Orchestration Concepts

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Orchestration
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1 Overview

Service automation is part of every instance and includes graphical workflows. Workflows automate multi-step processes within a ServiceNow instance. Orchestration extends workflows to interact with systems and applications outside the instance.

Examples of systems and applications outside an instance include:

  • VMware products
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • OpenStack
  • Puppet Labs products
  • OpsWare

These systems and applications are not part of a subscription service with ServiceNow. Interacting with these systems and applications using a workflow requires Orchestration.

2 Orchestration Components

Orchestration makes it easy for customers to adopt a solution, experience quick success, and expand the solution over time. As customers experience success, they can incrementally add Orchestration components to their subscription.

Orchestration Core is the entry point into the Orchestration product line. Customers that want to use workflows to automate processes outside their instance require Orchestration core. Each customer requires only one entitlement of Orchestration core.

Orchestration Activity Packs are bundles of workflow activities for use with Orchestration core. ServiceNow offers activity packs for Cloud Provisioning.

Custom Orchestration Activities allows customers to define new Orchestration activities that meet their unique needs. Custom Orchestration activities extend the library of available Orchestration activities. Custom Orchestration activities are licensed and sold in packs of 10 and 200.

Cloud Provisioning is an Orchestration application. A customer must first own Orchestration core before purchasing cloud provisioning. ServiceNow offers cloud provisioning activity packs for VMware vCenter and Amazon EC2. Customers that purchase cloud provisioning can choose one activity pack. Customers that want to provision both VMware and Amazon EC2 VMs must have both activity packs.

Cloud Provisioning Catalog Items extend the power of the ServiceNow Cloud Provisioning application. A cloud provisioning catalog item is an Amazon EC2 or VMware virtual machine image offered in the ServiceNow service catalog and provisioned using the Cloud Provisioning application. An initial purchase of the Cloud Provisioning application includes 10 cloud provisioning catalog items.

3 Runbook

Runbook is the product offering that preceded Orchestration. Runbook had a different product structure and license model but used the same core technology as Orchestration. Prior to the Dublin release, all instances display Runbook instead of Orchestration, regardless of pricing model.

3.1 Why Orchestration?

In Calgary, ServiceNow introduced the concept of an Orchestration Application, such as Cloud Provisioning. These are applications built on Orchestration and the ServiceNow platform that accelerate adoption of automation for common scenarios. With the introduction of a new product built on Orchestration came the need to build a product structure to license these applications.

Runbook pricing was discontinued as of April 1, 2013. After this date, only Orchestration pricing is available for new orders. Existing Runbook customers can continue to license Runbook, however they may not purchase Orchestration products until they have fully converted to Orchestration pricing, including activity packs and Orchestration applications.

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