Book Review: System Center 2012 Orchestrator Unleashed

I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time and when I finally got it can fairly say it is worth it. Two of the authors I had pleaser to meet in person – Pete Zerger and Anders Bengtsson. If you have a chance to be on a event where they have presentation do not hesitate to attend it, it is a must see. The other three authors are also well known in the community – Kerrie Meyler, Marcus Oh and Kurt Van Hoecke. So when you join the powers of these five great experts you get great book about Orchestrator.

I will not go into details but the book will explain you in very understanding way the concept of Orchestrator. Once you are done with the concept you will learn how to install it and implement it which will help you to design Orchestrator implementations for a real world scenarios. Also in this part you will learn how to make runbooks and how you can achieve the same goal in many ways and most important how to improve your runbooks. The last part covers integration with the other System Center components. In this part the focus in showing you examples on how to accomplish certain scenarios and explaining how the runbooks for these scenarios were created and the logic behind them.

As a summary the best part of the book is that in every chapter there are tips from the field that will learn you for the best practices not only about Orchestrator and runbooks but also for orchestration, automation and integration as concepts. If you are looking for a source to learn Orchestrator I recommend you this book:

Book Review: System Center 2012 Unleashed

I’ve wanted to read System Center 2012 Unleashed book for a long time but either I didn’t had enough time or the timing was not right. As I am writing designs for all System Center 2012 components I’ve decided that this is the right time. The book covers every System Center 2012 component at some certain level with the exception of App Controller. You probably think that the book provides some overview of System Center 2012 as it includes almost every component and none of these components cannot be introduced in details because of that. You are probably right but only on 50%. First the book is more than 1000 pages. Second in it you will not only find overview of the components but a lot more information. Every System Center component in the book is presented with the following topics:

  • What is new in the component?
  • How to component works and what feature it provides?
  • Design and planning of the component
  • Implementing the component
  • Administering the component


Topics are not covered in full detail but at very decent level. So by reading this book and with the help from Technet you can plan, design, implement and administer a small deployment of System Center 2012. Taking this in consideration I would level 200 to this book. Think of this book as the prelude for the other System Center Unleashed series books that will cover every component in much more detail.

You may also ask why System Center 2012 App Controller is not included in the book. My opinion is that because there is not so much planning about App Controller. It is just a interface in the form of a website. Your design and planning will be identical like every other IIS website.

In summary this book is ideal for engineers who are just starting with all System Center components and for those who are planning a small deployment of the product. All of you who like more advanced information you will find it in the series of these Unleashed books that will cover specific System Center component.

If you want to buy System Center 2012 Unleashed you can find it online on one of the following web stores:


Expect soon to make review of System Center 2012 Operations Manager Unleashed.

Real world disaster recovery of System Center Operations Manager 2012

The guys from share their experience with System Center Operations Manager 2012 on loosing the RMS emulator server, SQL node from cluster and Ops Mgr Gateway. Click on the link below and read the steps they made to recover Operations Manager functionality.