We recently had the opportunity to evaluate a number of “IaaS” centric orchestrator products. Our finding was that many of the big name orchestrator products really all have the same functionality in terms of integration, extensibility, and plugin capabilities. You could almost argue that orchestration is now a commodity component of any private cloud. So what sets these orchestrators apart? Simplicity, OEM support, and community support.
Simplicity – How easily can an administrator/engineer pick up the product and figure it out on their own?
OEM Support – How many of the large OEMs are creating plugins (and related documentation) to integration with the orchestrator?
Community – How widely deployed is the product? Is the community active in documenting guides, tutorials, or troubleshooting?
These are the areas where vRO is shining right now. We have seen that the majority of IT shops run VMware for their hypervisor and through vSphere licensing they already own vRO. This makes vRO a product they usually already own and provides immediate “out-of-the-box” functionality with tight integration into vCenter for automating routine VM admin tasks like removing snapshots, migrating workloads, performing VM tools/hardware upgrades, and other VM tasks. Once these admins address basic VM management tasks, they quickly turn to the next step of automating windows/linux server builds. The first thing that happens is a Google search, “How to…..with VMware Orchestrator” and boom there are tens if not hundreds of articles on how to configure and use this tool. The number of IT experts that have picked up this tool and documented their adventures is like nothing before. The support of the community makes this tool quite viable without hiring temporary experts to do all the work. Then there is the OEM support, no matter which solution you are using for servers, network, CMDB, IPAM, monitoring, load balancing or firewalls; there is overwhelming numbers of plugin and supporting documentation for deployment/troubleshooting/extensibility. For these reasons we believe that the VMware Orchestrator product is the most widely deployed, simplest to use, and provides the greatest level of integration and extensibility. This is a powerful orchestrator!