Automating Instance Provisioning with CloudForms and Ansible Tower (Video)

This video demonstrates how you can take manual tasks and processes and turn them into automation workflows. In this video we utilize Red Hat CloudForms and Ansible Tower to provide an underlying automation and orchestration framework to deliver automation to your IT organization.

The demonstration shows how a user can order a service and have automation provision and deliver the resources while tracking the elements in a ticketing system (ServiceNow).

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Debugging Ansible Automation inside Red Hat CloudForms

Debugging might not be one of your favorite things to do, but when your automation fails it is good to know where to look to find information and troubleshoot. In this blog post, we investigate how to make sure Ansible Automation is correctly configured inside CloudForms, and how to troubleshoot issues that might occur when running Ansible Automation. Content for this blog post is based on the knowledge base article published on Red Hat Customer Portal.


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Multi-tier Application Deployment using Ansible and CloudForms (Video)

This article is a follow up on our previous blog post VMware provisioning example using Ansible, where we deployed a simple virtual machine on VMware using Ansible from the CloudForms service catalog. In this week’s demonstration, we go a step further and provision a multi-tier application on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Once provisioned, the application lifecycle, as well as all day 2 operations are performed from Red Hat CloudForms.

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CloudForms Service Bundle creation using VM Provisioning and Ansible Tower automation job

Service catalog bundles are a really useful CloudForms feature that enable us to mix and match various existing service catalog items together to form bundles of tasks.


One of the more useful examples of a bundle is to create a new VM, and then run an Ansible Tower job template on the resulting VM to configure it with an application role. If we have an Ansible Tower server added to our CloudForms installation as an automation provider, this is quite simple. We described the procedure to configure an Ansible Tower provider in CloudForms as part of our previous series on Ansible Tower integration in CloudForms 4.1.


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Review and Future Directions of CloudForms State-Machines

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.

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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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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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