Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Michael writes:

Looking for some therapy and was hoping you could help. We are mainly an on-premise Microsoft shop and I have been tasked to use system center orchestrator to orchestrate some of our more tedious tasks. The therapy part comes in with are there any more communities that even use SCORCH and how or what can I move my orchestrations over to?
On a I side note, I have been working SCCM for about 20years, nothing earthshattering but I help keep us up and running. So when I was task to start creating orchestration you and the ps community were a God send. Thank you so much for all the help you have already provide us all. Thank you.

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info. And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

First, it’s on-premises, please :). 

I dunno about “communities” that use Orchestrator per se. Understand that Orchestrator is, from Microsoft’s perspective, somewhat on “life support.” Like, there’s a bunch of folks there who I think regret Microsoft’s having purchased it from Opalis, and don’t see it as a product to invest a lot of money in. There’s a contingent that disagrees with that assessment, too, to be fair.

System Center SMA was supposed to be the go-forward direction, but then everything was kind of invested into Azure Automation (which can automate on-premises workloads as well, of course).

The overall strategy with System Center in general, these days, seems to be “keep it working for the many large enterprises already using it,” but it doesn’t fit into Microsoft’s “cloud first” universe. System Center is kind of an oddball within the company, that way. There’s definitely a contingent of the company that would like to see it all just discontinued, but nobody’s come up with anything cloud-based to replace SCCM in particular, and plenty of System Center customers have made it clear they like what they’ve got and aren’t interested in moving. It’s put MS in a weird place and the “strategy,” such as it is, has shifted a lot over the last couple of years.

Anyway.

Azure Automation is the “first-class citizen,” here. I know nothing about your company, so I’m not trying to sell you on AA, I’m just relaying what Microsoft believes. I don’t see major investment in Orchestrator’s near future, and even investment in SMA seems frankly randomized to me right now. Even the Orchestrator team blog is pretty sparse.

My suspicion is that there’re a lot of folks like you, working on SCORCH in relative isolation. Just understand that System Center as a family occupies a weird space in Microsoft right now, so it’s hard to tell if investment on your part will pay off or not over the long haul.

3 thoughts on “AMA: System Center Therapy

  1. Tom Matthews says:

    There was welcome news from Ignite of 64 bit SCORCH with support for powershell 4+

  2. Wilson Wong says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, Microsoft did announce System Center 2019 with a new version of Orchestrator 2019 for Q1 of next year. Supposedly this new version will finally have 64bit support and will support Powershell 4 and later.

    1. Don Jones says:

      Acknowledged… but… I mean, honestly, those should have been the work of 11 minutes. Pushing the other “compile” button in Visual Studio and changing a library binding shouldn’t have even merited an announcement, let alone taken so long. I’m as eager to reach out for any sign of hope as anyone, but that’s slim pickings, for me.

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