Orchestrator is AWESOME, but WHERE DO I START? [PCITRW]

In this installment of “Private Cloud in the Real World” (PCITRW), we’re back on the topic of runbook automation (RBA). System Center Orchestrator 2012 is perhaps THE hottest product in the System Center 2012 family, providing the basis for integration across all members of the suite. It’s also SIMPLE to learn…mostly. There is a question that hands-on labs won’t answer for you. And at MMS 2012 , I had many attendees, friends and customers (more than a dozen!) asking:

We’re sold on Orchestrator 2012, but where do we start?

While Microsoft mentions (and I am paraphrasing here) “any process that can be predictably and consistently automated is a candidate for runbook automation (RBA)”, not all candidates are created equal. There are a couple of resources I recommend to get a fix on the best targets for RBA in your environment.

Most importantly, I recently wrote an article to provide a roadmap for this very question, called “ROI for RBA: Considerations and Best Practices for Runbook Automation Planning, a document in which I provide some decision criteria to help organizations of all sizes identify where to obtain greatest benefit. This is intended to be a “living document” and thus may change over time as the discussion evolves.

On a similar note, we discussed this topic at length in the “Inside Central Podcast #19, “ROI for Runbook Automation“. 

And if you’re looking for concepts and hands-on to get ramped on Orchestrator, don’t miss the Orchestrator 2012 Jumpstart series, the first three installments of which are listed in the resources below.

Additional Resources

In the months since Microsoft acquired Opalis, I have written several articles to help organizations get the most from runbook automation…the first time around. A few of these resources are listed here.

3 Tips for Better Runbook Manageability in the Enterprise

Exporting Orchestrator 2012 Runbooks via PowerShell

[Podcast] Inside Central 20 – SCOrch… Ask and you shall receive (Skilling up on SCOrch)

[Podcast] Inside Central 19–ROI on Runbook Automation

Orchestrator 2012 Jumpstart: Day 1– Runbook Concepts, Components and Databus Rules

Orchestrator Runbook Automation JumpStart: Part 2 – Advanced Features and Functionality

Orchestrator Runbook Automation Jumpstart (Part 3)–Bridging Gaps, Extending Capabilities, Best Practices

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