Installing Red Hat CloudForms on VMware vSphere

Red Hat CloudForms 4.6

How to install and configure Red Hat CloudForms on a VMware vSphere environment

Red Hat CloudForms Documentation Team

Abstract

This guide provides instructions on how to install and configure Red Hat CloudForms on a VMware vSphere environment.
If you have a suggestion for improving this guide or have found an error, please submit a Bugzilla report at http://bugzilla.redhat.com against Red Hat CloudForms Management Engine for the Documentation component. Please provide specific details, such as the section number, guide name, and CloudForms version so we can easily locate the content.

Chapter 1. Installing Red Hat CloudForms

Installing Red Hat CloudForms consists of the following steps:

  1. Downloading the appliance for your environment as a virtual machine image template.
  2. Setting up a virtual machine based on the appliance.
  3. Configuring the CloudForms appliance.

After you have completed all the procedures in this guide, you will have a working environment on which additional customizations and configurations can be performed.

1.1. Choosing the Appliance Type

There are two types of CloudForms appliances available to install on the VMware vSphere platform, depending on your performance needs:

  • cfme-vsphere-.w.x.y.z.x86_64.vsphere.ova - This image uses the LSI Logic Parallel/SAS driver on vSphere.
  • cfme-vsphere-paravirtual.w.x.y.z.x86_64.vsphere.ova - This image uses the paravirtualization (PVSCSI) driver on vSphere.

PVSCSI and LSI Logic Parallel/SAS are essentially the same when it comes to overall performance capability. However, the PVSCSI controller is more efficient in the number of host compute cycles required to process the same number of input/output operations per second (IOPS).

If you have a storage I/O-intensive virtual machine, use the PVSCSI controller to save as many CPU cycles as possible, which can then be used by the application or host. Most modern operating systems with high I/O capability support one of these two controllers.

1.2. Obtaining the Appliance

  1. Go to access.redhat.com and log in to the Red Hat Customer Portal using your customer account details.
  2. Click Downloads in the menu bar.
  3. Click A-Z to sort the product downloads alphabetically.
  4. Click Red Hat CloudForms to access the product download page.
  5. From the list of installers and images, click the Download Now link for CFME VMware Virtual Appliance.

1.3. Uploading the Appliance on VMware vSphere

Uploading the Red Hat CloudForms appliance file onto VMware vSphere systems has the following requirements:

  • 44 GB of space on the chosen vSphere datastore.
  • 12 GB RAM.
  • 4 VCPUs.
  • Administrator access to the vSphere Client.
  • Depending on your infrastructure, allow time for the upload.
Note

These are the procedural steps as of the time of writing. For more information, consult the VMware documentation.

Use the following procedure to upload the Red Hat CloudForms appliance OVF template from your local file system using the vSphere Client.

  1. In the vSphere Client, select FileDeploy OVF Template. The Deploy OVF Template wizard appears.
  2. Specify the source location and click Next.

    • Select Deploy from File to browse your file system for the OVF template, for example cfme-vsphere-5.4-43.x86_64.vsphere.ova.
    • Select Deploy from URL to specify a URL to an OVF template located on the internet.
  3. View the OVF Template Details page and click Next.
  4. Select the deployment configuration from the drop-down menu and click Next. The option selected typically controls the memory settings, number of CPUs and reservations, and application-level configuration parameters.
  5. Select the host or cluster on which you want to deploy the OVF template and click Next.
  6. Select the host on which you want to run the run the Red Hat CloudForms appliance, and click Next.
  7. Navigate to, and select the resource pool where you want to run the Red Hat CloudForms appliance and click Next.
  8. Select a datastore to store the deployed Red Hat CloudForms appliance, and click Next. Ensure to select a datastore large enough to accommodate the virtual machine and all of its virtual disk files.
  9. Select the disk format to store the virtual machine virtual disks, and click Next.

    • Select Thin Provisioned if the storage is allocated on demand as data is written to the virtual disks.
    • Select Thick Provisioned if all storage is immediately allocated.
  10. For each network specified in the OVF template, select a network by right-clicking the Destination Network column in your infrastructure to set up the network mapping and click Next.
  11. The IP Allocation page does not require any configuration changes. Leave the default settings in the IP Allocation page and click Next.
  12. Set the user-configurable properties and click Next. The properties to enter depend on the selected IP allocation scheme. For example, you are prompted for IP related information for the deployed virtual machines only in the case of a fixed IP allocation scheme.
  13. Review your settings and click Finish.

The progress of the import task appears in the vSphere Client Status panel.

Chapter 2. Configuring Red Hat CloudForms

After installing CloudForms and running it for the first time, you must perform some basic configuration. To configure CloudForms, you must at a minimum:

  1. Add a disk to the infrastructure hosting your appliance.
  2. Configure the database.

Configure the CloudForms appliance using the internal appliance console.

2.1. Accessing the Appliance Console

  1. Start the appliance and open a terminal console.
  2. After starting the appliance, log in with a user name of root and the default password of smartvm. This displays the Bash prompt for the root user.
  3. Enter the appliance_console command. The Red Hat CloudForms appliance summary screen displays.
  4. Press Enter to manually configure settings.
  5. Press the number for the item you want to change, and press Enter. The options for your selection are displayed.
  6. Follow the prompts to make the changes.
  7. Press Enter to accept a setting where applicable.
Note

The CloudForms appliance console automatically logs out after five minutes of inactivity.

2.2. Configuring a Database

CloudForms uses a database to store information about the environment. Before using CloudForms, configure the database options for it; CloudForms provides the following two options for database configuration:

  • Install an internal PostgreSQL database to the appliance
  • Configure the appliance to use an external PostgreSQL database

2.2.1. Configuring an Internal Database

Important

Before installing an internal database, add a disk to the infrastructure hosting your appliance. See the documentation specific to your infrastructure for instructions for adding a disk. As a storage disk usually cannot be added while a virtual machine is running, Red Hat recommends adding the disk before starting the appliance. Red Hat CloudForms only supports installing of an internal VMDB on blank disks; installation will fail if the disks are not blank.

  1. Start the appliance and open a terminal console.
  2. After starting the appliance, log in with a user name of root and the default password of smartvm. This displays the Bash prompt for the root user.
  3. Enter the appliance_console command. The Red Hat CloudForms appliance summary screen displays.
  4. Press Enter to manually configure settings.
  5. Select 5) Configure Database from the menu.
  6. You are prompted to create or fetch an encryption key.

    • If this is the first Red Hat CloudForms appliance, choose 1) Create key.
    • If this is not the first Red Hat CloudForms appliance, choose 2) Fetch key from remote machine to fetch the key from the first appliance. For worker and multi-region setups, use this option to copy key from another appliance.

      Note

      All CloudForms appliances in a multi-region deployment must use the same key.

  7. Choose 1) Create Internal Database for the database location.
  8. Choose a disk for the database. This can be either a disk you attached previously, or a partition on the current disk.

    Important

    Red Hat recommends using a separate disk for the database.

    If there is an unpartitioned disk attached to the virtual machine, the dialog will show options similar to the following:

    1) /dev/vdb: 20480
    2) Don't partition the disk
    • Enter 1 to choose /dev/vdb for the database location. This option creates a logical volume using this device and mounts the volume to the appliance in a location appropriate for storing the database. The default location is /var/opt/rh/rh-postgresql95/lib/pgsql, which can be found in the environment variable $APPLIANCE_PG_MOUNT_POINT.
    • Enter 2 to continue without partitioning the disk. A second prompt will confirm this choice. Selecting this option results in using the root filesystem for the data directory (not advised in most cases).
  9. Enter Y or N for Should this appliance run as a standalone database server?

    • Select Y to configure the appliance as a database-only appliance. As a result, the appliance is configured as a basic PostgreSQL server, without a user interface.
    • Select N to configure the appliance with the full administrative user interface.
  10. When prompted, enter a unique number to create a new region.

    Important

    Creating a new region destroys any existing data on the chosen database.

  11. Create and confirm a password for the database.

Red Hat CloudForms then configures the internal database.

2.2.2. Configuring an External Database

Based on your setup, you will choose to configure the appliance to use an external PostgreSQL database. For example, we can only have one database in a single region. However, a region can be segmented into multiple zones, such as database zone, user interface zone, and reporting zone, where each zone provides a specific function. The appliances in these zones must be configured to use an external database.

The postgresql.conf file used with Red Hat CloudForms databases requires specific settings for correct operation. For example, it must correctly reclaim table space, control session timeouts, and format the PostgreSQL server log for improved system support. Due to these requirements, Red Hat recommends that external Red Hat CloudForms databases use a postgresql.conf file based on the standard file used by the Red Hat CloudForms appliance.

Ensure you configure the settings in the postgresql.conf to suit your system. For example, customize the shared_buffers setting according to the amount of real storage available in the external system hosting the PostgreSQL instance. In addition, depending on the aggregate number of appliances expected to connect to the PostgreSQL instance, it may be necessary to alter the max_connections setting.

Note
  • Red Hat CloudForms 4.x requires PostgreSQL version 9.4.
  • Because the postgresql.conf file controls the operation of all databases managed by a single instance of PostgreSQL, do not mix Red Hat CloudForms databases with other types of databases in a single PostgreSQL instance.
  1. Start the appliance and open a terminal console.
  2. After starting the appliance, log in with a user name of root and the default password of smartvm. This displays the Bash prompt for the root user.
  3. Enter the appliance_console command. The Red Hat CloudForms appliance summary screen displays.
  4. Press Enter to manually configure settings.
  5. Select 5) Configure Database from the menu.
  6. You are prompted to create or fetch a security key.

    • If this is the first Red Hat CloudForms appliance, choose 1) Create key.
    • If this is not the first Red Hat CloudForms appliance, choose 2) Fetch key from remote machine to fetch the key from the first appliance.

      Note

      All CloudForms appliances in a multi-region deployment must use the same key.

  7. Choose 2) Create Region in External Database for the database location.
  8. Enter the database hostname or IP address when prompted.
  9. Enter the database name or leave blank for the default (vmdb_production).
  10. Enter the database username or leave blank for the default (root).
  11. Enter the chosen database user’s password.
  12. Confirm the configuration if prompted.

Red Hat CloudForms will then configure the external database.

2.3. Configuring a Worker Appliance

You can use multiple appliances to facilitate horizontal scaling, as well as for dividing up work by roles. Accordingly, configure an appliance to handle work for one or many roles, with workers within the appliance carrying out the duties for which they are configured. You can configure a worker appliance through the terminal. The following steps demonstrate how to join a worker appliance to an appliance that already has a region configured with a database.

  1. Start the appliance and open a terminal console.
  2. After starting the appliance, log in with a user name of root and the default password of smartvm. This displays the Bash prompt for the root user.
  3. Enter the appliance_console command. The Red Hat CloudForms appliance summary screen displays.
  4. Press Enter to manually configure settings.
  5. Select 5) Configure Database from the menu.
  6. You are prompted to create or fetch a security key. Since this is not the first Red Hat CloudForms appliance, choose 2) Fetch key from remote machine. For worker and multi-region setups, use this option to copy key from another appliance.

    Note

    All CloudForms appliances in a multi-region deployment must use the same key.

  7. Choose 3) Join Region in External Database for the database location.
  8. Enter the database hostname or IP address when prompted.
  9. Enter the port number or leave blank for the default (5432).
  10. Enter the database name or leave blank for the default (vmdb_production).
  11. Enter the database username or leave blank for the default (root).
  12. Enter the chosen database user’s password.
  13. Confirm the configuration if prompted.

Chapter 3. Additional Configuration for Appliances on VMware vSphere

3.1. Installing VMware VDDK on CloudForms

Important

Execution of SmartState Analysis on virtual machines within a VMware environment requires the Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK). CloudForms supports VDDK 5.5.

To install VMware VDDK:

  1. Download VDDK 5.5 (VMware-vix-disklib-5.5.0-1284542.x86_64.tar.gz at the time of this writing) from the VMware website.

    Note

    If you do not already have a login ID to VMware, then you will need to create one. At the time of this writing, the file can be found by navigating to DownloadsAll DownloadsDrivers & Tools. Select VMware vSphereDrivers & Tools. Expand Automation Tools and SDKs, and select vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit 5.5. Alternatively, find the file by searching for it using the Search on the VMware site.

  2. Download and copy the VMware-vix-disklib-5.5.0-1284542.x86_64.tar.gz file to the /root directory of the appliance.
  3. Start an SSH session into the appliance.
  4. Extract and install VDDK 5.5 using the following commands:

    # cd /root
    # tar -xvf VMware-vix-disklib-5.5.0-1284542.x86_64.tar.gz
    # cd vmware-vix-disklib-distrib
    # ./vmware-install.pl
  5. Accept the defaults during the installation:

    Installing VMware VIX DiskLib API. You must read and accept the VMware VIX DiskLib API End User License Agreement to continue. Press enter to display it. Do you accept? (yes/no) yes
    
    Thank you. What prefix do you want to use to install VMware VIX DiskLib API? The prefix is the root directory where the other folders such as man, bin, doc, lib, etc. will be placed. [/usr] (Press Enter)
    
    The installation of VMware VIX DiskLib API 5.5.0 build-1284542 for Linux completed successfully. You can decide to remove this software from your system at any time by invoking the following command:
    "/usr/bin/vmware-uninstall-vix-disklib.pl". Enjoy, --the VMware team
  6. Run ldconfig to instruct CloudForms to find the newly installed VDDK library.

    Note

    Use the following command to verify the VDDK files are listed and accessible to the appliance:

    # ldconfig -p | grep vix
  7. Restart the CloudForms appliance.

The VDDK is now installed on the CloudForms appliance. This enables use of the SmartState Analysis server role on the appliance.

3.2. Tuning Appliance Performance

By default, the CloudForms appliance uses the tuned service and its virtual-guest profile to optimize performance. In most cases, this profile provides the best performance for the appliance.

However on some VMware setups (for example, with a large vCenter database), the following additional tuning may further improve appliance performance:

  • When using the virtual-guest profile in tuned, edit the vm.swappiness setting to 1 in the tuned.conf file from the default of vm.swappiness = 30.
  • Use the noop scheduler instead. See the VMware documentation for more details on the best scheduler for your environment. See Setting the Default I/O Scheduler in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Performance Tuning Guide for instructions on changing the default I/O scheduler.

Chapter 4. Logging In After Installing Red Hat CloudForms

Once Red Hat CloudForms is installed, you can log in and perform administration tasks.

Log in to Red Hat CloudForms for the first time after installing by:

  1. Navigate to the URL for the login screen. (https://xx.xx.xx.xx on the virtual machine instance)
  2. Enter the default credentials (Username: admin | Password: smartvm) for the initial login.
  3. Click Login.

4.1. Changing the Default Login Password

Change your password to ensure more private and secure access to Red Hat CloudForms.

  1. Navigate to the URL for the login screen. (https://xx.xx.xx.xx on the virtual machine instance)
  2. Click Update Password beneath the Username and Password text fields.
  3. Enter your current Username and Password in the text fields.
  4. Input a new password in the New Password field.
  5. Repeat your new password in the Verify Password field.
  6. Click Login.

Appendix A. Appendix

A.1. Appliance Console Command-Line Interface (CLI)

Currently, the appliance_console_cli feature is a subset of the full functionality of the appliance_console itself, and covers functions most likely to be scripted using the command-line interface (CLI).

  1. After starting the Red Hat CloudForms appliance, log in with a user name of root and the default password of smartvm. This displays the Bash prompt for the root user.
  2. Enter the appliance_console_cli or appliance_console_cli --help command to see a list of options available with the command, or simply enter appliance_console_cli --option <argument> directly to use a specific option.

Table A.1. Database Configuration Options

OptionDescription

--region (-r)

region number (create a new region in the database - requires database credentials passed)

--internal (-i)

internal database (create a database on the current appliance)

--dbdisk

database disk device path (for configuring an internal database)

--hostname (-h)

database hostname

--port

database port (defaults to 5432)

--username (-U)

database username (defaults to root)

--password (-p)

database password

--dbname (-d)

database name (defaults to vmdb_production)

Table A.2. v2_key Options

OptionDescription

--key (-k)

create a new v2_key

--fetch-key (-K)

fetch the v2_key from the given host

--force-key (-f)

create or fetch the key even if one exists

--sshlogin

ssh username for fetching the v2_key (defaults to root)

--sshpassword

ssh password for fetching the v2_key

Table A.3. IPA Server Options

OptionDescription

--host (-H)

set the appliance hostname to the given name

--ipaserver (-e)

IPA server FQDN

--ipaprincipal (-n)

IPA server principal (default: admin)

--ipapassword (-w)

IPA server password

--ipadomain (-o)

IPA server domain (optional). Will be based on the appliance domain name if not specified.

--iparealm (-l)

IPA server realm (optional). Will be based on the domain name of the ipaserver if not specified.

--uninstall-ipa (-u)

uninstall IPA client

Note
  • In order to configure authentication through an IPA server, in addition to using Configure External Authentication (httpd) in the appliance_console, external authentication can be optionally configured via the appliance_console_cli (command-line interface).
  • Specifying --host will update the hostname of the appliance. If this step was already performed via the appliance_console and the necessary updates made to /etc/hosts if DNS is not properly configured, the --host option can be omitted.

Table A.4. Certificate Options

OptionDescription

--ca (-c)

CA name used for certmonger (default: ipa)

--postgres-client-cert (-g)

install certs for postgres client

--postgres-server-cert

install certs for postgres server

--http-cert

install certs for http server (to create certs/httpd* values for a unique key)

--extauth-opts (-x)

external authentication options

Note

The certificate options augment the functionality of the certmonger tool and enable creating a certificate signing request (CSR), and specifying certmonger the directories to store the keys.

Table A.5. Other Options

OptionDescription

--logdisk (-l)

log disk path

--tmpdisk

initialize the given device for temp storage (volume mounted at /var/www/miq_tmp)

--verbose (-v)

print more debugging info

Example Usage

$ ssh root@appliance.test.company.com

To create a new database locally on the server using /dev/sdb:

# appliance_console_cli --internal --dbdisk /dev/sdb --region 0 --password smartvm

To copy the v2_key from a host some.example.com to local machine:

# appliance_console_cli --fetch-key some.example.com --sshlogin root --sshpassword smartvm

You could combine the two to join a region where db.example.com is the appliance hosting the database:

# appliance_console_cli --fetch-key db.example.com --sshlogin root --sshpassword smartvm --hostname db.example.com --password mydatabasepassword

To configure external authentication:

# appliance_console_cli --host appliance.test.company.com
                        --ipaserver ipaserver.test.company.com
                        --ipadomain test.company.com
                        --iparealm TEST.COMPANY.COM
                        --ipaprincipal admin
                        --ipapassword smartvm1

To uninstall external authentication:

# appliance_console_cli  --uninstall-ipa