What is new in VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.5

At VMworld 2013 VMware announced VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.5

This post is part of a series of posting on the VMworld 2013 announcements. See this post for an overview of what has been announced at VMworld 2013.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator is an IT Process Automation engine that helps automate your cloud and integrate the VMware vCloud Suite with the rest of your management systems. Orchestration saves time, removes manual errors, reduces operating expenses, and simplifies IT management. VMware vCenter Orchestrator allows administrators and architects to develop complex automation tasks within the workflow designer, then quickly access and launch workflows directly from within the vSphere Client or via various triggering mechanisms.

With this release, vCenter Orchestrator is greatly optimized for growing clouds because of significant improvements in scalability and high availability. Workflow developers can benefit from a more simplified and efficient development experience provided by the new debugging and failure diagnostic capabilities in the vCenter Orchestrator client.

• New Workflow debugger Workflow developers are now able to re-run their workflows in debug mode without necessity to type the last known values for the workflow input parameters. The user inputs are automatically stored and populated for the consequent workflow execution.

• New Workflow Schema Auto-scaling and auto-placing capabilities have always been the great charm of vCenter Orchestrator Client. In addition to these, experience workflow developers can also use non-stick placement while designing the workflow activity diagram.

• New Scripting API Explorer Consistent navigation is an essential component of the overall workflow development efficiency. Based on this. the Scripting API Explorer is now enhanced with out-of-the-box browsing history. The new Back button, available in the explorer will allow workflow developers to navigate, in reverse chronological order, through the history of scripting objects they have recently worked with.

• New Security Improvements The new build of the vCenter Orchestrator Appliance contains a complete set of security improvements, including Operating System updates and security hardening script enhancements.

• Improved scalability and high availability Datacenter architects are now able to plan vCenter Orchestrator deployments with cloud scalability in mind, by using the out-of-the-box clustering capabilities of the Orchestrator platform. The new Orchestrator cluster mode provides much greater availability of the engine and enables dynamic scale-up and scale-down of orchestration capacity when used in conjunction with external load balancer. If an Orchestrator server were to become unavailable mid-way through a workflow run, another Orchestrator node can now take over and complete the workflow with no service interruption.

• More efficient workflow development experience The new debugging feature enables workflow developers to troubleshoot and test their automated use cases quickly and easily, making for a more efficient development experience. Workflow developers are now able to set breakpoints on workflow activities, step into them and watch variable values at various steps of the debugging procedure. In addition, they can also resume a workflow from a failed state for the consequent execution of their custom workflows. Finally, new libraries of workflow icons also help make the vCenter Orchestrator client experience more intuitive and customizable as ever.

• Improved integration with the vSphere Web Client Beside the auto-discovery options for vCenter Orchestrator into vSphere Web Client, virtual infrastructure administrator are allowed to manage and monitor the vCenter Orchestrator instances or add them on demand directly from the vSphere Web Client.

• REST API enhancements Release 5.5 facilitates the usage of vCenter Orchestrator REST API because of enhancements in JSON support and simplified integration with vCenter Single Sign-On. The Orchestrator environment can now be programmatically configured to more easily deploy Orchestrator instances not only for test and development purposes but also to scale up automation capacity as demand increases. Beyond this, it also provides the major capability to leverage Orchestrator workflows in a localized environment if the dedicated property files are used for the specific language.

more info on new features here.

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