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SCORCH integration packs plug in more functionality

Integration packs enhance the automation abilities of System Center Orchestrator to help administrators manage a wide array of products and systems.

As data center infrastructure grows more diverse and IT grapples with changing user and business demands, administrators...

look to automation tools for help. The Microsoft System Center Orchestrator automation tool offers two features many enterprises require in a management tool -- extensibility and interoperability.

A busy IT staff can use System Center Orchestrator (SCORCH) to patch servers or restart a Linux service through customize-developed run books. Administrators can expand SCORCH to add functions and activities. They can also tailor the SCORCH automation platform to support and manage other products via SCORCH integration packs. These packs are a group of activities that interoperate with a particular application or system. Orchestrator run books can include activities from many different SCORCH integration packs.

Microsoft currently lists more than a dozen SCORCH integration packs. The suite of integration packs cover major integrations such as Microsoft's Active Directory, Exchange users and administrators, System Center, SharePoint and Azure, third-party products such as VMware vSphere, and tools from IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and general-purpose products such as FTP.

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Each SCORCH integration pack is available from Microsoft Download Center, but it's important to review the particular requirements, installation and registration process and any associated configuration steps to complete the integration pack's installation. Administrators may opt to test SCORCH integration packs in a lab before introducing it to the production environment. This can prevent unforeseen disruptions.

If a SCORCH integration pack is not available for a particular application, administrators can use the Run .NET Script activity to run customized code to handle the integration. The custom code may be written in PowerShell, JavaScript or other code such as C# or VB.NET. Custom integration gives Orchestrator versatile and extensive integration potential.

Next Steps

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