Updated: November 1, 2013
Applies To: System Center 2012 - Orchestrator, System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, System Center 2012 SP1 - Orchestrator
IT administrators perform many tasks and procedures to keep the health of their computing environment up-to-date and their business running. Tasks might include the following diverse activities, for example, new employees require that accounts and resources are configured, a business acquisition requires integrating a system from another vendor, and new hardware requires provisioning. Individual tasks and subtasks are automated, but typically, not the whole process. In addition, the administrators must maintain quality standards and system efficiency. System Center 2012 - Orchestrator can tie disparate tasks and procedures together by using the graphical user-interface Runbook Designer to create reliable, flexible, and efficient end-to-end solutions in the IT environment.
By using Orchestrator, you can carry out the following tasks:
Automate processes in your data center, regardless of hardware or platform.
Automate your IT operations and standardize best practices to improve operational efficiency.
Connect different systems from different vendors without having to know how to use scripting and programming languages.
Orchestrator provides tools to build, test, debug, deploy, and manage automation in your environment. These automated procedures, called runbooks, can function independently or start other runbooks. The standard activities defined in every installation of Orchestrator provide a variety of monitors, tasks, and runbook controls with which you can integrate a wide range of system processes. Each activity in a runbook publishes data that is available to any subsequent activity in that runbook. You use this Published Data to provide dynamic, decision-making capabilities, which can include creating emails, alerts, log files, accounts, and more.
Your IT organization can use Orchestrator to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs to support cross-departmental objectives. Orchestrator provides an environment with shared access to common data. By using Orchestrator, you can evolve and automate key processes between groups and consolidate repetitive manual tasks. You can automate cross-functional team processes and enforce best practices for incident, change, and service management by creating runbooks that are customized for your requirements. Through automation, regularly recurring tasks reduce the number of manual and error-prone activities in your environment. Orchestrator helps you improve the reliability and predictability of your IT procedures.
Orchestrator integrates with System Center, other Microsoft products, and non-Microsoft products to enable interoperability across the data center. Orchestrator improves efficiency across multiple tools, systems, and departments by eliminating or crossing technology and organizational process structures. You can extend the capabilities of Orchestrator with integration packs that include additional functionality for both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products and technologies. Orchestrator activities and integration packs reduce unanticipated errors and shorten service delivery time by automating the common tasks associated with enterprise tools and products.
Orchestration is the collective name for the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of systems, software, and practices. It enables the management of complex cross-domain processes. Orchestrator provides the tools for orchestration to combine software, hardware, and manual processes into a seamless system. These tools let you connect and automate workflows.
Just as manufacturing companies have automated common and repeatable tasks from their production processes, you can adopt this same efficiency in the IT environment by using Orchestrator to seamlessly perform and monitor your IT processes. Orchestrator can handle routine tasks, process enforcement, and reliably meet the demands of the largest enterprises. Orchestrator integrates seamlessly with other System Center products to integrate IT administrative tasks from start to finish.
If you have a custom in-house solution, Orchestrator provides extensible integration to any system through the Orchestrator Integration Toolkit. You can create custom integrations that allow Orchestrator to connect to any environment.
Orchestrator uses a Representational State Transfer (REST)-based web service that can perform processes like start and stop runbook jobs and get reporting information in Open Data protocol (OData) format. The web service lets you develop applications that can use live data from Orchestrator.
Other ResourcesGetting Started with System Center 2012 - Orchestrator
For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.
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