Satellite on OpenStack 1-2-3: Systems Management in the Cloud

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Overview

In this article we will explore an important part of day 2 operations in OpenStack or any IaaS, systems management. There are two ways to maintain applications: immutable or lifecyle. Satellite is a product from Red Hat that focuses on lifecycle management. Specifically the deployment, updating, patching and configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as well as the applications running on top throughout entire lifecycle. We will discuss the value Satellite brings to OpenStack and why systems management is a key part of day 2 cloud operations. Investigate the Satellite architecture and how it applies to OpenStack. Finally we will go through hands-on deploy of Satellite on OpenStack, even deploying an instance and automatically connecting the instance to Satellite, all using Ansible.

The Value of Satellite in OpenStack

Satellite is the second product Red Hat created after RHEL. It has been around for over 10 years and recently gone through a major re-architecture from ground up to address cloud. Red Hat customers have used Satellite to create a standard operating environment (SOE) for RHEL and the applications that run on RHEL for 10+ years. Satellite provides the ability to create various content views and bring them together in a composite content view (a group of content views). This allows us to group content (RPMs, configuration management, Tar files, whatever else) and most importantly version it. Once we can group software and version it we can start thinking about release management across a lifecyle environment. A lifecycle environment is typically something similar the holy trinity: development, test and production. The versions of software for our OS and applications of course vary, you don’t want to update software in production without testing in development or test right?

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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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Governing the Cloud with CloudForms

Overview

In a previous article it was stated that cloud in not a technology but rather an architectural methodology of resource governance that utilizes underlying virtualization technologies. Since cloud is more about the methodology, the technology platforms such as VMware vCenter, Red Hat Virtualization Management (RHEVM), Microsoft System Center, Amazon EC2 and OpenStack can change as application requirements or life cycles change. An application may start on a virtualization platform like VMware but over time move to a cloud platform such as OpenStack. It could even have components serviced by both. This is the exact concept behind what Gartner talks about when they refer to Bi-Modal IT. Gartner also says 50% of companies will screw this up. A bridge is definitely needed for managing applications between these various platforms. Red Hat CloudForms is exactly that bridge. It allows us to create an abstraction above the virtualization platforms so that governance and business process can remain consistent across the cloud.
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