Deploying CloudForms in the Azure Cloud

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Overview

In this article we will deploy the CloudForms appliance in the Azure cloud. CloudForms is a cloud management platform based on the opensource project manageiq. Red Hat bought manageiq a few years back and opensourced the software. Originally it was designed to manage VMware but over the years has expanded to many additional traditional as well as cloud platforms. You can use this article as reference for both CloudForms and ManageIQ.

CloudForms can connect to many cloud providers such as RHEV (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization), VMware, Hyper-V, OpenStack, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Engine (GCE) and Azure. Large organizations don’t have one cloud but many and in addition typically have on-premise, off-premise as well as public. All of these various platforms creates a lot of complexity if not managed right. CloudForms can create a bridge between traditional (mode 1) and cloud native (mode 2) workloads, offering applications a path to switch between these modes. In addition, CloudForms allows an IT organization to act as a cloud broker between the various public platforms. Finally CloudForms can be used to automatically deploy and manage applications across the various cloud platforms. Businesses have choice in platform, flexibility and speed while IT can manage it all centrally applying common policies or rule-sets regardless of where workloads are running.

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OpenShift Enterprise 3.2: all-in-one Lab Environment

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Overview

In this article we will setup a OpenShift Enterprise 3.2 all-in-one configuration. We will also setup the integration with CloudForms that allows additional management of OpenShift environments.

OpenShift has several different roles: masters, nodes, etcd and load balancers. An all-in-one setup means running all service on a single system. Since we are only using a single system a load balancer or ha-proxy won’t be configured. If you would like to read more about OpenShift I can recommend the following:

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Detecting Security Vulnerabilities in Docker Container Images

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Overview

Containers, especially Docker container images have been on fire of late and it is simple to understand why? Docker container images give your development and operations organizations a major shot of adrenaline. The results are quite impressive. Applications are developed at never before seen speeds and as such organizations are able to deliver innovation to customers much faster. It’s all so easy, just get on Docker Hub, download a container and run it. So why isn’t everyone already doing this? Unfortunately it is not quite that simple. Enterprises have many other requirements such as security. Once IT operations gets involved they typically start asking a lot of questions. Who built this container? How is the container maintained? Who provides support for the software within the container? Does the software running within the container adhere to our security guidelines? How can we run security compliance checks within containers? How do we update software within containers?
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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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