Orchestration

Overview

Cloud orchestration is the use of programming technology, the usage is often discussed in the context of service-oriented architecture, virtualization, provisioning, converged infrastructure and dynamic datacentre topics in managing interconnections and interactions among workloads on public and private cloud infrastructure. It connects automated tasks into a cohesive workflow to accomplish a goal, with permissions oversight and policy enforcement which key IT and business processes to help streamline and simplify operations management for IT personnel as it ultimately results in a single process of workflow.

Cloud service orchestration therefore is the:

  • Stitching of software and hardware components together to deliver a defined Service
  • Connecting and automating of work flows when applicable to deliver a defined service

It is critical in the delivery of cloud services because:

  • Cloud is all about scale – automated work flows are essential
  • Cloud service delivery includes fulfilment assurance and billing
  • Cloud services delivery entails work flows in various technical and business domains.

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Orchestration together with Automation work to deliver services and applications on cloud infrastructure.

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There are three aspects to cloud orchestration:

  • Resource orchestration, where resources are allocated
  • Workload orchestration, where workloads are shared between the resources
  • Service orchestration, where services are deployed on servers or cloud environments.
  • Figure illustrates how cloud orchestration automates the services in all types of clouds—public, private, and hybrid.

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Many people think that orchestration and automation are the same thing, but orchestration is actually more complex. Automation usually focuses on a single task, while orchestration deals with the end-to-end process, including management of all related services, taking care of high availability (HA), post deployment, failure recovery, scaling, and more. Automation is usually discussed in the context of specific tasks, whereas orchestration refers to the automation of processes and workflows. Basically, orchestration automates the automation—specifically, the order that tasks take place across specific machines, especially where there are diverse dependencies.

Cloud orchestration platform benefits

Cloud orchestration is of interest to many IT organizations and DevOps adopters

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The manual process of setting up an environment involves multiple steps. Using an orchestrator tool, it’s easy to quickly configure, provision, deploy, and develop environments, integrate service management, monitoring, backup, and security services—and all of these steps are repeatable.

Orchestration software helps IT organizations standardize templates and enforce security practices. It is also a good defence against VM sprawl — providing visibility into, and control over, cloud resources and, implicitly, costs. Because the orchestrator platform oversees interactions of many disparate elements of the application stack, it can simplify the communication and connections from one workload to other apps and users, as well as ensure links are correctly configured and maintained. Such products usually include a web-based portal, so orchestration can be managed through a single pane of glass

The centralized nature of an orchestration platform enables administrators to review and improve automation scripts and in advanced organizations, developers and line-of-business workers can turn to cloud orchestration software as a self-service mechanism to deploy resources; administrators can use it to track the organization’s reliance on various IT offerings and manage chargebacks.

Orchestration tools

Various tools and techniques are available for orchestration, each of which are appropriate for specific cases

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