Book Review: Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator Cookbook


I am having the chance to review another Packt Publishing book about System Center component. As you can see from the post title this book will help you get started in the Orchestrator world. Authors of the book three very well know community members – Samuel Erskine (MCT), Andreas Baumgarten (MVP) and Steven Beaumont.

The book consists of 9 chapters which total 318 pages. The first two chapters deal with installing and designing Orchestrator. From them you will learn the architecture of Orchestrator, how to install it and how to plan Orchestrator for high availability. The third chapters takes to the heart of Orchestrator – the runbooks. Not only you will understand what is runbook but also you will learn how to plan them, document them and make them. Planning and documenting runbooks is significant part of creating them so this is important chapter. Next five chapters cover five different integration packs – Active Directory IP, Configuration Manager IP, Operations Manager IP, Virtual Machine Manager IP and Service Manager IP. These five IPs are probably the most used one also and definitely one of the first tasks that you will want to automate will be related to them. The good part about these chapters is that they provide very detailed steps on how to create more than a dozen runbooks covering different scenarios. You can use the instruction to create these runbooks in your lab environment by using minimum resources. The runbook examples are very close to real scenarios because not only the activities in the integration packs are used but also PowerShell. In real world PowerShell is leveraged a lot for accomplishing more advanced tasks. In the last 9th chapter are covered some advanced techniques like child runbooks, error handling, logging and looping.

As summary if you would like to learn Orchestrator this book is definitely a source for learning that you should consider. It will give you the initial knowledge and the advanced one you can have with creating more and more runbooks. If you like the book you can find it in one of these stored:

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