A cloud orchestrator is software that manages the interconnections and interactions among cloud-based and on-premises business units. Cloud orchestrator products use workflows to connect various automated processes and associated resources. The products usually include a management portal.
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Orchestration, in an IT context, is the automation of tasks involved with managing and coordinating complex software and services. The endeavor is more complex in a cloud environment because it involves interconnecting processes running across heterogeneous systems in multiple locations. Processes and transactions have to cross multiple organizations, systems and firewalls.
The goal of cloud orchestration is to, insofar as is possible, automate the configuration, coordination and management of software and software interactions in such an environment. The process involves automating workflows required for service delivery. Tasks involved include managing server runtimes, directing the flow of processes among applications and dealing with exceptions to typical workflows.
Vendors of cloud orchestration products include Eucalyptus, Flexiant, IBM, Microsoft, VMware and V3 Systems.
The term “orchestration” originally comes from the study of music, where it refers to the arrangement and coordination of instruments for a given piece.