As with the ever-elusive single definition of the ‘cloud’, there seem to be just as many definitions of cloud orchestration. This is part of the fun of being in a young industry. As innovation builds on innovation, the goal posts and definitions move. Cloud orchestration is no exception. Since cloud orchestration is effectively the glue that binds the cloud together and enables it to deliver on its promises, its definition is intrinsically linked to that of cloud computing. As people’s expectations and realisations evolve of what cloud computing should do, the definition of cloud orchestration will also.
To kick things off, here’s a few definitions that have been bandied about:
“automation, allowing public private, and hybrid clouds to operate with elasticity, scale, and efficiency to move at the ‘Speed of the Cloud’” (Source: Zenoss)
“simply facilitating the programmatic provisioning and de-provisioning of resources necessary for a cloud infrastructure” (Source: O’Reilly)
Or for a more prescriptive definition:
“the ability to control and arrange a set of underlying technology infrastructures (hardware and hypervisor) and match with the intended commands inputted by the users to create set of automated events that deliver the request with the maximum efficiency” (Source: How to build a cloud)
We find that evolving definitions aren’t too helpful, so we have sought to simplify matters. If you look for our definition in the Q&A, we define cloud orchestration as the following:
“the ability to manage, co-ordinate and provision all parts of a customer solution automatically, with no admin intervention, ideally from a self-service interface. Much like a conductor conducts an orchestra making all the instruments/performers are in tune and in time.
Or put it even more simply, we believe cloud orchestration is “the ability to manage all elements of a cloud platform from physical to virtual resources.”
But putting definitions aside, the most important point of cloud orchestration is not what it is, but what it does. As a user, provider or reseller of cloud services, all that matters is that cloud orchestration makes your cloud services better – if it makes your cloud services more scalable, instantly-deployable, efficient, simpler-to-use, easier to bill and manage, then you are looking at cloud orchestration. If it doesn’t, then you should probably talk to us.
Let me know if you have an alternative definition of cloud orchestration.