Services Management using Red Hat CloudForms (Video)

In this short video, we specifically look at service management within Red Hat CloudForms. The demonstration highlights the following platform capabilities:

  • Self-Service portal with lifecycle, operations management and reporting
  • Service Catalog presented to end-user consumers
  • Service Definition, built as stand-alone, or from service composites
  • Life-cycle status monitoring and notifications
  • Usage consumption and chargeback reports

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Self-Service Capabilities using Red Hat CloudForms (Video)

This week, we look at Red Hat CloudForms capabilities for self-service and how it can be used to manage services across private, public and hybrid clouds. We explore:

  • self-service portal for end-user consumers
  • service catalog with examples of deployments (new infrastructure, multi-tier application, etc)
  • service dialog allowing customization and automation
  • day 2 operations, services life-cycle and monitoring
  • remote access using Cockpit administration tools

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Hybrid Management using Red Hat CloudForms (Video)

This week, we explore Red Hat CloudForms cloud management platform (CMP) and its capability to manage multiple clouds. This demonstration video focuses on hybrid management and highlights some of its key features. These include:

  • infrastructure and cloud visibility,
  • centralized management of virtual machines, instances and containers,
  • workload lifecycle management and day 2 operations,
  • historical reports and dashboards, including showback and chargeback,
  • resource monitoring and optimization,
  • compliance and governance with security policies and alerts.

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What’s New in Red Hat CloudForms 4.2 (Video)

In the following weeks, I will post few videos recorded using Red Hat CloudForms 4.2. This first one is a short demonstration highlighting the latest enhancements coming with this release, including:

  • New dashboards for all infrastructure providers
  • Topology views for infrastructure, cloud, containers, network and middleware providers
  • Performance improvements
  • Administration tools using Cockpit
  • Networks enhancements for cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform)
  • New Middleware provider, including Hawkular integration
  • Notifications enhancements

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Service Catalogs and the User Self-Service Portal

One of the most interesting features of CloudForms is the ability to define services that can include one or more virtual machines (VMs) or instances and can be deployed across hybrid environments. Services can be made available to users through a self-service portal that allows users to order predefined IT services without IT operations getting involved, thereby delivering on one of the major promises of cloud computing.

The intention of this post is to provide you with step-by-step instructions to get you started with a simple service catalog. After you have gone through the basic concepts, you should have the skills to dive deeper into more complex setups.

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The Business Value of Red Hat CloudForms

When talking to IT leaders about Red Hat CloudForms, we often point out the time and cost savings that CloudForms can have on their organization. While we have several customer success stories that highlight the various benefits of CloudForms to each organization, we wanted a more formal study of the business value that CloudForms could bring to an organization. To that end, Red Hat commissioned a study, conducted by IDC, to look at the business value of CloudForms. This blog post will highlight some of their findings, with IDC’s complete report available for review.

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Using Tags for Access Control

Most systems use Access Control Lists (ACL’s) to manage user’s access to objects. Common examples are ACL’s for file systems, LDAP, Web Servers and many more. Anyone who has had to create ACL rules and maintain them knows how complicated this can be. To make access control easy again, CloudForms uses tags. If the group a user belongs to has the same tag as the accessed object, access is granted, if not, access is denied.

This sounds simple and straightforward, but there are a couple of things to know about tags which make them very powerful, but also a bit tricky.

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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?”

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