Feature Performance Considerations


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Orchestrator, System Center 2012 - Orchestrator, System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator

Despite the great deal of variance in their design and visual complexity, runbooks are essentially very simple. Runbooks all essentially do three things: Run activities, manage published data, and branch.

Orchestrator Feature Functions

Additionally, runbook activities can be thought of as having two distinct types of code: Platform code and domain code. The term domain code is used to identify code called within a runbook activity typically not associated with the Orchestrator product itself. For example, the Invoke Web Service standard activity would contain Orchestrator platform code (the “plumbing” of the activity) as well as domain code unique to invoking a web service. The platform code will be unique but similar for most activities, since it is built from a common framework. However, there will potentially be great variation in domain code for different activities.

Essentially, Orchestrator runbooks are designed to pass data between discrete elements of domain code.

While technically not mandatory, every activity generally consumes published data created by prior runbook activities. What a given activity does with published data it subscribes to is entirely up to the domain code.

All runbook activities create published data, which is referred to as Common Published Data. Domain code will generally create published data, generally referred to as Activity Specific Published Data. This data will be as unique to a given activity as the domain code itself. Also, it’s not required that domain code produce published data.

The data produced by a given activity can contain data elements that are single or multi-valued. For example, every activity produces a single record of single-value data referred to as common published data. Domain code can produce multiple records of multi-value data.

Branching is a fundamental concept for Orchestrator. A given runbook activity will create a branch if it is the origin of two or more links whose filter conditions indicate there is data to pass to the activity at the end of the link. When a runbook is first invoked it consists of a single thread. When this thread encounters a runbook activity whose links require a branch, additional threads are created, one for each branch. Each thread takes as input the published data from the activity that created the branch. This data is correlated back to the prior activities in the runbook (hence the ability to subscribe to published data from prior activities).

The operator experience is based on two components: The Orchestration Console and the Web Service. The Orchestration Console is a Silverlight application that depends on the Web Service for its connection to the Orchestrator database. The Web Service is an IIS application that connects to the database. Hence the Web Service and Orchestration Console are very dependent on the performance of the Orchestrator 2012 database.

Parts of the Orchestrator 2012 database are new to the product and directly support the Web Service. However, parts of the Web Service depend on the legacy Opalis 6.3 database structure.

Additionally, while the Orchestration Console is dependent on the Web Service, it also has logic unique to its function as a user interface that will have its own performance characteristics.