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.
Continue reading “Review and Future Directions of CloudForms State-Machines”
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
Continue reading “My First Ansible Service (Video)”
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.
Continue reading “Announcing General Availability of Red Hat CloudForms 4.5”
CloudForms 4.5 marks a huge new direction for Cloud Management and Automation, in that CloudForms can now run an Ansible Playbook natively as a Service, Control Action or Control Alert. We also have some other ways like Custom Buttons and REST API.
Continue reading “Ansible Automation Inside CloudForms”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Using an Ansible Job Template in a CloudForms Service Bundle”
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.
Continue reading “Publishing an Ansible Job Template as a Service 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.
Continue reading “Launching our First Ansible Job Template on a VM 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.
Continue reading “Configuration of an Ansible Tower provider in CloudForms”
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.
Continue reading “Introducing Ansible Tower Integration in CloudForms 4.1”