Child runbooks in Orchestrator: Automating an uniquely named,fully patched VM with basic apps installed.

I always see people comparing PowerShell with Orchestrator, or thinking of Orchestrator as a GUI for PowerShell. From my point of view the real power of Orchestrator lies in its capabilities to integrate at different levels to multiple systems and bring them together in a simple “runbook”.

Finally in this post, we can bring together all the previous runbooks and get to experiment with child runbooks. For this all the previous runbooks have to be ready:

Another prerequisite for this runbook is having a VM template (with Windows 7 in my case) ready for deployment.

Scenario

The main idea, when creating these little runbooks, was to have a VM that:

  • Was auto generated
  • Has an unique name that complies with a specific standard
  • Is fully patched
  • Has a minimum of applications installed

Following this scenario, we easily get to connect to Active Directory, Exchange, SCCM and SCVMM. And we could go even further, by integrating this runbook with SCSM, for change management (future post).

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Orchestrating Software Updates and Applications Deployment

This scenario continues the idea of the automatically generated virtual machine, adding automatic patching and basic application deployment. All the pieces will fit together in the next post.

With this example I want to point out that you don’t necessarily have to do everything in Orchestrator. Since it relies a lot on SCCM, there is a lot of flexibility in this runbook, it’s up to you how much do you automate in Orchestrator and what it remains to be done in SCCM.

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