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System Center Orchestrator 2012 Now With Beta Testers

Microsoft unleashed System Center Orchestrator 2012 to beta testers last week. The System Center solution that Microsoft originally acquired from Opalis in 2009 is designed to support runtime automation when working with datacenters. IT pros can use Orchestrator 2012 to create runbooks for System Center solutions that will work with third-party systems to help automate datacenter workloads, according to Microsoft's download page. A runbook is a list of procedures to help troubleshoot a system.

System Center Orchestrator 2012 specifically will help IT pros manage private clouds, according to Adam Hall, senior technical product manager for System Center Orchestrator, in a blog post. He suggested that when Orchestrator 2012 is released, users will be able to "create custom integrations to any system using the Quick Integration Kit." Manual errors can be reduced and service reliability can be improved by using the product, he added.

The product derives from Microsoft's acquisition of Opalis Software in December 2009. One of the key strengths of the Opalis technology, as noted by Microsoft at that time, was its integration with System Center products and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, as well as its ability to integrate with other infrastructure management products, such as solutions from BMC Software, CA, HP and others.

Microsoft's requirements description for Orchestrator 2012 indicates a number of product dependencies. Orchestrator requires Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, as well as .NET Framework 4 to run the console or Web service. Silverlight 4 is needed to support running the console. The management server, runbook server and Orchestrator Web service all run on Windows Server 2008 R2. The solution also has a Runbook Designer, which runs on Windows 7, as well as a Runbook Tester, which runs on Windows Server 2008 R2, according to the description.

Microsoft provides a table here showing the improvements made in the beta, as well as the improvements to come in the release-to-manufacturing version of Orchestrator 2012. More information about Orchestrator 2012 can be found via this Microsoft useful links compendium.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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