An introduction to Orchestrator – Part 1 Computer Groups

Posted: February 29, 2012 in System Center Orchestrator 2012
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System Center 2012 – Orchestrator is designed to interact with all of your data center systems. Computer groups let you target selected activities against a set of similar computer systems instead of a single computer. By configuring the activities in your runbook to use a computer group, you have the flexibility to add computers dynamically by adding them to the computer group.

You can also organize your computer groups into folders. Use the following steps to create a new folder.

To create a folder

  1. In the Connections pane in the Runbook Designer, click the Computer Groups folder or a subfolder.
  2. Right-click to select New, and then click Folder.
  3. In this example the Folder is named Demo Group

Use the following procedure to add a computer group.

To add a computer group

  1. In the Connections pane, right-click the Computer Groups folder or a subfolder.
  2. Select New, and then click Computer Group to open the New Computer Group dialog box.
  3. In the New Computer Group dialog box, on the General tab, in the Name and Description boxes, type a name and description of the computer group.
  4. Click the Contents tab. The list displays all the computer entries that make up this computer group.
  5. Click Add to open the Entry Type dialog box.
  6. Type the name of the computer that you are adding, or click the ellipsis (…) button next to the Computer box, and then select the applicable computer. Click OK to add the computer. Click Add and repeat this step to add more computers to the group.

Here I’ve created a computer group named “Demo Computer Group” with 2 entries (10.0.0.10 & 10.0.0.11)

Any standard activity that requires you to identify a Computer name in the Configuration Properties dialog box, such as the Send Event Log Message activity, can use a computer group. Other activities can use the Computer Group where you define a remote system or computer.

To use a computer group

  1. Right-click the applicable activity from your runbook, select Properties on the menu, and then select the Details tab to open the Activities Properties dialog box.
  2. In the Computer box, right-click to open a menu, select Subscribe, and then select Computer Group to open the Select Computer Group dialog box.
  3. Select the computer group, and then click OK.
    A placeholder {computer group name} is inserted next to the computer name in the Computer box.
    When the activity runs, it runs on each computer in the group.

Computer Groups Example Workflow

The following example Workflow uses the Get Computer/IP Status Activity to query the availability of a group of computers and displays the result from the Get Computer/IP Status Activity for all members of the “Demo Computer Group”. Computer groups enable you to target Workflows against a set of similar computer systems instead of a single computer. By configuring the Activities in your Workflow to use a computer group you are given the flexibility to add computers dynamically by adding them to the computer group.

This Workflow uses the Get Computer/IP Status Activity to query the availability of a group of computers:

The “Demo Computer Group” has the following members:

The Send Platform Event Activity is used to display the result from the Get Computer/IP Status Activity for both members of the “Demo Computer Group”.

Launch the Workflow by using Run, or by running it using the Runbook Tester. Check the Runbook Designer Events tab or the Runbook Tester log to see the resulting output.

 

For more information about Computer Groups and the Get Computer/IP Status Activity, look here and here.

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  1. […] Part 1 we took a look at Computer Groups, this time we take a look at […]

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