Ten Ways a Cloud Management Platform Makes your Virtualization Life Easier

I spent the last decade working with virtualization platforms and the certifications and accreditation’s that go along with them.  During this time, I thought I understood what it meant to run an efficient data center. After six months of working with Red Hat CloudForms, a Cloud Management Platform (CMP), I now wonder what was I thinking.  I encountered every one of the problems below, each are preventable with the right solution. Remember, we live in the 21st century–shouldn’t the software that we use act like it?

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An Analyst Roundup on Red Hat and CloudForms

Over the past year, several analysts looked at Red Hat and its Cloud management Platform (CMP) solution, Red Hat CloudForms, to provide their point of view. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, finding that Red Hat as a company was positioned for success and recognizing Red Hat CloudForms as a leading product that delivered substantial savings in both cost and efficiency. In this post, we provide a brief round-up of the various analysts’ reports.

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Ensuring Container Image Security on OpenShift with Red Hat CloudForms

In December 2016, a major vulnerability, CVE-2016-9962 (“on-entry vulnerability”), was found in the Docker engine which allowed local root users in a container to gain access to file-descriptors of a process launched or moved into the container from another namespace. In a Banyan security report, they found that over 30% of official images in Docker Hub contain high priority security vulnerabilities. And FlawCheck surveyed enterprises asking for their top security concern regarding containers in production environments. “Vulnerabilities and malware,” at 42%, was the top security concern among those surveyed. Clearly security is a top concern for organizations that are looking to run containers in production.

At Red Hat, we are continuously improving our security capabilities and introduced a new container scanning feature with CloudForms 4.2 and OpenShift 3.4. This new feature allows CloudForms to flag images in the container registry in which it has found vulnerabilities, and OpenShift to deny execution of that image the next time someone tries to run that image.

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Integrating CloudForms and ServiceNow: An Introduction

I was presenting the CloudForms service catalog and self service capabilities to a customer, when the head of operations says: “This looks great, but there is no way we are going to use this. The tool we use for everything from service desk to request tracking to service management is ServiceNow. Can you integrate your service catalog into ServiceNow?”

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Setting up Red Hat CloudForms with Microsoft Active Directory (Video)

This video highlights the role-based access controls within Red Hat CloudForms and how they can be tied into Microsoft Active Directory, to leverage a company’s existing user and group structure. The goal of the video is to help customers understand how they can integrate CloudForms into their organizational structure with rather minimal setup.

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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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