SCO (System Center Orchestrator) 2012 Beta 1 – Overview

The next Release of Service Manager (SCSM 2012) will be available around end 2011. To drive automation to the next level, SCSM 2012 will contain a connector to System Center Orchestrator 2012 (today known as “Microsoft Opalis”) that allows us to import Runbooks (today known as “Workflows” or “Policies”) into the CMDB. The cool thing about that is, that these Runbooks can later be used as Activities within Service Requests or Change Requests to trigger Orchestrator Runbooks (push trigger). That means, that we will be able to trigger Runbooks to automate our IT Processes directly from the Business Services which really brings Datacenter Automation to the next level! In this blog post, I will give a short overview of SCO Beta 1 that was released some days ago.

Lets first take a short look at the different SCO components:

SCO Management Server Used for basic administration of the SCO infrastructure
SCO Database Stores settings, runbooks etc. from the SCO infrastructure
SCO Action Server Runs and monitors runbooks
SCO Runbook Designer Tool to design, edit and monitor runbooks
SCO Runbook Tester Tool to test runbooks before going in production
SCO Orchestrator Console Web-based console to monitor, start and stop runbooks
SCO Web Service Web-service for interaction with other systems, for instance System Center Service Manager 2012

In my test environment I installed a Management Server with the Orchestrator Web Console and the Web Service, two Action Servers and two Remote Designers. The installation process is easy and straightforward (as described in the Installation Guide). I documented the most important consoles and configurations in the following screenshots.

Deployment Manager

  • Deploy and manage Runbook Servers


  • Deploy and manage Runbook Designers


  • Register and deploy Integration Packs


Runbook Designer and Runbook Tester

  • Create and edit runbooks using Foundation Objects and Integration Packs


  • Test runbooks before going to production


Orchestrator Console

  • Start and stop runbooks


  • Provide input if needed by the started runbook and select Action Server to run the runbook (if nothing is selected, the default configuration of the Action Servers is used)


  • Monitor runbooks



As you can see, some things are almost identical to Opalis 6.3, others are new or extended. The most interesting part from a Service Manager perspective will be the import process to bring the runbooks to the CMDB (by using the new SCO connector) and use them in Service Requests. Unfortunately, we still have to wait a little bit for this missing part, but I will blog about that as soon as I am allowed to (when this information is public).


About Marcel Zehner

Microsoft Azure MVP
This entry was posted in System Center (without SCSM) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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