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Guide to IT Orchestration: Benefits, Use Cases & Tools in 2024

Businesses need to streamline processes and implement digital transformation strategies. IT orchestration is a vital asset that can help businesses during their digital transformation by automating the configuration, coordination, and management of computer systems and software.

This article is an in-depth guide to orchestration outlining its benefits and use cases.

What is an orchestration tool?

Orchestration tools are a type of software that can automate the configuration, coordination, integration, and data management processes on several applications and systems. IT teams leverage orchestration tools to automate repetitive tasks in these processes such as server provisioning, incident management, cloud orchestration, database management, application orchestration, and many other tasks and workflows.

What is the difference between IT automation and orchestration?

IT automation refers to the practice of using programmed scripts or RPA bots to perform a sequence of moves to complete a certain IT task (e.g. software update), whereas IT orchestration refers to automating multiple tasks on one or multiple platforms (e.g. multiple server management) using workload automation software, and job schedulers. Therefore, orchestration can be thought of as an end-to-end workflow automation solution.

What are the benefits of IT orchestration?

Orchestration offers multiple benefits to IT teams, such as:

  1. Centralized management: Orchestration enables IT teams to automate tasks across multiple platforms from a single point, which provides centralized monitoring and management over all IT servers, applications, and workflows.
  2. Fast and easy integrations: Centralized coordination among IT servers and applications enables easier and faster integration of new tools and systems to the existing infrastructure.
  3. Reduced product-release cycles: Coordinating IT workflows such as DevOps and automation testing enables faster time to release new products and applications.

Where is orchestration used?

Orchestration is used for:

1. Unified IT workflow automation

Orchestration tools enable scheduling and execution of IT jobs and workflows across multiple platforms, as well as initiating workflows at triggering events, thus, automating repetitive IT process workflows.

2. DevOps orchestration

DevOps is the set of practices that combines software development and IT operations in order to reduce software development lifecycle (SDLC). Orchestration tools enhance DevOps lifecycles by:

  • Automating IT processes relevant to DevOps, such as machine provisioning, system reboots, or task scheduling
  • Auto reporting of process errors, fails, and interruptions
  • Creating a product backlog and revision history for audit and compliance

3. Cloud orchestration

Cloud orchestration is the practice of automating cloud-related tasks, including:

  • provisioning and de-provisioning of virtual machines on multiple clouds
  • provisioning storage capacity

Orchestration provides enhanced management of connections and operations of workloads on private and public clouds.

What are the tools used for orchestration?

Depending on the tasks and workflows, businesses can leverage the following types of tools and software for orchestration:

  • Job schedulers: Job schedulers are tools that businesses use to schedule the initiation of workflows by creating queues of tasks, assigning tasks to servers, and monitoring the execution.
  • Workload automation (WLA) tools: WLA tools enable the automation of several back-end workflows by scheduling, triggering, and executing processes on multiple platforms. The difference between WLA tools and job schedulers is that job schedulers typically do not incorporate triggering events (e.g. run tasks based on set times instead of triggering events)

Note that job schedulers and WLA are different tools. Learn more about differences between job schedulers vs. WLA.

Further reading

To learn more about automation and orchestration of IT processes, feel free to read our articles:

Check our data-driven automation hub where we keep comprehensive up-to-date lists of top tools and vendors.

To gain a more comprehensive overview of workload automation, download our whitepaper on the topic:

Explore Workload Automation

And let us guide you through the process:

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Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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