cloud orchestrator definition

A cloud orchestrator is programming that manages the interconnections and interactions among cloud-based and on-premises business units.

To orchestrate something is to arrange various components so they achieve a desired result. In an IT context, this involves combining tasks into workflows so the provisioning and management of various IT components and their associated resources can be automated. This endeavor is more complex in a cloud environment because it involves interconnecting processes running across heterogeneous systems in multiple locations.

Cloud orchestration products can simplify the intercomponent communication and connections to other apps and users and ensure that links are correctly configured and maintained. Such products usually include a Web-based portal so that orchestration can be managed through a single pane of glass

When evaluating cloud orchestration products, it is recommended that administrators first map the workflows of the applications involved. This step will help the administrator visualize how complicated the internal workflow for the application is and how often information flows outside the set of app components. This, in turn, can help the administrator decide which type of orchestration product will help automate workflow best and meet business requirements in the most cost-effective manner. 

This was first published in October 2015

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