8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 27, 2009 6:59 AM by DougBaer

    Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?

    DougBaer Master
    VMware Employees

      I have been reading about Orchestrator as I can get information -- and I have read the manuals that come with vSphere.  Unfortunately, there is not a lot of meat in them.  I think it would help to see some examples of what Orchestrator can do, or what VMware wants it to do.


      Customers ask me about it constantly since VMware is pitching it as a big feature in vSphere, but I can't explain to them why they should care without some kind of example. The slides shown by the sales guys at the vSphere launch events are useless: basically a picture containing flowchart boxes and arrows and the word, "Orchestration" over it all.


      I am familiar with LCM and the Orchestrator backend. There were rumors of 'many examples' to be included with vCenter 4.0. I was envisioning hooks between Orchestrator and the currently anemic 'Scheduled Tasks' function of vCenter, but I haven't had time to go spelunking through the C:\Program Files\VMware directories yet.

        • 1. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
          heyitspablo Expert
          VMware Employees



          Thanks for the feedback, Ill take this up with Sia and team, we have been looking at adding Orchestrator sample code to the Code Central site to help people navigate,,, "spelunking" ???




          • 2. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
            stuartclements Hot Shot
            VMware Employees


            Hi Doug and Pablo,



            The Orchestrator examples were temporarily offline, but they are back on the Orchestrator docs page now.





















            1 person found this helpful
            • 4. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
              Hot Shot


              The propose of Orchestrator is many fold and perhaps a bit lengthy to discuss over a post.



              There are plenty of sample workflows in the GA version of Orchestrator.  ~300 as a matter of fact.



              The scheduling function is also available as a native feature within orchestrator so you can run workflows at predefined schedule. 






              Is there any thing else specific you are looking for?









              • 5. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
                DougBaer Master
                VMware Employees

                I understand that Orchestrator is very powerful and flexible, but I think I am asking for examples.  I realize that this was an entirely separate product from Dunes, but I'm interested to know what people are doing with it, and what VMware's ultimate goal is for this technology.  I've heard the marketing hype about wondrous automation accomplished by dragging and dropping tasks, and that worries me. I familiar enough with LCM and its Orchestrator backend -- that is not an install and off you go kind of thing.  It requires quite a bit of up front configuration. Customers say, "Great, now what can I do with it? I'm no developer, but I'd like to use the tools to help make my life easier". 


                I think I may be confused about the intended audience for Orchestrator and I'd like to clear that up.  Is Orchestrator intended to be a tool used by Developers or Administrators?  Both? I am definitely more interested in the Administration aspect at this point and the creation of something that I can demonstrate in our lab.


                Specifically, I'd appreciate something along the lines of CodeCentral (http://communities.vmware.com/community/developer/codecentral) for Orchestrator.  300+ examples?  Where?  Even the descriptions of these workflows would probably help me.

                • 6. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
                  Hot Shot

                  When Sia talked about 300+ workflows, he talks about the workflows library, distributed with each plug-ins. You can access each of them and get some code in it.


                  For a "user" perspective (I think the user you talk about is more an administrator), what he can do is to use basic workflow library element to assemble more complex workflow. Without coding (or just a few like string concatenation) you could create a huge workflow that will create all the VMs needed for a new employee.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 7. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
                    Hot Shot

                    Like I mentioned, we ship about 300 actions and workflows in the product by default.  Personally, when I need examples, this is where I look.  There are plenty of workflows that serve as good examples. 








                    We are aiming at both admins and workflow creators. 




                    • - For the admins, there are existing workflows in the library that I am sure they find useful right away.  More over, we are shipping additional workflows with every update release.  For example, in U1, we will likely be releasing workflows that help you find orphaned VMDKs in all your datastores that VC is unaware of.  These are workflows that an admin can run out of the box that is very useful right away.

                    • - For the workflow creators, vCO has been used to create incrediblly automated data centers that automate everything from storage and network provisioning to pupolating CMDB and reporting on virtual infrastructure.


                    if your goal is to create complex workflows, I would agree that this is a tool where you need to spend some time, make some investment before you can start seeing returns. But the typical VI admin should have no trouble running workflows out of the box.


                    However, creating a workflow, for example, creates a VM and email you the parameters, should be something that is not too difficult to accomplish since both workflows are included in the library and you would only need to create and link a bunch of variables together.










                    Descriptions of each workflow is actually a part of the workflow.  If you are interested, I would definitely encourage you to open up the vCO client and look at a workflow or two.  Seperately, we are working on a catalogue of workflows that are outside the client so people can look through them without the client.











                    • 8. Re: Orchestrator's purpose and sample code?
                      DougBaer Master
                      VMware Employees

                      Thank you!


                      This is exactly what I was looking for