CoARE User Portal User Manual

1. About this Document

In its effort to improve its service delivery and comply with the industry’s standards and best practices, the CoARE Project has started initiating the implementation of IT Service Management (ITSM) in its current processes. The implementation of ITSM will make it possible for the CoARE Support and its Support Team to ensure service delivery that is based on the IT industry’s best practices. Through a tool that will enable automation and integration of our ITSM processes, the CoARE Support aims to implement an effective ITSM system that complies with the industry’s established standards and ensures our service commitment to our stakeholders.

This document serves as the CoARE User Portal Manual, designed to be the CoARE user’s reference in the CoARE Project’s implementation of its ITSM through the CoARE User Portal. This document will briefly explain what ITSM is and how the CoARE Project plans to carry-out its ITSM processes, namely, Service Request Management and Incident Management. This document will also explain how CoARE users can access and navigate through the CoARE User Portal. In Section 4, the definition of relevant concepts and terms for the CoARE Project’s ITSM implementation and ITSM tool will be listed for the CoARE user’s reference. From Section 5 onwards, procedures on accessing and navigating through the CoARE User Portal will be discussed. Finally, in Section 6, CoARE users will find instructions on how they can monitor the status of their tickets.


2. CoARE IT Service Management (ITSM)

IT Service Management (ITSM) refers to the process conducted by organizations in designing, managing, and improving the use and delivery of IT services according to the industry’s best practices. ITSM ensures that the processes, people, and technology are properly established so that an organization is able to meet the business goals that it has identified. For its ITSM implementation, the CoARE Project will be using an ITSM framework that will enable a customer-focused service management and delivery of real business benefits through implementing business change, optimizing customer experience, and managing risks.

IT Operational Portal (iTop), an ITSM tool, will be utilized in the CoARE Project’s ITSM implementation. This tool will enable the CoARE Project to carry-out its Service Request Management, Incident Management, Change Management, and Capacity Management processes that will be compliant to the industry’s best practices. Section 5 of this document shows how CoARE users can access the CoARE User Portal, how they can monitor their tickets through the Portal, and how they can communicate with CoARE Support.

CoARE Service Request Management and Incident Management

Service Request Management (or Request Fulfillment) is the process for managing the lifecycle of all service requests from clients and users. The main objective of the Service Request Management is to provide a channel for users and clients to request and receive standard services for which a pre-defined approval and qualification process exists.

Incident Management is the process for dealing with all incidents, or those unplanned interruptions or reductions to an IT service. Incidents can include failures, questions, or queries reported by the users, by the technical staff, or automatically detected and reported by event monitoring tools.

To comply with the established best practices on IT service delivery, the CoARE Project will carry out its Service Request Management and Incident Management processes through the use of an ITSM tool (iTop) that will implement the CoARE User Portal.


3. Relevant Concepts and Terms

This section lists the concepts and terms that are relevant to CoARE's implementation of its ITSM processes:

Change: A change is any alteration or modification (i.e. addition, removal, etc.) of authorized, planned, or supported service, service component, and its associated documentation.

Impact: Impact refers to the measure of the effect of an incident, problem, or change on business processes and may be valuated in the following criteria: number of affected users, the potential financial losses, number of affected services, breaches of regulations or laws, etc. The categories/levels of Impact that CoARE will be implementing include: High, Medium, and Low. See Ticket Prioritization.

Incident: An unplanned interruption to an IT service or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet impacted service is also an incident, for example failure of one disk from a mirror set. CoARE users may choose the following items in the CoARE User Portal when logging an incident: Cloud Service/Administration Errors and Incidents, HPC Service/Administration Errors and Incidents, Data Archiving Service/Administration Errors and Incidents.

Priority: Priority refers to the category used to identify the importance of a service request, incident, or change. Priority is based on Impact and Urgency, and is used to identify required times for actions to be taken.

Service Request: ITIL defines service request as a generic description for varying types of requests for information, advice, change, access, and assistance. The CoARE User Portal lists the following items as service requests in Table 1 of this document.

Ticket: A ticket is a generic term in IT used to refer to a log or documentation of a service request or an incident. For the purpose of the CoARE User Portal, the term “ticket” may be used interchangeably to refer to both service requests and incidents.

Urgency: Urgency is the measure of how long it will be until a service request or incident has a significant impact on the organization.


4. Accessing the CoARE User Portal

This section discusses how CoARE users can access the CoARE User Portal. It introduces the CoARE User Portal Login Page and the CoARE User Portal Dashboard and explains how users can navigate through the Portal:

The CoARE User Portal Login Page

The figure above shows the interface of the CoARE User Portal login page. To access the Portal, users will have to login using the account credentials that they use in accessing the CoARE facility. Only existing CoARE users (users whose accounts have not expired yet) are able to log their service and support requests using the CoARE User Portal.

The CoARE User Portal Dashboard

The CoARE User Portal Dashboard (see figure below) shows the various options that the CoARE users can select as they utilize the CoARE service that they have availed. These options include how users can relay their service requests to the CoARE Support, monitor the tickets that have submitted, and view a list of answers to frequently-asked questions. The left panel of the CoARE User Portal Dashboard also displays additional options that also allow CoARE users to manage their tickets.


5. User Portal Ticket Management

This section details how CoARE users can submit their service and support requests to CoARE Support through the CoARE User Portal. This section also includes steps on creating a ticket (see Creating a New Ticket), assigning a priority level to tickets through determining Impact and Urgency (see Ticket Prioritization), and monitoring the status of tickets (see Ticket Status Monitoring).

Creating a New Ticket

  1. To create a new ticket, users can either click the “New Ticket” option on the left side of the menu pane, or the larger “New Ticket” tile in the middle of the Dashboard.
  2. After clicking New Ticket, the new Ticket page will display options to log either an Incident or a Service Request. Click on either Incident or Service Request to expand into the various available service subcategories.
    • To log a support request or report an incident, click “Incident” and choose either Cloud Service/Administration Errors and Incidents (for Science Cloud-related technical inquiries and incidents), HPC Service/Administration Errors and Incidents (for HPC-related technical inquiries and incidents), or Data Archiving Service/Administration Errors and Incidents (for Storage-related technical inquiries and incidents) from the list of options expanded under Incident.
    • To log a service request, click “Service Request” and choose from among the different specific service requests that can be logged. For HPC, these service requests include HPC account creation and management, installation of programs or applications, login authentication via SSH keys. For Science Cloud, these service requests include instantiation of VMs and provision of VM credentials, upgrade of VM specifications, opening of specific ports, snapshots of the VM, and deletion of VM
  3. A New Ticket prompt (see figure below) will appear which will require users to provide the necessary details of their service or support request. A series of help text will be displayed for each field to assist the users in providing the required information for the ticket. Click Submit once you've filled out all the necessary fields in the ticket







Ticket Status Monitoring

CoARE users can monitor the status of their tickets in the CoARE User Portal by going through the different ticket classifications (Ongoing, Resolved, and Closed Tickets) and communication with CoARE Support.

  1. To check the status of your ongoing tickets, click the "Ongoing Tickets" option either on the Dashboard or in the left panel of the Dashboard.
    • Ongoing Tickets are active tickets that are either new tickets that have just been logged by a user or existing tickets that are currently being resolved by the CoARE Support Team.
  2. To view your resolved tickets, click the "Resolved Tickets" option either on the Dashboard or in the left panel of the Dashboard.
    • Resolved Tickets are those tickets that have already been addressed by the CoARE Support Team and are sent back to the user for confirmation of resolution. A resolved ticket means that the CoARE Support has already done the necessary resolution activities from their end. The ticket is then turned over to the CoARE user who is expected to provide feedback to the CoARE Support if the concern has been addressed.
  3. To view closed tickets, click the "Closed Tickets" option in the left panel of the Dashboard.
    • Closed Tickets are tickets that have already been resolved and issue resolution for these tickets has been confirmed by the CoARE user. Since closed tickets may not be reopened, CoARE users may create a new ticket if they need to log a new service request or support request.
  4. To communicate with the CoARE Support Team and relay information such as updates, additional concerns, and confirmation of issue resolution, CoARE users can use the ticket's Public Log.




For more information on how to access and navigate through the CoARE User Portal, you may check these video tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSooo9gMIXJ1wAXlymMHZPmJjpsB-APmt.

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