IT orchestration: what it is, types and orchestration tools

IT orchestration is increasingly transcending the boundaries between business areas, products, and the IT team itself. With the expansion of servers, automations, and applications, manually managing an IT ecosystem is an impossible and non-scalable task.

Orchestration is the management of automated tasks and their configurations across all system groups, ensuring a more efficient and integrated operation. Orchestration is essential for modern operations that aim to move towards hyperautomation.

In this article, we will cover the different types of orchestration, such as process orchestration, robotic process automation (RPA), cloud, and containers.

We will also bring benefits and types of valuable orchestration tools (orchestrators) for IT and automation leaders.

What is IT orchestration?

IT Orchestration is a systematic approach to coordinating and automating complex processes and task chains. This methodology allows organizations to integrate and manage applications, automations, and systems in different environments. 

It helps IT leaders to manage complex workflows and tasks more efficiently, ensuring the execution of operations in the correct order and with the necessary precision.

What is the difference between IT automation and IT orchestration?

IT automation focuses on simplifying and executing individual tasks without human intervention, while IT orchestration addresses the integrated coordination and management of multiple tasks and automated processes. 

While automation is essential for efficiency in isolated tasks, orchestration is key to effectiveness in complex workflows. It integrates multiple automated tasks in different systems for cohesive and efficient functioning.

Types of orchestration

Process Orchestration

Process orchestration combines software and management strategies to map, manage, and monitor business processes. This involves integrating different business functions, applications, and data, ensuring that each step of the process is executed correctly and that systems communicate with each other.

RPA Orchestration

RPA orchestration is the management and coordination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in an organization. This orchestration involves monitoring and managing software robots that simulate human actions to perform repetitive tasks. 

This includes the following aspects:

  • Task distribution among bots;
  • Workload management;
  • Maintenance and updating of automation scripts;
  • Performance monitoring and exception handling.

Learn more: Python RPA: Understanding the automation culture

Cloud orchestration

Cloud Orchestration is the coordination of cloud computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networks. This orchestration allows the automated management of infrastructure, services, and applications in cloud environments.

It optimizes provisioning, load balancing, and scalability, in addition to facilitating disaster recovery and the implementation of security policies.

Container orchestration

Focuses on the automation and coordination of containers in systems like Docker and Kubernetes. Includes automating provisioning, deployment, scaling, networking, and container lifecycle management. Essential for microservices environments, it facilitates portability, operational consistency, and scalability of applications.

Security orchestration

Uses tools to detect, analyze, and respond to security threats more effectively and in real-time. Includes integrating different SOAR (Security Orchestration Automation and Response) solutions to collect data on security threats and respond to security events.

Includes, for example, the management of intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and anomaly detection systems, for a coordinated response to security incidents.

Application orchestration

Involves the synchronization and management of two or more software applications. This includes integrating different applications, synchronizing data and processes between systems, facilitating communication and collaboration between different platforms and departments.

Service orchestration

Focuses on the coordination of microservices, networks, APIs, and data services. Essential for companies operating in multiple environments, ensuring efficient service delivery, optimizing resource use, and improving the end-user experience.

Data orchestration

Is the coordination of data flow within an organization. Includes collecting, processing, transforming, and delivering data to analysis and business intelligence systems. This orchestration allows organizations to manage large volumes of data efficiently, ensuring the security and accessibility of data.

What are the benefits of orchestration?

IT orchestration offers a series of significant advantages for organizations of all sizes and sectors, including:

  • Operational efficiency: automation of complex processes and routine tasks, freeing the IT team from manual tasks to focus on strategic tasks;
  • Cost reduction: better use of licenses and reduction of costs with automation and management solutions;
  • Increased performance: orchestration ensures consistent and error-free execution of processes, improving the quality of services;
  • Agility and quick response to changes: the ability to quickly adapt business processes to new demands, thanks to the flexibility of orchestrated systems;
  • Enhanced compliance and security: orchestration helps in applying these policies across the IT environment;
  • Scalability: facilitates the scaling of IT resources to meet varying demands, without the need to rebuild processes or infrastructures.

Orchestrator: what are some orchestration tools?

There are various tools available on the market to facilitate IT orchestration. When choosing your orchestrators, it is crucial to evaluate the specific needs of the organization, compatibility with existing systems, and ease of integration with other applications and platforms.

Below, check out some types of orchestrators and examples.

Business Process Automation (BPM)

Business Process Management (BPM) tools provide a framework for modeling, executing, monitoring, and optimizing business processes, integrating different systems and applications.

RPA Orchestration Platforms

Tools like BotCity, UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere enable the creation, management, and scaling of RPA bots to automate repetitive tasks.

Learn more: RPA Orchestration: How to deploy any type of automation in BotCity Maestro

Cloud orchestration tools

Tools like AWS CloudFormation and Terraform allow the creation, configuration, and management of cloud resources in an automated way.

Container orchestration tools

Kubernetes and Docker Swarm are examples of platforms that facilitate container orchestration, managing their lifecycle and ensuring that applications are executed reliably.

Security orchestration tools (SOAR)

These platforms, like Splunk Phantom, integrate security solutions and automate responses to security incidents.

Data orchestration solutions

Tools like Apache NiFi and Talend assist in managing the data flow, facilitating the collection, processing, and distribution of data in an organization.

How to choose the best orchestrator for your business?

When choosing orchestration tools, consider the business need, ease of use, scalability, audit capability, and analysis tools.

The chosen tool should align with the company’s goals and objectives, be intuitive, adaptable to the organization’s growth, provide a clear audit trail, and be capable of analyzing relevant data.

BotCity for RPA orchestration

If your company already has a robotic process automation (RPA) initiative, you should pay attention. This is because, as RPA initiatives scale up, different areas start to have more automations in critical processes, with more complexity and bringing results.

At this point, the challenges become others, such as optimizing a multi-vendor architecture and governance of the RPA operation. After all, manual orchestration becomes unviable.

BotCity is an enterprise orchestrator that was developed to meet RPA initiatives in complex environments, especially those using Python as a scripting language.

Its main benefits for RPA developers and RPA leaders include:

  • Centralized Bot Management: a clear and controlled view of all automations in progress. This facilitates monitoring, maintenance, and updating of bots;
  • Flexible scheduling: scheduling tasks for bots and intelligent workload distribution among them. This ensures efficiency and optimization of processing time, avoiding operational bottlenecks;
  • Real-time monitoring and alerts: monitor bot performance in real-time and respond quickly to irregularities;
  • Advanced user management: access control and permissions, ensuring that only authorized users can create or modify bots;
  • Easy integration with RPA tools and frameworks: the tool is designed to orchestrate automations in different infrastructures, applications, and programming languages;
  • Scalability: BotCity’s orchestrator can handle a growing number of bots and tasks with the best cost-benefit, with no license lock-in.

Schedule a conversation with our experts or, if you want to try the orchestrator yourself, create a free account!

Gabriel is co-founder and CTO at BotCity. He is one of the maintainers of BotCity Core, Marvin, and MarvinJ open-source frameworks. Follow me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielarchanjo/

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