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Chapter 2. Configuration Management Providers

In CloudForms, a configuration management provider is a systems management product that you can add to a CloudForms appliance to manage the lifecycle of your resources. Configuration management providers are useful for uniformly applying changes and updates across providers, and for recording and reporting status and change activity. They can also help eliminate the confusion and error brought about by the existence of different providers.

This chapter describes the different types of configuration management providers available to CloudForms, and how to manage them. Configuration management providers must be added individually to CloudForms.

2.1. Red Hat Satellite 6

Satellite 6 is a subscription and system management tool that provides a way to provision hosts (both virtual and bare metal) and configure them using a set of Puppet modules. Red Hat CloudForms provides functionality to integrate with a Red Hat Satellite 6 server and take advantage of its features. This includes:

  • Monitoring the inventory of your Red Hat Satellite 6 server, including independent hosts and hosts provisioned using hostgroups.
  • Reprovisioning existing bare metal system hosts to new host groups.
  • Applying Red Hat CloudForms policy tags to hosts.

Red Hat CloudForms only reprovisions existing systems in a Red Hat Satellite 6 environment. Provisioning systems from Red Hat Satellite 6’s bare metal discovery service is planned for a future release.

2.1.1. Defining the Workflow

This section uses the following workflow:

  1. Add Red Hat Satellite 6 server details to Red Hat CloudForms.
  2. Refresh the state of your Red Hat Satellite 6 provider in Red Hat CloudForms.
  3. Select an existing bare metal host from Red Hat Satellite 6 for reprovisioning.
  4. Apply policy tags to Red Hat Satellite 6 hosts.

2.1.2. Defining the Hostgroup Hierarchy

Red Hat CloudForms displays the Red Hat Satellite 6 infrastructure in a host group and host relationship. A host group defines a set of default values that hosts inherit when placed in that group. Hosts can belong to only one host group, but host groups can be nested in hierarchies. You can create a "base" or "parent" host group that represents all hosts in your organization, and then create nested or "child" host groups under that parent to provide specific settings.

2.1.3. Adding a Satellite 6 Provider

To start provisioning bare metal machines, you need at least one Red Hat Satelllite 6 provider added to Red Hat CloudForms.

  1. Navigate to ConfigurationManagement.
  2. Select ConfigurationAdd a new Provider.
  3. Enter a Name for the provider.
  4. Enter a URL for the provider. This is the root URL for the Satellite 6 server and can be either an IP address or a hostname. For example,
  5. Select Verify Peer Certificate to use encrypted communication with the provider. This requires the SSL certificates from your Red Hat Satellite 6 provider.
  6. Enter a Username for a user on the provider. Ideally, this would be a user in Satellite 6 with administrative access.
  7. Enter a Password, and then enter it again in Confirm Password.
  8. Click Validate to test your connection with the Red Hat Satellite 6 server.
  9. Click Add to confirm your settings and save the provider.

Red Hat CloudForms saves the Satellite 6 provider in its database and triggers a refresh of resources detected in the provider.

2.1.4. Triggering a Refresh of a Satellite 6 Provider

Your Satellite 6 provider can still create new hosts independently of Red Hat CloudForms. Your Red Hat CloudForms appliance detects these changes after an automatic refresh period. However, you can trigger a manual refresh to avoid waiting for the automatic refresh.

  1. Navigate to ConfigurationManagement.
  2. Select your Red Hat Satellite 6 provider using the checkbox, and click ConfigurationRefresh Relationships and Power States. This triggers the refresh.
  3. When the refresh is complete, select the Red Hat Satellite 6 provider to check the updated list of hosts groups in the provider.

2.1.5. Displaying Red Hat Satellite 6 Contents

Red Hat CloudForms provides two methods for viewing the contents of a Red Hat Satellite 6 provider:

  • Providers - This presents the Red Hat Satellite 6 contents as a hierarchy of host groups belonging to a provider, and then individual hosts belonging to each provider.
  • Configured Systems - This presents a list of all hosts on your Red Hat Satellite 6 server. This also provides a method to apply predefined filters to organized specific machines.

Change between these two views using the accordion menu on the left of the user interface.

2.1.6. Reprovisioning a Bare Metal Host

This procedure provides an example of reprovisioning an existing bare metal system into a new hostgroup. For this example, your Red Hat Satellite 6 environment requires the following:

  • An existing bare metal system stored as a host object in your Red Hat Satellite 6 server. This system can be one of the following:

    • A standalone system previously provisioned without a host group.
    • A system previously provisioned using a host group.
  • A target host group. This host group contains the system configuration to apply to the host when reprovisioning it. This includes:

    • A new operating system installation, including a new partition table.
    • A new networking configuration that the Red Hat Satellite 6 server defines and manages.
    • Registration to any Red Hat subscriptions and repositories assigned to the host group.
    • Application of any Puppet modules assigned to the host group.
  1. Navigate to ConfigurationManagement.
  2. Select Configured Systems from the accordion menu on the left. This displays the system list.
  3. Select one or more hosts to reprovision.
  4. Select LifecycleProvision Configured Systems.
  5. Under the Request tab, enter the following details:

    1. E-Mail address
    2. First Name
    3. Last Name
    4. This form also contains optional fields for users to enter a plain text Note to inform Red Hat CloudForms administrators of any special details, and a field to provide a manager’s name in case administrators require approval from a user’s manager.
  6. Select the Purpose tab and select any Red Hat CloudForms policy tags that apply to the system.
  7. Select the Catalog tab. This screen displays the list of chosen machines to reprovision and their current details. Select a target host group from the Configuration Profile list. Red Hat CloudForms communicates with Red Hat Satellite to apply the configuration from this host group to the selected host and reprovision the system.
  8. Select the Customize tab. This screen displays some customizable fields for the selected system. You can change the Root Password or change the Hostname and IP Address. Note that these fields are optional, because the host group in Red Hat Satellite 6 contains this information. The fields here will override the settings from the host group.


    Provisioning bare metal systems still requires access to the network that Red Hat Satellite 6 manages. This is because Red Hat Satellite controls PXE booting, kickstarts, and Puppet configuration for bare metal systems. Ensure the IP address you enter in Red Hat CloudForms can access a DHCP service that Red Hat Satellite 6 provides either through the main server or through a Red Hat Satellite 6 Capsule server.

  9. Select the Customize tab. This screen allows you to either launch the provisioning process immediately on approval or using a schedule. Click Schedule to show the date and time fields used to schedule the provisioning.
  10. Click Submit.

Depending on the request settings on your Red Hat CloudForms appliance, this provisioning request might require approval from an administrator. If not, the provisioning request launches depending on your choice for the schedule.


Previously provisioned hosts might require manual selection of PXE boot from the boot menu, otherwise they might boot to hard disk and not reprovision.

2.1.7. Tagging a Bare Metal Host

Red Hat CloudForms can also control policy settings of bare metal systems from Red Hat Satellite 6 through tagging. Tagging attaches levels of metadata to help define the policy rules required for a set of systems.

  1. Navigate to ConfigurationManagement.
  2. Select Configured Systems from the accordion menu on the left. This displays the system list.
  3. Select one or more hosts to tag.
  4. Select PolicyEdit Tags.
  5. Under Tag Assignment, select a tag from Select a customer tag to assign and then choose a value from Select a value to assign. For example, you can tag this system as located in Chicago by selecting Location as the tag and Chicago as the value. Once selected, the user interface automatically adds this tag and value to the table below.
  6. Click Save.

The bare metal system is now configured with a set of policy tags.