Introducing Ansible Tower Integration in CloudForms 4.1

Ansible Tower is a management tool designed to help automate infrastructure operations. Ansible Tower features management of host inventory, Ansible playbooks, access keys and passwords, as well as detailed reporting and audit of infrastructure deployments. Ansible Tower is designed for team-based infrastructure management, and as such, facilitates user’s involvement at different levels of the infrastructure operations. It enhances basic Ansible CLI operations with a visual overview of the infrastructure states and provides management workflows across the enterprise. Using Ansible Tower, users can schedule Ansible playbook runs and monitor current and historical results, allowing for troubleshooting or identification of issues before they occur.

CloudForms 4.1 is here!

Today we are proud to announce that the latest version of CloudForms is available. This release takes several steps further down the road towards managing hybrid IT. We’ve added new cloud platform providers, software defined networking (SDN) management and made it all easier to automate IT processes by integrating Ansible Tower playbook execution. In short, you will find this release greatly expands the breadth of CloudForms while making it easier than ever to set up and automate your IT operations.

Red Hat Insights in CloudForms

If you are using CloudForms, you might notice that there is a tab called Red Hat Insights.

What is Red Hat Insights? It’s a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that helps you proactively identify and resolve technical risks in your IT infrastructure before they negatively impact your whole environment. Insights enables you to identify potential outages and fix things faster using verified solutions that are analyzed against Red Hat’s knowledge base. It has been included as a Technology Preview in CloudForms since version 4.0.

Display Estimated VM Cost during Service Provisioning

To recuperate costs from running a cloud infrastructure, IT organizations often need to charge users for virtual machines they have provisioned. CloudForms contains chargeback functionality that helps facilitate charging users for the resources their virtual machines use. The administrator is able to set rates based on compute, network, and storage resources. Reports can then be run to calculate the chargeback for each virtual machine.

One of the requests customers often have prior to the virtual machine being ordered, is to be able to show the user what the cost of the virtual machine will be.

Managing Patching Compliance Using DROWN OpenSSL Vulnerability as an Example

As you have probably noticed by now, the attack on OpenSSL known as DROWN – Decrypting RSA using Obsolete and Weakened eNcryption has recently been discovered. Red Hat Product Security have provided patches for OpenSSL and recommend to apply them to affected systems.

In this post, we will discuss how Red Hat CloudForms and ManageIQ can assist in identifying environments at risk of the DROWN OpenSSL cross-protocol vulnerability. In addition, CloudForms can audit your environments and validate that the patches have been applied.

How can Red Hat CloudForms help?

CloudForms provides a policy based compliance check which can be used to verify software and configuration of servers and validate security requirements. These policies are created as a combination of an event, a condition and an action, and use a scope (usually set to infrastructure or guests) to determine if the policy needs to run. Additional information on using policies can be found in the product documentation: Defining policies and profiles.

Cloud Forms 4.0: Inventory Performance Improvements for VMware Providers

Overview

Of the many improvements and feature enhancements made to Cloud Forms 4.0, one focus was on performance and scalability. One of the first tasks a Cloud Forms Administrator performs while managing a Hybrid cloud is inventory of the environment. Also known as refresh, this task is essential to managing various environments and provides valuable information on every object within the Cloud Forms VMDB.