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Chapter 1. Introduction to Red Hat CloudForms

CloudForms Management Engine delivers the insight, control, and automation that enterprises need to address the challenges of managing virtual environments. This technology enables enterprises with existing virtual infrastructures to improve visibility and control, and those starting virtualization deployments to build and operate a well-managed virtual infrastructure.

Red Hat CloudForms 4.0 is comprised of a single component, the CloudForms Management Engine. It has the following feature sets:

  • Insight: Discovery, Monitoring, Utilization, Performance, Reporting, Analytics, Chargeback, and Trending.
  • Control: Security, Compliance, Alerting, Policy-Based Resource, and Configuration Enforcement.
  • Automate: IT Process, Task and Event, Provisioning, and Workload Management and Orchestration.
  • Integrate: Systems Management, Tools and Processes, Event Consoles, Configuration Management Database (CMDB), Role-based Administration (RBA), and Web Services.

1.1. Architecture

The diagram below describes the capabilities of CloudForms Management Engine. Its features are designed to work together to provide robust management and maintenance of your virtual infrastructure. 1845

The architecture comprises the following components:

  • The CloudForms Management Engine Appliance (Appliance) which is supplied as a secure, high-performance, preconfigured virtual machine. It provides support for HTTPS communications.
  • The CloudForms Management Engine Server (Server) resides on the Appliance. It is the software layer that communicates between the SmartProxy and the Virtual Management Database. It includes support for HTTPS communications.
  • The Virtual Management Database (VMDB) resides either on the Appliance or another computer accessible to the Appliance. It is the definitive source of intelligence collected about your Virtual Infrastructure. It also holds status information regarding Appliance tasks.
  • The CloudForms Management Engine Console (Console) is the Web interface used to view and control the Server and Appliance. It is consumed through Web 2.0 mash-ups and web services (WS Management) interfaces.
  • The SmartProxy can reside on the Appliance or on an ESX Server. If not embedded in the Server, the SmartProxy can be deployed from the Appliance. A SmartProxy agent must be configured in each storage location, and must be visible to the Appliance. The SmartProxy acts on behalf of the Appliance communicating with it over HTTPS on standard port 443.

1.2. Requirements

To use CloudForms Management Engine, the following requirements must be met:

  • One of the following web browsers:

    • Mozilla Firefox for versions supported under Mozilla’s Extended Support Release (ESR)
    • Internet Explorer 8, or higher
    • Google Chrome for Business
  • A monitor with a minimum resolution of 1280x1024.
  • Adobe Flash Player 9, or above. At the time of publication, you can access it at http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/
  • The CloudForms Management Engine Appliance must already be installed and activated in your enterprise environment.
  • The SmartProxy must have visibility to the virtual machines and cloud instances that you want to control.
  • The resources that you want to control must have a SmartProxy associated with them.
Important

Due to browser limitations, Red Hat supports logging in to only one tab for each multi-tabbed browser. Console settings are saved for the active tab only. For the same reason, CloudForms Management Engine does not guarantee that the browser’s Back button will produce the desired results. Red Hat recommends using the breadcrumbs provided in the Console.

1.3. Getting Help and Giving Feedback

If you experience difficulty with a procedure described in this documentation, visit the Red Hat Customer Portal at http://access.redhat.com. Through the Customer Portal, you can:

  • Search or browse through a knowledgebase of technical support articles about Red Hat products.
  • Submit a support case to Red Hat Global Support Services (GSS).
  • Access other product documentation.

Red Hat also hosts a large number of electronic mailing lists for discussion of Red Hat software and technology. You can find a list of publicly available mailing lists at https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo. Click on the name of any mailing list to subscribe to that list or to access the list archives.

1.4. Documentation Feedback

If you find a typographical error in this manual, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, please submit a report to GSS through the customer portal.

When submitting a report, be sure to mention the manual’s identifier: QuickStart Guide for CloudForms with OpenStack

  • If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible when describing it.
  • If you have found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so that we can easily find it.