Entertainment Center Automation

After a hard day’s work of touting the benefits of Data Center Automation to our customers and prospects, I often like to come home, relax on the couch, and watch some TV on the new entertainment center that I recently setup.  Just when you would think that my mind is far, far away from the topic of Automation, I look at the universal remote control that I just used to power on my system and I find myself yet again surrounded by Automation… Entertainment Center Automation!


Before we dive any further, let’s take a brief look at the history of remote controls…


The Old Days


Back in the old days, every component in your entertainment center (i.e. VCR, Receiver, TV, Cable Box, etc..) shipped with it’s very own remote control.  Each remote control knew only the correct infrared control codes to operate it’s respective component and nothing else.  The problem with this was that if you wanted to watch your new BetaMax copy of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in analog Dolby Pro Logic on your new Trinitron TV set, you would have to switch between 3 or 4 remote controls and manually punch a series of buttons in the correct order on each to get all the components powered on and working together.  Before long, your coffee table looked like the image to the right:




The Not As Old (But Still Old) Days


Then came the first pass at a “universal” remote control.  These remote controls were much more intelligent in that they knew the proper control codes for many of the common components in your entertainment center.  Some of these remote controls were even programmable in case your component was not supported out-of-box.  While this was definitely a step in the right direction by eliminating the need to have multiple remote controls on your coffee table, these remote controls still required the user to manually punch a complex series of buttons in the correct order to get all the components powered on and working together.  Valiant effort but still… Automation FAIL.




Today’s universal remote controls are a big step towards realizing the full potential of Entertainment Center Automation.  Just like the previous generation of universal remote controls, they know the correct control codes for most of the components found in a modern entertainment system but take things a step further by now allowing the user to create automated workflows for many of the common use cases a user would use an entertainment system for.  By having the ability to communicate with all of the various components in my entertainment center and by automating the otherwise complex series of button presses required in the previous generation of universal remotes, I can now sit down, press a single button on my remote, and have the remote reliably do all the work for me in terms of powering on and configuring each component in my entertainment system in the correct order… Automation SUCCESS!



Just as the modern universal remote control automates many of the manual processes of interacting with the various components in your entertainment center, BMC’s Atrium Orchestrator does exactly the same for your datacenter.  BMC’s Atrium Orchestator provides out-of-box adapters that know how to communicate with the various components of your IT infrastructure and also provides you the ability to define automated workflows across these various components.  Just as the modern univeral remote solved much of the manual effort of using my entertainment center, BMC’s Atrium Orchestrator can do the same for your datacenter.


Happy Automation!

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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