OpenShift Showback Reporting using CloudForms

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Overview

One of the most important capabilities of any platform in today’s service driven, pay-as-you-go economy is metering and showback. Without a solid understanding of costs, organizations are in fact unable to provide services. With containers, metering and showback becomes more challenging. If we think about containers simply being processes, then we are basically needing to meter and perform showback at that level of granularity. In addition since OpenShift uses Kubernetes for container orchestration, there are additional concepts that are new. For example, one more more containers run together in what Kubernetes refers to as a Pod. Next Pods are extremely dynamic and their lifetime very short. All of this make metering and showback anything but straight-forward. Thankfully OpenShift and CloudForms have the solution.

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Ansible Tower and Satellite: End to End Automation for the Enterprise

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Overview

In this article we will look at how Ansible Tower and Red Hat Satellite 6 integrate with one another, providing end-to-end automation for the enterprise. Satellite is a systems management tool that combines several popular opensource projects: Foreman (provisioning), Katello (content repository), Pulp (database), Candlepin (subscription management) and Puppet (configuration management). While puppet is directly integrated into Satellite, many organizations would rather use Ansible because of its power, simplicity and ease-of-use.

Ansible Tower integrates with Satellite, allowing organizations to run playbooks against the hierarchy and groups of servers defined in Satellite. Additionally, Ansible Tower can dynamically update its inventories with hosts and their updated facts from Satellite at anytime. Hosts show up in Ansible Tower under the groups defined by Satellite. This allows organizations to use Satellite to define their infrastructure, provision hosts, provide patch management while leveraging Ansible to deploy and manage software configuration. It also allows other teams the ability to run playbooks and automation against the infrastructure defined by Satellite. Personally I am a huge fan of this loose coupling and find this solution much more advantageous than a direct coupling of Ansible in Satellite.

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Ansible Tower Installation and Configuration Guide

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Overview

In this article we will setup and configure Ansible Tower on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). By now unless you are hiding under a rock, you have heard about Ansible. Ansible is quickly becoming the standard automation language used in enterprises for automating everything. Ansible is powerful, simple, easy to learn and these of course are the main reasons it becoming the standard everywhere. Ansible has two components: Ansible core and Ansible Tower. Core provides the Ansible runtime that executes playbooks (yaml files defining tasks and roles) against inventories (group of hosts). Ansible Tower provides management, visibility, job scheduling, credentials, RBAC, auditing / compliance and more. Installing Ansible Tower also installs Ansible core so you kill two birds with one stone.

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Explaining OpenStack Cinder Types and Scheduler

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Overview

OpenStack Cinder is responsible for handling block storage in the context of OpenStack. Cinder provides a standard API and interface that allows storage companies to create their own drivers in order to integrate storage capabilities into OpenStack in a consistent way. Each storage pool exposed to OpenStack Cinder is a backend and you can have many storage backends. You can also have many of the same kind of storage backends. In this article we will look at two advanced features Cinder provides: types and the scheduler.

Cinder types essentially allow us to label Cinder storage backends. This allows for building out storage services that have expected characteristics and capabilities. The Cinder driver exposes those storage capabilities to Cinder.

The Cinder scheduler is responsible for deciding where to create Cinder volumes when we have more than one of the same kind of storage backend. This is done by looking at the filter rules in order to identify the most appropriate storage backend. More about filter rules can be found here.

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CloudForms Installation and Configuration Guide for Red Hat Virtualization

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Overview

In this article we will deploy CloudForms 4.2 on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHV). We will also show how to configure CloudForms in order to properly manage a RHV cluster and it’s hosts as well as virtual machines.

Before you begin a RHV cluster is needed. If you haven’t set one up, here is a guide on how to build a basic two node RHV cluster.

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RHV 4.1 Lab Installation and Configuration Guide

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Overview

In this article we will setup a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHV) environment. RHV is based on upstream opensource projects KVM and Ovirt. RHV is composed of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL which includes KVM) and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Management (RHV-M), based on Ovirt. As of this article the latest version is RHV 4.1.

RHV has of late become very interesting to customers looking for alternatives to VMware. Below are a few reasons why you should be interested in RHV:

  • 100% opensource no proprietary code and no proprietary licencing.
  • Best Hypervisor for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  • Integrated and built with RHEL, uses SELinux to secure Hypervisor.
  • RHV leads VMware in SPECvirt performance and price per performance (last results 2013).
  • RHV scales vertically and performs extremely well on 4 or even 8 socket servers.
  • All features are included in RHV subscription, no licensing for extra capabilities.
  • KVM is future proof and is the defacto standard for OpenStack and modern virtualizations platforms.

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Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 (Newton) Installation and Configuration Guide

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Overview

In this article we will setup an OpenStack environment based off Newton using the Red Hat OpenStack Platform. OpenStack is OpenStack but every distribution differs in what capabilities or technologies are supported and how OpenStack is installed, configured as well as upgraded.

The Red Hat OpenStack Platform uses OpenStack director based on the TripleO (OpenStack on OpenStack) project to install, configure and update OpenStack. Director is a lifecycle management tool for OpenStack. Red Hat’s approach is to make OpenStack easy to manage, without compromising on the “Open” part of OpenStack. If management of OpenStack can be simpler and the learning curve brought down then it has a real chance to be the next-gen virtualization platform. What company wouldn’t want to be able to consume their internal IT resources like using AWS, GCE or Azure if they didn’t give up anything to do so? We aren’t there yet but Red Hat is making bold strides and as you will see in this article, is on a journey to make OpenStack consumable for everyone!

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