ServiceNow ITSM is a cloud-based platform designed to improve IT services, increase user satisfaction, and boost IT flexibility and agility. With ServiceNow IT Service Management, you can consolidate your legacy on-premise systems and IT tools into our single data model to transform the service experience, automate workflows, gain real-time visibility, and improve IT productivity.

Amazon Managed Grafana is a fully managed and secure data visualization service that lets customers complete their own observability picture, reaching across logs, metrics, traces, and other applications with enterprise data sources that are available out of the box. Amazon Managed Grafana leverages the open source Grafana project, a widely deployed data visualization tool that is popular for its extensible data source support. Jointly developed with Grafana Labs, Amazon Managed Grafana helps our customers achieve success with their operations observability strategy. Moreover, Amazon Managed Grafana is a fully-managed service that manages the service provisioning, setup, upgrades, scaling, and maintenance of Grafana. This is done by eliminating the need for customers to have additional management overhead.

This post describes how Amazon Managed Grafana helps customers visualize their existing Amazon CloudWatch metrics in a single pane of glass and then generates an alert that creates an IT Incident in their ServiceNow based ITSM platform. You generate the alert and create the IT incident in ServiceNow using ServiceNow Scripted Rest API’sAmazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), and AWS Lambda.

Architecture Overview

The following architecture diagram depicts your AWS application being monitored via Amazon CloudWatch while Amazon Managed Grafana provides dashboarding and alerting and the IT incident is generated in ServiceNow using SNS and Lambda.

Prerequisites

  1. AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) 2
  2. A ServiceNow instance for your cloud operations team to create incidents for them. For this post, we have provisioned a ServiceNow Developer instance. Access the developer ServiceNow instance from the ServiceNow Developer link.
  3. Amazon Grafana workspace. For information, and steps for creating the Amazon Managed Grafana workspace, see Creating a Workspace.
  4. To use AWS data source configuration, first use the Amazon Managed Grafana console to enable service-managed Identity and Access Management(IAM) roles that grant the workspace with IAM policies necessary to read CloudWatch resources in your account or in your entire organizational unit. Then, use the Amazon Managed Grafana workspace console to add CloudWatch as a data source. See Use AWS data source configuration to add CloudWatch as a data source.
  5. An SNS Topic

Use the following command to create an SNS topic named grafana-ITSM-notification, and subscribe an email address.

aws sns create-topic --name grafana-ITSM-notification

You should see the following output:

{ "SubscriptionArn": "arn:aws:sns:us-east-1:12345678901A:grafana-ITSM-notification:5d906xxxx-7c8x-45dx-a9dx-0484e31c98xx"
}

For more information about the creating an SNS Topic, refer to create an SNS topic with a unique name.

  1. AWS Lambda Execution Role

Create an IAM execution role that gives your function permission to access AWS resources. To create an execution role with the AWS CLI, use the create-role command.

aws iam create-role --role-name ServiceNowIncident-role-lambda-ex --assume-role-policy-document '{"Version": "2012-10-17","Statement": [{ "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": {"Service": "lambda.amazonaws.com"}, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"}]}'

You should see the output with the IAM role ARN: arn:aws:iam:: 123456789012:role/service-role/ServiceNowIncident-role-lambda-ex

For more information about creating a Lambda Execution role, refer to AWS Lambda execution role.

Once we have all of the prerequisites in place, follow the following set of instructions for our solution.

Configuring CloudWatch Datasource: Under Data sources, configure the CloudWatch plugin to start querying and visualizing the metrics from the AWS environment. Choose Data sources as ‘CloudWatch’ to add a data source.

Configure Amazon CloudWatch Data Source

While configuring the Amazon CloudWatch data source, select to import the out of the box dashboards for  Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon EBS, AWS Lambda, Amazon Cloudwatch Logs, and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). For this post, we will configure the Amazon EC2 dashboard.

Amazon CloudWatch default dashboards

Go to your dashboard where you can see all of your Amazon CloudWatch metrics, and the logs in Amazon EC2 single pane of glass.

Amazon EC2 metrics dashboard

Configure notification channels on Amazon Managed Grafana

In this section, you’ll configure a notification channel to send out an alert. In our example, since the integration is through Amazon SNS, we will create a notification channel type as SNS.

In the left pane, choose the bell icon to add a new notification channel.

Notification Channels

Now, configure the ServiceNow-SNS-Integration notification channel. On the Edit notification channel, for Type, choose AWS SNS. For Topic, use the ARN of the SNS topic that you just created. For Auth Provider, choose the workspace IAM role.

SNS Notification Channel

You have now set up the SNS notification channel successfully.

Configure the alert on your dashboard for defined threshold for High CPU Utilization

On the dashboard, select CPU utilization per Instance, and select Edit. When the utilization exceeds a threshold, configure Amazon Managed Grafana to send notifications and configure ServiceNow to create an incident for your cloud operations team.

Alert Configuration

Select the alert tab, define your threshold as 80%, and describe your Notification Message.

Alert Notification Messaging template

Save your dashboard, and you are done with configuring the Alert notification on AWS Managed Grafana.

Creating a Scripted REST API in ServiceNow:

  1. First, log in to your ServiceNow account. On the left-hand side search box, type “Scripted REST”. Select Scripted REST APIs under System Web Services -> Scripted Web Services:

ServiceNow Landing Page

  1. Select New to create a new API service.

ServiceNow Scripted REST APIs

  1. Give your API a name, and an API ID (we’ll use “AWS-Grafana-Incident-Integration” for our example). You can leave Protection Policy as “– None –“. Then, select Submit:

ServiceNow Scripted REST APIs creation

  1. Search for the API that we just created, and select it. Scroll down to the Resources tab, and select New.

ServiceNow Scripted API Resource creation

  1. Give your resource a name (we’ll use “event”), and change the HTTP method to POST:

ServiceNow Scripted API HTTP Method

  1. Scroll down to the Script section, and use the following code snippet to capture the request from the AWS Lambda function:
(function process(/*RESTAPIRequest*/ request, /*RESTAPIResponse*/ response) { var event = request.body.data; var inc = new GlideRecord('incident'); inc.initialize(); inc.short_description = "AWS Grafana Notification"; inc.description = event.text; inc.insert(); response.setStatus(200); })(request, response)

  1. In the Security tab, uncheck the Requires authentication checkbox.
  2. Back on our Scripted API page, look for the Base API Path field for our newly created API.
  3. Our API endpoint is of this format: https://.service-now.com/>?

Integrating ServiceNow Scripted API URL with AWS Lambda to receive Incidents creation request on the threshold notification

Create Lambda

For instructions on creating a Lambda function, see Getting Started with AWS Lambda. For more information, see Using AWS Lambda with Amazon SNS.

Before we create the lambda function, we must create a deployment package. Your Lambda function code must include logic to transform your SNS topic’s notification messages for the type of webhook endpoint that you’re using. For examples, see the following Python code snippets for ServiceNow Scripted API webhooks. The code is compatible with the Python 3.6 runtime. Replace https://outlook.office.com/webhook/xxxxxxx with the ServiceNow Scripted API URL created in the last step.

Copy the following snippet, and save it in your root folder as lambda_function.py

#!/usr/bin/python3.6
import urllib3 import jsonhttp = urllib3.PoolManager() ddef lambda_handler(event, context): url = "https://outlook.office.com/webhook/xxxxxxx" msg = { "text": event['Records'][0]['Sns']['Message'] } encoded_msg = json.dumps(msg).encode('utf-8') resp = http.request('POST',url, body=encoded_msg) print({ "message": event['Records'][0]['Sns']['Message'], "status_code": resp.status, "response": resp.data })

To deploy the new code to your function, upload the my-function .zip file deployment package. Use the Lambda console to upload a .zip file to the function, or use Deploy .zip file archives.

zip my-function.zip lambda_function.py

The following example uploads a file named my-function.zip. Use the fileb:// file prefix to upload the binary .zip file to Lambda.

The following create-function creates a Lambda function named my-function. Note that creating lambda execution roles is covered in the prerequisites section.

aws lambda create-function \ --function-name ServiceNowIncident \ --runtime python3.6 \ --zip-file fileb://my-function.zip \ --handler my-function.handler \ --role arn:aws:iam:: 123456789012:role/service-role/ ServiceNowIncident-role-lambda-ex

For more information on creating a Lambda function through AWS CLI, see create function.

Enable SNS to invoke your Lambda function

As a next step, add a permission that enables the SNS Topic (created in the prerequisites) to invoke your Lambda function

aws lambda add-permission \ --function-name ServiceNowIncident \ --action lambda:InvokeFunction \ --statement-id sns \ --principal sns.amazonaws.com \ -—source-arn arn:aws:sns:us-east-1:12345678901A:grafana-ITSM-notification:5d906xxxx-7c8x-45dx-a9dx-0484e31c98xx

This will return the permission statement that’s added to the function policy.

For more information, see Lambda add permissions.

With your function subscribed to your SNS topic, messages published to the topic are forwarded to the function, and then to your ServiceNow ScriptedAPI webhook URL.

Test your Lambda function with an SNS notification

Type Hello World into a text file, and save it as message.txt. Then, run the following command:

 aws sns publish --message file://message.txt --subject TestgrafanaSnowNotification --topic-arn arn:aws:sns-topic-for-lambda:us-east-1-:12345678901A:snow-integration

This will return a message ID with a unique identifier, indicating that the message has been accepted by the Amazon SNS service. Then, Amazon SNS will attempt to deliver it to the topic’s subscribers.

For more information on using AWS Lambda with Amazon Simple Notification Service, look here.

You can now test those alerts triggered by Amazon Managed Grafana are visible in ServiceNow as Incidents.

  1. In ServiceNow, on the left-hand side search box, type “Incidents”.
  2. Under the Service Desk section, select Incidents.

ServiceNow Landing Page and search incidents from left menu

You should see a new incident created on the top of the list.

Incidents in ServiceNow

Incident created from alarm on threshold breach in ServiceNow

Cleaning up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the resources that you have created by following these steps:

  • Delete SNS Topic
aws sns delete-topic \ --topic-arn "arn:aws:sns:<region>:<account-id>:<topic-name>"

  • Delete Lambda Function
aws lambda delete-function \ --function-name my-function

  • Delete Lambda Execution IAM role
aws iam delete-role --role-name ServiceNowIncident-role-lambda-ex

Conclusion

In this post, we explored the ease of integrating of ServiceNow with Amazon Managed Grafana for creating incidents.by showing you how to deploy an Amazon Managed Grafana workspace, configure notification channels, collect metrics from AWS CloudWatch, configure alerts on the Amazon Managed Grafana dashboard, and send out alerts to ServiceNow for incident creation using ServiceNow Scripted REST API as webhooks. We demonstrated an integration pattern using Amazon Managed Grafana and Amazon CloudWatch that enables you to automatically create incidents in ServiceNow for operational efficiency.

Further reading

  1. Amazon Managed Grafana preview updated with new capabilities
  2. Monitoring hybrid environments using Amazon Managed Grafana
  3. How do I use webhooks to publish Amazon SNS messages to Amazon Chime, Slack, or Microsoft Teams?

About the author

Yash Bindlish

Yash Bindlish is a Technical Consultant at Amazon Web Services. He has more than 16 years of industry experience including roles in cloud architecture, systems engineering, and infrastructure. He works with Global Enterprise customers and help them build, scalable, modern and cost effective solutions on their growth journey with AWS. He loves solving complex problems with his solution-oriented approach.