add Virtual Machines tab, Fill the details with the VM Name, Connection type, OS Type, VM Template, Disk Size, VM Size, No of VMs. Click “Add VM” button to add VMs with different options.
  4. Complete the Customization steps for each of the Virtual Machine before sending a request.
  5. Cost Estimation page displays cost only when Usage & Billing is configured, and Usage & Billing API details are seeded in appsettings.
  6. In the Upload File wizard, add the necessary attachment for the Deployment Request.  Attachments can be of size up to 10mb.

 

Deployment Request Approval

Step 1: Approval via VConnect tenant portal

  1. Login to tenant WAP portal through Approver login credentials
  2. Navigate to VConnect → Service Request → My Approvers Tab


    Incoming Requests will be listed under Pending Approvals grid. Request which are approved or rejected will be listed under Recent Approvals grid.

  3. Drilldown the specific request to view the Request Information, Attachments, VM details, Deployment details and Approvers information

  4. Response Options with Approve/Reject will be displayed at bottom in contextual commands. Based on Approver’s response, Approve/Reject wizard will be opened.  Provide your valid response message in Approve/Reject wizard

 

Step 2: Approval via EMAIL

  1. Configured Approvers will receive the email with request information and Approve/Reject reply options.    
  2. Approver can reply to email in single line with one of these options Approve/Reject.
  3. Based on the Approver response, deployment request will have approved or rejected.  

 

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