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Get ready for vCenter Orchestrator

Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2009 | 3 Comments

Get ready in 2009 for VMware vCenter Orchestrator. A new product page is now available on the VMware website. 

What is Orchestrator? Orchestrator is a GUI based workflow tool that interacts with the VMware API, CLI and VC UI, SSH, WMI, SMTP, SNMP, Databases and 3rd part systems. A library of prebuilt workflows (400) will be included. Orchestrator is currently used by vCenter Lifecycle Manager so its already out in the wild. 

Why do we care about Orchestrator? Well as has been predicted 2009 is the year of automation for VMware; automation is a key step on the journey to Cloud computing and vCloud and VDC-OS. On the VMware round table podcast today all of the panel agreed that automation is a big topic at the moment and a focus for the coming year. John Troyer indicated that it is seen as a precursor to adoption of the cloud.

To get a good understanding of Orchestrator, Sia Yiu, who is the Product Manager Orchestrator gave a session at the last VMworld, AD2530 "An Introduction to VirtualCenter Orchestrator: the VMware Automation and Orchestration Tool". The abstract is
Find out what the automation engine that powers Lifecycle Manager can do for your virtual infrastructure. VMware VirtualCenter Orchestrator is a key solution in the VMware product set for automating and orchestrating the virtualized infrastructure. It provides simplicity and power through a drag and drop implementation of the VI API and a complex workflow engine.

Through demo and interactive discussion, this session provides an in-depth look at the technical underpinnings of VMware VirtualCenter Orchestrator. We will show how VMware VirtualCenter Orchestrator provides significant cost savings through automating repeatable IT processes.
If you have access to the VMworld content there is an audio recording along with the presentation.

What will be interesting is to see the balance and interaction between all the PowerShell development/examples and Orchestrator. As we move closer to a release of the seperate product these details should come to hand.



  1. Just to be crystal clear - I was speaking only for myself, not VMware -- *I* see automation as a big part of the cloud, because somewhere in this "Elastic, Self-managing, Self-healing" layer, it's either going to be automation or Elves, and I don't know how to do unit testing on Elves.

    But a lot of (what I understand about) vCloud is about APIs and exposing easier and standard ways of monitoring, provisioning, SLA enforcement, managing images, network configs, etc. Might or might not count as automation, depending on how you squint.


  2. Of course John is right in his comments.

    First as John is in marketing, nothing he says can really be take to mean anything real. :-)

    Second John is right in separating out that vCloud in itself is automation and API exposure for doing new things. When I say that automation is "Getting ready for cloud" what I mean is that if everything in your data center is built by hand as one off events it is going to be harder to easily take advantages of the coming changes.

    For example if you have automation that can build the extra node in your web server farm, then that can be expanded into choosing where to deploy it (which cloud). Or some of the new services can determine that you need a new web server for load and deploy it for you (maybe after your confirmation). Without automation everything becomes reliant on people skills and time, which can remove flexibility.

  3. Anonymous4:20 am

    The question is: can people skill(s) be captured into a packaged/productized orchestratable solution? if so: you just solve the "service" problem in the "anything" as a service IT challenge


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