Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

vCenter Orchestrator Session

Posted by martijnl on February 24, 2009

Wireless access is a bit patchy between the different conference halls but over here in the Grand Auditorium I have access to the Press network so I can do some live blogging again. While the (live) comment is in the title the post will get updated on the fly.

In this session we get an overview of what vCenter Orchestrator does and how it can assist with automation and orchestration. There are a lot of things that can be automated in a virtual environment. Orchestrator works with workflows. It has a workflow engine to make these processes and it comes with a number of standard workflows built it.

Orchestrator is also able to integrate with third party change management systems so changes can be scheduled and automatically handled, closed and documented results. It can also communicate with multiple vCenter servers so you only have to configure it once for your whole environment.

There are three parts to orchestrator:

  • Workflow Engine, this can react to scripts, scheduling, event triggers etc.
  • User Interface
  • Workflow Client, this is where you manage your workflows

Orchestrator is built on Java and will support future software versions of virtual infrastructure. Multiple database management systems are supported (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL) and it will come with an open API.

One thing I didn’t know is that LifeCycle Manager is a VMware Orchestrator ‘enabled’ application.

There are a lot of different use cases for Orchestrator. A lot of things that can be automated with Powershell scripting can be automated through Orchestrator so there may be a question about what the use is for Orchestrator. It could be valid for a specific organization to ask the question “should I buy this technology or build it myself?”.

That is always something to think about but all the functionality that is already in the product will make that decision easy I think. It is interesting however that Powershell integration is not available *right now*.

Projected release date is 1H09.

Update: I had a chance to ask the presenter about the status of Powershell integration and he commented there is a lot of work being done to integrate this into the product but that it necessitated a partial redesign or re-architecture of the application. According to him it is not a question of if but a question of when they will be able to get this done.

4 Responses to “vCenter Orchestrator Session”

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