vCenter Orchestrator - Finally Gaining Traction

I have stated before (here), vCenter Orchestrator was the least utilized and least understood product in the VMware product suites, which is a shame – because the capabilities in Orchestrator are pretty much endless.

I started to do some number crunching and the results are quite interesting (although obvious).

Let us have a look at the number of threads in the PowerCLI community vs. the Orchestrator community over the past 4 years

Total posts per month

You can see of course that Orchestrator is far behind and that PowerCLI is the most popular over the years.

Let’s have a look at a different perspective – by the total number of threads per year

Total posts per year

Again PowerCLI seems to be the most popular.

How about how many posts were there in each of the communities on average per month?

Average posts per month

Obvious results again.

Some of my analysis on the data above.

  1. The number of threads that people posted in the forums does not necessarily correlate to the number of people who actually use the product – but I think it is safe to assume that the number would represent the actual use in the field.
  2. vCenter Orchestrator 4.0 was released in February 2008. The number of people who used it in the following 3 years was minimal – and an in my opinion that is because the documentation was horrible. There was no definitive guides, not enough information and and not enough VMware people pushing the product.
  3. That changed in March 2012 – and why was that – well I think because of the Automating vSphere: With VMware vCenter Orchestrator book by Cody Bunch. This was the first decent piece of literature that allowed people to try the product.
  4. If we would compare the ratio of amount of questions asked every month between the PowerCLI and Orchestrator communities from 2010 to 2014 you would see that it would be (approximately) 10:1 in 2010 and 4 years later it is now 2:1. That is a great leap – and if you ask me this gap will get smaller and smaller.
  5. I think the reason is – we have evolved, matured. 4 years ago most of the people who were managing VMware environments were the System Administrators, who were extremely comfortable with Windows and PowerShell – so PowerCLI was a natural and sure bet.
    Javascript?? No ways – wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. But today – people have become more open to other tools, have found that PowerCLI cannot do everything that they want, environments are becoming more complex and the regular Powershell script just does not cut it any more.

I am extremely happy that people are finally getting better use of vCenter Orchestrator. I was suspecting this was the case – and now we finally have the numbers to back this up.

There are 3 very strong VMware employees that are monitoring the Orchestrator community -
Christophe Decanini, Burke Azbill and Jörg Lew – all of them really know their stuff! (I would advise that also follow them all on Twitter if you are not already)

Top Orchestrator Members

For the PowerCLI community – the one and only Luc Dekens (the man who eats, breathes and sleeps in the community),  Robert van den Nieuwendijk and Hal Rottenberg (all of them should be in your Twitter follow list). As opposed to the Orchestrator community – none of these three are VMware employees, which (in my honest opinion) shows their devotion and dedication – and their continued contribution to the PowerCLI community.

Top PowerCLI Members

The one thing that does come here to mind – is that the other virtualization vendors or the other solutions – do have quite a way to go until they are at the level which VMware has achieved.

I will leave you all with these final words…

Keep calm and automate