Orchestration: What Is Really Behind This Overloaded And Overused Term? (2018)

By Alon Bernstein, Cisco Systems

Automation! Orchestration! These two magical words solve everything… with a click of a button OPEX shrinks to nothing. But not so fast…the software that drives automation and orchestration behind the scene is complex and highly customized and it cannot eliminate the inherent complexity of a service provider network, the data center and the outside plant. It can only help manage this complexity. It can’t eliminate existing processes, but it can turn them from manually operated ones to a software operated processes.

Furthermore, the transition to the cloud native world, which is even more distributed and large scale (hence complex) then existing systems, makes automation and orchestration become more then OPEX reduction tools. It’s impossible to operationalize these highly distributed systems without automation and orchestration.

This paper will attempt to separate fact from fiction when it comes to automation and orchestration. It will outline the steps required to go from a swivel chair process to an automated one and along the way explain the key concepts and layering required for automation.

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