Orchestration with UCS Director Workflows

One of the most common requests that we hear is for orchestrated responses to events. Zenoss has the capability to run scripts in response to the event using the notification system. These scripts run locally on the Zenoss master server. But wouldn’t it be nice to call multi-step, authenticated, orchestrated workflows that already exist rather than having to write our own scripts?

Of course it would, and thanks to some good folks at Cisco we have a useful example of how to do that using UCS Director. I suspect lots of you are using UCS Director because it’s the number one automation solution identified in our recent converged infrastructure survey. So it’s great to see a nice, extensible example of how to use UCS Director workflows.

Michael Saul created a great GitHub contribution that shows how to use the UCS Director REST API to call workflows. He wrote it thinking about UCS Performance Manager. Since that product is built with Zenoss technology, the integration he built can be used without change by people using Zenoss Service Dynamics.

Here’s how he described the example. “We are using a workflow that can provision a new (VMware) datastore. By attaching this command to a trigger that monitors datastore capacity, we can automatically grow our storage environment to match demand.”

I read through the source code and it looks great. It’s set up so that you can change the workflow just by changing a configuration file, and includes a rollback function. That means that the hundreds of UCS Director workflows are all available for our automation pleasure!

If you don’t find an appropriate workflow, UCS Director lets you develop your own.

UCS Director Workflow Development

UCS Director workflow development can be done within the GUI

And Saul’s integration uses the standard Zenoss trigger and notification system to launch the workflow, so it’s easy to add to your existing deployment.

If you’ve used UCS Director workflows with Zenoss software, or used another orchestration package for the same purpose, I’d like to hear from you. Drop me a note, tell me about what you’ve done, and let me know what I can share.

Since the role of IT operations in delivering business success has never been higher, the more we share, the more we win!