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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CloudForms as a Container

The CloudForms 4.1 release (June ’16) delivered a new format for the CloudForms appliance: as a container in docker format. CloudForms has led the way by offering the appliance in several different virtualization and cloud formats, such as:

  • Red Hat Virtualization
  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft SCVMM (Hyper-v)
  • VMware vSphere

With the new CloudForms container you can now host CloudForms on:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise 3
  • Red Hat Atomic Host (7.2 or higher)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (7.2 or higher)
  • Anywhere using docker

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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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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.

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Red Hat Summit OpenStack Management with CloudForms

Here are my slides from Red Hat Summit, its a repeat of the OpenStack Summit presentation with two important things!

  1. The videos are now all up individually on youtube.
  2. It now includes the Heat/Cloudformations orchestration demonstration.

Here are the slides, the videos can be found in links after each relevant slide. Enjoy!

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OpenStack Summit 2015

Today, Wednesday 20th May 2015 I presented the following deck to OpenStack Summit @ Vancouver. Its all ManageIQ branded, e.g. the upstream to Red Hat CloudForms. The videos have NO audio as I spoke over, if I get the audio sometime I will update! UPDATED…… you can watch the OpenStack show video of the presentation – HERE

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RESTapi – A teach yourself lab!

Here is a lab I put together for a recent event, it was well received and I think it is very valuable to the ManageIQ and CloudForms user bases.

In the lab you will GET and POST RESTapi actions. Its a basic look at some common use cases such as,

  • Query a VM’s hardware inventory.
  • Query the VMS for any who are tagged with “Function/Database”
  • Show the tags on a specific VM
  • Create new Category and Tag in the appliance
  • Assign a Category/Tag to a VM
  • Provision a VM
  • Query the status of the Provision request.

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CLOUDFORMS 5.3.0 GEM List

Here is the list of GEMs and their info that are included in the CLOUDFORMS 5.3.0 appliance. I thought it would be useful to post, I need this recently for some work I am doing. It was really easy as most things in CLOUDFORMS usually are I simply wrote some ruby to utilise an existing gem called GEMS, that pulls this data from rubygems.org. I wrapped the code in some file open and close, e.g. I dumped the list of gems in the appliance using “gem list > gems.txt” then had my little nugget of code read that in. Here it is.

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