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While VMware's vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation share some overlapping functions, Automation is intended primarily for the cloud and Orchestrator is a straightforward automation tool. Highly extensible tools, such as Orchestrator and Automation, can help organizations define and develop a comprehensive menu of IT services, implement workflow controls, establish clear reporting, and maintain consistency and compliance for the organization.
VMware designed vRealize Automation and Orchestrator to be extensible tools to interface and interact with a multitude of external technologies, such as configuration management databases, systems management tools, load balancers and DNS servers. VMware claims this extensibility allows vRealize tools to serve longer and in a wider range of enterprise environments than might be possible for any one ubiquitous tool.
But there's a deeper aspect to extensibility that's even more relevant here, and that's the idea of "lifecycle extensibility" -- the ability to add custom logic to the various steps that typically compose the default machine lifecycle pattern. There are numerous examples of how extensibility allows more functionality to be inserted into the default machine lifecycle process. For instance, when a new VM is created, a service architect could add a record to an external change or configuration management tool, or receive an IP address from an external DHCP server. As another example, when a VM is imported, it is possible to add checks for software updates, security and compliance. When a VM expires, the machine lifecycle process can be augmented to automatically move the VM to near-line or archival storage, while the configuration management tool is updated to reflect the lower business costs.
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