Chapter 1: Introducing Opalis Integration Server 6.3

Excerpt from System Center Opalis Integration Server 6.3 Unleashed.

By Kerrie Meyler, Mark Gosson, and Charles Joy

Published by Sams

ISBN-10: 0-672-33561-1

ISBN-13: 978-0-672-33561-7

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In This Chapter

  • What Is Opalis?

  • Microsoft’s Automation Platform

  • Where OIS Fits Within the System Center Suite

  • The History of Opalis Software

  • OIS 6.3 and Beyond

  • Understanding IT Process Automation

EXTRA: Read author Kerrie Meyler's blog on Microsoft Subnet Managing Microsoft

Opalis Integration Server (OIS), a new member to Microsoft’s System Center Suite, automates end-to-end processes by traversing organizational boundaries, reducing operational costs, and improving Information Technology (IT) efficiency by delivering services faster and with fewer errors. It orchestrates and integrates management and infrastructure tools in support of best practices and standards initiatives such as the Information Technology Information Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF).

This chapter introduces OIS, its position as Microsoft’s automation platform, where it fits within the System Center family, and includes a discussion of what’s new for this, the “last OIS.” Microsoft made the decision to include OIS as part of the System Center suite; this chapter helps you begin to take a closer look at the product.

What Is Opalis?

Microsoft acquired Opalis Software, Inc., (referred to as Opalis Software throughout this chapter) in December 2009. Previously privately owned, Opalis Software became a Microsoft subsidiary. For information on the history of Opalis Software, refer to the section, “The History of Opalis Software,” later in this chapter. At the time of the acquisition, Opalis Software was best known for the OIS product.

At its core, OIS is software designed as a platform for automation, orchestration, and integration. In conversations discussing OIS, you are likely to hear at least one of these three expressions. The other things you can expect to hear is the amount of time you are saving, how you are driving costs down, and how much more reliable your IT processes have become.

These are significant themes, as OIS enables you and your IT organization to make best practices a reality, in an automated way. These best practices can but do not have to be based on MOF or ITIL; they can be as simple as lessons learned over the years. Either way, OIS can help facilitate automation of these best practices. OIS’s automation, orchestration, and integration capabilities enable you to coordinate all your data center management tools to perform the tasks prescribed by these best practices.

Let’s begin looking at OIS by viewing Figure 1.1, which displays the OIS client user interface. This example shows a workflow monitoring Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and creating Microsoft System Center Service Manager incidents, escalating them as necessary; it is a nice illustration of integration, orchestration, and automation.

Figure 1.1

The OIS Client user interface

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