Migrating On-premise VMs to Azure

In 2008, the company I worked for at the time finally felt that virtualization was ready to host production workloads.  We stood up a two node VMware ESX 3.5 cluster, and started to migrate a handful of Linux, Windows and Novell Netware (!) servers from bare metal to virtual.  Even with VMware’s migration tooling, it was still a very manual process.  I scripted as much as I could, but my higher ups never felt good about farming the process out to lower level resources.  It was always me who was on the hook for physical to virtual migrations in after hour maintenance windows.

But that was a lifetime ago in terms of technology, and long before today’s DevOps mentality and tooling existed.  I don’t hear as many customers planning P2V (Physical-to-Virtual) migrations these days.  Instead, they’re asking about V2V (Virtual-to-Virtual), or to be more specific, how can they move on-prem workloads to the cloud: V2C (Virtual-to-Cloud).  Quite a few times, I’ve been asked “Can CloudForms help me migrate VMs from my internal virtual infrastructure to the cloud?”

Notify VM Owner of Upcoming Retirement

One side effect of quick and easy provisioning of virtual machines (VMs) is VM sprawl. To keep the number of VMs manageable, administrators set retirement dates to automatically retire the VM and free the hardware resources.

The risk with setting a retirement date is that the VM owner may not know (or may forget) that an active VM will be automatically retired. CloudForms has the ability to warn the VM owner that retirement of a VM is approaching. Customers want to be able to send multiple retirement warning emails to the VM owner. This can be achieved by modifying the retirement email methods in the Automate model.

CloudForms as a Container

The CloudForms 4.1 release (June ’16) delivered a new format for the CloudForms appliance: as a container in docker format. CloudForms has led the way by offering the appliance in several different virtualization and cloud formats, such as:

  • Red Hat Virtualization
  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft SCVMM (Hyper-v)
  • VMware vSphere

With the new CloudForms container you can now host CloudForms on:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise 3
  • Red Hat Atomic Host (7.2 or higher)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (7.2 or higher)
  • Anywhere using docker

GUEST BLOG: Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study of Red Hat CloudForms

The Red Hat Management portfolio has seen significant upgrades, including the latest release of Red Hat CloudForms 4.1, and has delivered efficiency and costs savings to worldwide customers. This is confirmed by analysts research and testimonials from customers like Cox Automotive, who saved almost 10 years of time and almost $5 million in soft savings. Moreover, because CloudForms supports a wide variety of platforms, including three of the largest public clouds – Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, CloudForms is well-suited for enterprises seeking to manage various stages of virtualization and cloud deployments, as well as containers. The following blog, written by Forrester Consulting, provides an example of the economic impact CloudForms could have on your business.

Author’s note: The following blog details a recent Total Economic Impact (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting centered around Red Hat CloudForms. The results of that study can be viewed here.

First look at VMware vCloud provider in ManageIQ / CloudForms

With VMworld 2016 US event just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to look at some of the new features introduced in the ManageIQ community related to our support for VMware.

ManageIQ is the open source project behind Red Hat CloudForms. The latest product features are implemented in the upstream community first, before eventually making it downstream into Red Hat CloudForms. This process is similar for all Red Hat products. For example, Fedora is the upstream project for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and follows the same upstream-first development model.

In this article, we look at the recent development of a vCloud provider in ManageIQ. VMware vCloud becomes the latest addition to the list of supported public cloud providers, joining Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and OpenStack.

Getting started with managing VMware with Red Hat CloudForms

The VMworld 2016 US event is approaching and Red Hat will be there to showcase our Management portfolio. This includes Red Hat CloudForms which provides unified management for container, virtual, private, and public cloud infrastructures.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a good time to recap how easy it is to deploy Red Hat CloudForms in a VMware virtualized environment. Deploying CloudForms for VMware is very straightforward and consists of three steps to get to an implemented solution that gives full visibility of your VMware infrastructure.

Using an Ansible Job Template in a CloudForms Service Bundle

This is part 5, the last post of our series on Ansible Tower Integration in Red Hat CloudForms.

As you saw from previous articles, Job Templates can be launched from CloudForms via Ansible Tower to run playbooks on targeted hosts. In particular we have looked at launching them from a button on a VM and from the CloudForms Service Catalog. In this last article, we examine how to expose Job Templates as Service Items to utilize them as part of a Service Bundle.

In this example, we reuse our ‘Deploy PostgreSQL’ Job Template to automate the installation and configuration of a PostgreSQL database on a newly provisioned VM. Our service bundle will deploy a new RHEL7 instance on Amazon EC2 and launch our Ansible Job Template to configure the database on this host.

Publishing an Ansible Job Template as a Service in CloudForms

This is part 4 of our series on Ansible Tower Integration in Red Hat CloudForms.

In the previous article, we have seen how Ansible Job Templates can be launched from a VM button in CloudForms. In this article, we explore how Ansible Job Templates can be published as Catalog Items and made available for end user consumption from a CloudForms Service Catalog.

In this example, we use ec2_elb_lb, an Ansible core module, to demonstrate how we can easily extend the capabilities of CloudForms by re-using automation already provided by Ansible. In particular, we provide the ability to create an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) from CloudForms Service Catalog without having to write any Ruby code.

Launching our First Ansible Job Template on a VM in CloudForms

This is part 3 of our series on Ansible Tower Integration in Red Hat CloudForms.

In this article, we will explore how to use the Ansible Tower integration in CloudForms by configuring the launch of an Ansible Template Job on a click of a button from a VM.

In this example, we use an Ansible Job Template created based on a role found on the Ansible Galaxy role library. In particular, we installed on our Ansible Tower the sfromm.postgresql role dedicated to managing PostgreSQL. Our associated Ansible Playbook is available on GitHub.

Configuration of an Ansible Tower provider in CloudForms

This is part 2 of our series on Ansible Tower Integration in Red Hat CloudForms.

As mentioned in our previous post, CloudForms 4.1 brings native integration capabilities with Ansible Tower. This post explores the Ansible Tower requirements as well as the configuration of the provider in CloudForms.

Like all providers within CloudForms, the Ansible Tower provider is agent-less and only requires connectivity and credentials to the Ansible Tower API.