CloudForms Service Bundle creation using VM Provisioning and Ansible Tower automation job

Service catalog bundles are a really useful CloudForms feature that enable us to mix and match various existing service catalog items together to form bundles of tasks.

 

One of the more useful examples of a bundle is to create a new VM, and then run an Ansible Tower job template on the resulting VM to configure it with an application role. If we have an Ansible Tower server added to our CloudForms installation as an automation provider, this is quite simple. We described the procedure to configure an Ansible Tower provider in CloudForms as part of our previous series on Ansible Tower integration in CloudForms 4.1.

 

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Launch Ansible Playbooks from CloudForms REST API (Video)

In this article, we continue the Ansible Series with a new video that shows how we can execute an Ansible playbook from the CloudForms REST API.

In this video, we are using Postman which is a REST API testing framework. Of course you can use any tool you are comfortable with e.g. CURL, Ruby, Python or anything that can execute REST API calls.

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My First Ansible Control Action (Video)

With this short video, we continue our series based on Red Hat Knowledge Base articles exploring how to take advantage of Ansible Automation inside Red Hat CloudForms. This post is a follow-up of our previous My First Ansible Service article.

As a summary, what we do in this video is to create a control policy that checks if the VM CPU or memory size has changed, and if so, resets the size to 1 CPU and 1GB automatically.

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Review and Future Directions of CloudForms State-Machines

This article seeks to explain the use of State Machines in Red Hat CloudForms for the use in the flow control of automation.

The topic of State Machines is sometimes perceived as rocket science, barely used but often taught. The first thing to dispel is the complexity in state machines, then we can compare how a state machine differs from other process automation like Workflows.

Finally the article is to dispel the myth that State Machines are RUBY or if you use Ansible Automation Inside you do not need state machines, again not a true statement.

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My First Ansible Service (Video)

With this short video, we start a series based on Red Hat Knowledge Base articles exploring how to take advantage of Ansible automation inside Red Hat CloudForms.

In this first video we show:

  • How to enable Embedded Ansible in CloudForms
  • Set up a new Ansible GitHub repository
  • Create a new Service Catalog and Service Item
  • Provision and retire the new Service

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Announcing General Availability of Red Hat CloudForms 4.5

Today marks the general availability of Red Hat CloudForms 4.5, as announced in the recent Press Release. One of the key highlights of the release is the introduction of Ansible Automation Inside, which provides a simple, powerful, human readable automation language, directly accessible from within CloudForms.

In addition, several enhancements are added to the multi-cloud management platform, including a new storage provider for Amazon Web Services, metrics and container improvements for OpenShift, and additional features for OpenStack. Let’s take a look at some of these improvements.

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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?”

Continue reading “Migrating On-premise VMs to Azure”

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