Today everything is about automation. Enterprises continue to look at automation to execute their time-intensive manual processes more efficiently and easily. The IT staff and consultants are making efforts to reduce manual human intervention as much as possible. Many a time, developers and IT consultants use the term orchestrations instead of automation. Well, there exists a blurred line between the two, and through this blog, we would try to see the difference between orchestration and automation.
Automation – In the simplest words, automation is a single technical task. It could be a simple task like a user filling an application form to get registered on an eCommerce site for the upcoming sale event and receiving the email/notification when it happens.
Orchestration – Orchestration is scheduling the automated tasks in a large-scale virtual environment. In other words, it is breaking a process in the multiple smaller tasks, automating them, assigning the transformation logic, feeding the output of one to another and thus creating a business workflow. The whole process is what defines orchestration; eventually producing the automated workflows. So, it is safer to say –
“Automation is a subset of Orchestration.”
In the world of cloud operations, orchestration is highly significant as it defines sequences and enables coordination between the automated tasks. It is responsible for the timely execution of these tasks in a streamlined manner to execute the workflow efficiently for obtaining the desired results. In other words,
“Orchestration is integrating several automated tasks to achieve the desired output”.
A growing enterprise typically needs to deal with a lot of tools, applications, technologies which means much automation at hand. To manage the configuration of such a complex scenario, data orchestration is required. Data orchestration can automate all the stages of software development; from code building to scheduling to deploying and all of these can be controlled through orchestration management. It enables automation from a diverse batch workflow from various systems, architectures, and applications hence helping in managing the cross-platform workflows.
“Orchestration is responsible for automation and coordination between various applications”.
In terms of functionality, automation at certain times might require human efforts to run the routine e.g. running a set of automated tasks in a pre-defined sequence. Orchestration is what combines and schedules these automated tasks into a larger codified process to create a seamless workflow.
In today’s time, when enterprises are in the middle of digitizing their operations, automation and orchestration are needed to support cloud computing to simplify the traditional IT deployments, movement of data from legacy applications and management of tasks to perform a specific operation in the specified time in a pre-defined sequence.
According to IDC, worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $1.97 trillion in 2022, with a CAGR of 16.7%. With digitization comes hundreds and thousands of cloud-based applications that need to be linked with each other and with on-premise applications to ensure business continuity and continuous delivery.
There are specialized integration solutions providers who provide an integration platform to connect these hybrid applications hosted on-premises or on the cloud. The integration platform provides inbuilt connectors that can be quickly used as a plug and play in seamlessly connecting two different applications or separate systems. Thus, the integration platform provides the application automation eliminating the need for human intervention for manually writing the code to integrate and eventually improves the efficiency.
But how these disparate automation tasks will coordinate themselves? How the workflow sequence is defined?
Orchestration is essential to provide end-to-end automation workflow and coordination between the automated tasks. This will not only bring these tasks together but also add sequence, dynamic scaling, security functions and governance to the whole workflow environment. Orchestration is what makes these applications communicate to users and other apps.
Few solutions like DXchange integration cloud offers an orchestration platform and not an automation platform, unlike most of the low code iPaaS solutions. This solution enables integration even for the most complex scenarios.
DXchange integration cloud being a data orchestration platform leverages Infrastructure as a Code process along with an intuitive UI for managing the cloud services. This provides centralized management and reporting of all resources. It also helps in the deployment of the network, storage and computes across multiple servers/services, bringing end users a consistent experience along with providing full visibility into management tasks port provisioning. Hence, it provides much more than automation.
Though automation and orchestration are interrelated, in a bigger and complex scenario, orchestration is what comes to the rescue of the enterprises. While automation lays the foundation for digital transformation, it is orchestration that builds further on that foundation to provide the much-needed process streamlining and optimization.