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What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Orchestrator

August 26th, 2013

VMware has announced its latest update to version 5.5 of its global virtualisation powerhouse, vCloud Suite.

To read the updates for all the suite components, see my post: What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Introduction

vCenter Orchestrator has a generous update to be optimised for bigger and better clouds with significant improvements in scalability and high availability.

There is now a more simplified and efficient development experience with new debugging and failure diagnostic capabilities in the vCenter Orchestrator client.


What’s New:

New Workflow debugger – You are now able to re-run workflows in debug mode without having to type the last known values for the workflow input parameters. User inputs are automatically stored and populated for the consequent workflow execution.

New Workflow Schema – Auto-scaling and auto-placing capabilities have always been part of vCenter Orchestrator Client. You can now also use non-stick placement while designing your workflow activity diagram.

New Scripting API Explorer – Consistent navigation is an important part of workflow development efficiency. The Scripting API Explorer has now been enhanced with out-of- the-box browsing history. The new Back button in the explorer allows you to navigate in reverse chronological order through the history of scripting objects they have recently worked with.

New Security Improvements – The latest vCenter Orchestrator Appliance contains a complete set of security improvements including OS updates and security hardening script enhancements.

Improved scalability and high availability – You can now plan vCenter Orchestrator deployments with cloud scalability in mind by using the out-of-the-box clustering capabilities of the Orchestrator platform. A new cluster mode provides greater availability of the engine and enables dynamic scale-up and scale-down of orchestration capacity when used with an external load balancer. If an Orchestrator server fails part-way through a workflow run, another Orchestrator node can now take over and complete the workflow with no service interruption.

More efficient workflow development experience – The new debugging feature enables you to more quickly and easily troubleshoot and test automated use cases. You can also set breakpoints on workflow activities, step into them and watch variable values during the debugging process. You can resume a workflow from a failed state for the consequent execution of a custom workflows. New libraries of workflow icons help make the vCenter Orchestrator client experience more intuitive and customisable.

Improved integration with the vSphere Web Client Beside the auto-discovery options for vCenter Orchestrator into the vSphere Web Client, you can now manage and monitor the vCenter Orchestrator instances or add them on demand directly from the vSphere Web Client.

REST API enhancements – The new 5.5 release makes it easier to use the vCenter Orchestrator REST API with enhancements in JSON support and simpler integration with vCenter Single Sign-On. The Orchestrator environment can now be programmatically configured to more easily deploy Orchestrator instances not only for test and development purposes but scaling up automation capacity as demand increases. The enhancements mean you can use Orchestrator workflows in a localised environment if the dedicated property files are used for the specific language.

  1. August 26th, 2013 at 21:12 | #1

    It’s about time!!! We’ve been asking for these features for over two years. Hard not to have the Debug feature in an ‘Enterprise’ product.

    Thanks for posting the updates Julian.

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