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What is orchestration?

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Orchestration is the automated configuration, management, and coordination of computer systems, applications, and services. Orchestration helps IT to more easily manage complex tasks and workflows.

IT teams must manage many servers and applications, but doing so manually isn’t a scalable strategy. The more complex an IT system, the more complex managing all the moving parts can become. The need to combine multiple automated tasks and their configurations across groups of systems or machines increases. That’s where orchestration can help.

Automation and orchestration are different, but related concepts. Automation helps make your business more efficient by reducing or replacing human interaction with IT systems and instead using software to perform tasks in order to reduce cost, complexity, and errors. 

In general, automation refers to automating a single task. This is different from orchestration, which is how you can automate a process or workflow that involves many steps across multiple disparate systems. When you start by building automation into your processes, you can then orchestrate them to run automatically. 

IT orchestration also helps you to streamline and optimize frequently occurring processes and workflows, which can support a DevOps approach and help your team deploy applications more quickly

You can use orchestration to automate IT processes such as server provisioning, incident management, cloud orchestration, database management, application orchestration, and many other tasks and workflows.

Today’s IT brings complex deployments and challenges. You’ve got to deal with clustered applications, multiple datacenters, public, private, and hybrid clouds, and applications with complex dependencies. You need a tool that can orchestrate your processes simply and ensure that all tasks happen in the proper order.  

Cloud orchestration can be used to provision or deploy servers, assign storage capacity, create virtual machines, and manage networking, among other tasks. There are many different orchestration tools that can help you with cloud orchestration. Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform is one option.

If you’re after container orchestration, Kubernetes is an open source platform that automates Linux container operations. It eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications. There are also managed services available for orchestrating containers. 

Server configuration and management and application deployments can be orchestrated with a tool like Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. With application deployments you’ve got frontend and backend services, databases, monitoring, networks, and storage each with their own role to play and their own configuration and deployment.

Ansible Automation Platform’s clear syntax and task-based nature makes it possible to orchestrate these tasks and ensure they happen when they need to and in the right order. 

Ansible Automation Platform’s orchestration allows you to define your infrastructure once and use it wherever and however you need. Once you’ve got Playbooks that describe your multi-node production infrastructure, you can then use the same orchestration to deploy it on your laptop or in your private OpenStack cloud for testing.

The focus of IT has shifted from serving internal needs, like efficiency and cost control, to engaging with external customers and creating new business opportunities. That’s why Red Hat believes the traditional business automation model needs to evolve. Instead of focusing solely on streamlining processes, businesses need to develop new strategies to automate the business itself through orchestration. 

Red Hat works with the greater open source community on automation technologies. Our engineers help improve features, reliability, and security to make sure your business and IT performs and remains stable and secure. 

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform includes all the tools needed to implement enterprise-wide automation, including playbooks, a visual dashboard, and analytics.

Our solutions, services, and training give you the control you need to automate your business so you can focus on innovation and moving forward.

The platform you need for automation

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

A simple, agentless platform for building IT automation at scale. Centralize and control your IT infrastructure with a visual dashboard, role-based access control, and more.