Architecture

The components that comprise the BMC Atrium Orchestrator product enable you to implement run book automation in your IT environment. The BMC Atrium Orchestrator platform provides a highly scalable and fault-tolerant environment for automatically deploying and executing workflows.

This page provides product descriptions and a brief overview of each component. The following platform server and development components comprise the BMC Atrium Orchestrator platform:

The platform components also compose a load-balanced cluster, known as the BMC Atrium Orchestrator grid, as shown in the following figure. For more information about how you would deploy the platform components, see Installing.

BMC_Atrium_Orchestrator_basic_grid_new

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Platform

BMC Atrium Orchestrator is built on a grid architecture that offers high-availability, load-balancing, and industry-leading performance out of the box.

Repository

The repository stores BMC Atrium Orchestrator content, such as adapters and workflow modules, in a central location. As the source of record, the repository is accessed by a multitude of users, including workflow developers, software testers, and system administrators. The repository enforces versioning and keeps a history of workflow modules through their revisions. It also offers role-based access control to ensure that users can access only the appropriate content. Each environment that you maintain, such as separate production and development environments, has its own repository. The Repository Manager, the user interface to the repository, enables you to manage and transfer content.

Configuration distribution peer

The configuration distribution peer (CDP) is the primary peer in the grid. It is the master application that controls all workflows, including load balancing across the grid of peers. It provides a central administration point and is a workflow execution engine. The CDP houses the BMC Atrium Orchestrator Grid Manager application, which enables administrators to conduct various configuration, activation, and maintenance tasks on the grid. It can also host adapters and workflow modules, which are used by the grid to communicate with external systems. Typical grid configurations include one CDP, although a grid can house two CDPs in high-availability (HA-CDP) mode.

A CDP automatically fails over to another available peer when the host peer becomes inoperative.

For more information about HA-CDP configurations, see Deployment use cases.

Activity peer

An activity peer (AP) executes workflows. Similar to a CDP, the AP can host adapters, but it does not provide administrative services. When you add an AP to the grid, the AP automatically downloads activated workflows from the CDP to provide high-availability workflow load balancing. If a CDP becomes unavailable, the AP continues to process workflows with the other available peers in the same grid.

Lightweight activity peer

Lightweight activity peers (LAPs) host adapters, but unlike the other peer types, they cannot execute workflows. Because they present a very small footprint, LAPs can be hosted on the same servers that house the third-party applications with which the grid communicates. LAPs are particularly helpful when a third-party system requires the adapter to make calls locally, or an adapter requires access to software libraries that cannot be installed outside of the third-party application.

LAPs connect directly into the grid to traverse network boundaries and provide high availability communications over multiple paths. While they do not add workflow processing capacity, LAPs can offload protocol overhead from a peer, thus increasing system throughput.

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Operator Control Panel

The BMC Atrium Orchestrator Operator Control Panel software is a web-based interface that enables operators, such as service desk personnel, network operators, and IT technicians, to run workflows in a semi-automated mode. Using BMC Atrium Orchestrator Operator Control Panel, operators can fulfill requests for IT services more accurately and efficiently while maintaining full control of workflow execution. Operators can manually launch a workflow, follow its progress in a graphical view, step-through workflows interactively, and debug workflows. Each instance of BMC Atrium Orchestrator Operator Control Panel can attach to only one peer and provides access to a single grid.

BMC Authentication service

Your BMC Atrium Orchestrator environment can use different authentication services.

Remedy SSO

The Remedy Single Sign-On (Remedy SSO or RSSO) authentication service allows users to present credentials only once for authentication and subsequently be automatically authenticated by every BMC product that is integrated into the system. With Remedy SSO you will not have to log into a separate authentication page and be redirected to BAO as with past releases.

Remedy SSO supports LDAP and local user authentication.

You may be using one of the following Remedy SSO options:

  • Embedded Remedy SSO, which is installed with BAO Platform CDP, repository, and OCP components
  • External Remedy SSO

The embedded version does not require an external database. It uses the BMC Atrium Orchestrator's internal HSQL database (HSQLDB). The embedded version uses BMC Atrium Orchestrator's Platform capabilities for high-availability (resulting in easier HA configuration management).

For more information about external Remedy SSO, see Remedy Single Sign-On architecture.

BMC Atrium SSO

BMC Atrium Single Sign-On is an authentication system that supports many authentication protocols and provides single sign-on and single signoff for users of BMC Software products. The system allows you to present credentials only once for authentication and subsequently be automatically authenticated by every BMC Software product that is integrated into the system. Not only does BMC Atrium SSO support authentication with traditional systems like LDAP or AD, it also supports integration into existing SSO systems. The benefit to BMC Software products that have BMC Atrium SSO as an authentication option is that all of the authentication protocols supported by BMC Atrium SSO are available to the product and any new protocols added are available without any product changes. The BMC Atrium SSO server and agents provide the needed integration into these systems so a product does not need to make any adjustments to their system. Furthermore, more advanced authentication schemes are possible with authentication chaining which allows greater flexibility in integrating to complex enterprise environments.

BMC Atrium Single Sign-On is not supported for use with BMC Atrium Orchestrator Platform 7.9.01 and later versions.

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Development Studio

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Development Studio is a graphical authoring tool used to create, modify, and test workflows. It is a thick-client application that can be installed on Windows operating system. Using BMC Atrium Orchestrator Development Studio, you can edit rules and schedules to trigger workflows automatically by external events or at regular intervals. Your developers can maintain control of workflows in their local BMC Atrium Orchestrator Development Studio environment or through an external source code management (SCM) system. However, before the workflows can be activated on a grid, they first must be exported to the repository.

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Content

BMC Atrium Orchestrator content includes base and application adapters, operations actions and workflows, and run books. Operations actions and workflows are groups of processes, schedules, rules, and configuration items for specific operational disciplines. The processes, schedules, rules, and configuration items are based on the IT infrastructure Library (ITIL).

You can use BMC Atrium Orchestrator content to develop additional workflows specific to your environment.

Adapters

Adapters establish connections and facilitate communications between BMC Atrium Orchestrator workflows and the external applications and support systems. BMC Atrium Orchestrator provides the following classes of adapters:

  • Base adapters, which interact with external systems using standard protocols, such as JDBC, Telnet, SSH, JMS, and through the native operating system command line. They are system integrators, gateways, or connectors used to translate Operations Actions to standard access protocols for integration of workblows with third party applications or devices.
  • Application adapters, which interface with the API of an external application to issue remote calls to the application. They are system integrators, gateways, or connectors used to translate Operations Actions to vendor-specific application actions using vendor APIs (such as BMC Remedy AR System or Microsoft Active Directory).

Modules

BMC Atrium Orchestrator Operations Actions Management modules and utilities are collections of predefined workflows that automate common IT tasks. These "building block" processes can be used individually or incorporated into larger, more complex workflows.

  • Operations Actions Management modules contain workflows that perform tasks that are common to a specific system type, such as Create Changes and Update Incidents in a Change Management system.
  • Operations Action Utilities contain workflows that perform tasks that are common to an operating system, such as Create Directory and Delete File.

Run books

BMC Atrium Orchestrator run books contain solutions to specific use cases. They include predefined adapter and module workflows that perform functions that offer solutions to targeted IT management problems.

Related topics

Types of integrations
Adapters
Modules
Web services