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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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