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Grafana OnCall: Use the new bi-directional ServiceNow integration for seamless alert flows

Grafana OnCall: Use the new bi-directional ServiceNow integration for seamless alert flows

28 May, 2024 4 min

Every moment counts when you’re managing incidents that can affect your services and customers. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new bi-directional integration between Grafana OnCall and ServiceNow, a popular platform many large organizations rely on to help manage their incidents. 

With this new feature, which is available now in Grafana Cloud, alerts flow from Grafana OnCall into ServiceNow and vice-versa, helping to keep incident statuses in sync so everyone is on the same page. This powerful integration is configurable, giving you one place to make the necessary changes, whether you’re adjusting ServiceNow credentials or fine-tuning alert behavior.

Let’s walk through this new feature and how you can use it for a more cohesive incident response.

Route ServiceNow incidents to Grafana OnCall

With the new integration, incidents created in ServiceNow can automatically generate corresponding alert groups in Grafana OnCall. For example, let’s say you want to create an incident in ServiceNow like this:

ServiceNow UI incident menu

Once you trigger that incident in ServiceNow, Grafana OnCall will automatically create a corresponding alert group:

Corresponding alert group in Grafana OnCall

These alert groups are intelligently routed through standard Grafana OnCall mechanisms (e.g., routes, escalation chains, and on-call schedules) so the right individuals and teams are alerted without delay. Here’s an example of routing configuration based on incident’s assignment group in ServiceNow:

Add route menu

As depicted, incidents assigned to the “Customer Support” group in ServiceNow trigger the appropriate escalation chain. Similarly, incidents marked under “Infrastructure” and “Software” are routed to their respective escalation chains.

This integration can be tailored to your needs, so you can route alerts based on various incident attributes like service, category, priority, and other fields.

Sync incident status

ServiceNow is flexible, and so is this integration. For example, you can have custom incident statuses that are unique to your ServiceNow instance. This can be very powerful when used properly, but it can also be limiting if that same functionality can’t be matched in your on-call service. That’s why we made sure you can map any status in ServiceNow back to Grafana OnCall through this integration:

Status mapping

Configuring this synchronization is straightforward in Grafana OnCall, ensuring that your team always has the most current information on incident status.

Create incidents in ServiceNow

Imagine you already use tools like Alertmanager, Grafana Alerting, Amazon SNS, custom webhooks, or any other integration supported by Grafana OnCall within your observability framework. With this new integration, you can create incidents in ServiceNow based on alerts from such tools, leveraging a unified configuration across your monitoring ecosystem.

Content integration list

This functionality ensures that your incident management is centralized and consistent, irrespective of the originating alert source.

Customize the integration

By default, common Grafana OnCall events will be reflected in ServiceNow as well. This includes things like when an alert group is created, acknowledged, or resolved. But we know that every team is different, which is why we made sure you can tweak this integration to fit how you work. 

Want to add more info to incidents or adjust how alerts are handled based on what’s happening? You can easily modify the integration’s behavior by editing its outgoing webhooks.

Outgoing webhook menu

By leveraging Grafana OnCall’s outgoing webhooks, you get lots of room to customize with a powerful templating engine. For example, let’s say you don’t want to perform any actions in ServiceNow when a Grafana OnCall alert group is silenced, as that’s not part of your normal incident response. Simply delete the “Silenced” webhook and you’re all set.

Learn more about Grafana OnCall

Head over to our docs for more details and to get started with integrating ServiceNow into your Grafana OnCall setup. And check out some of recent Grafana OnCall blog posts to learn about recent improvements we’ve made to support organizations operating at scale, more tightly integrate with the rest of Grafana Cloud, and address some of our biggest feature requests.

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