Chapter 2. Architecture and Components

2.1. Architecture and Components

Red Hat Cloud Suite builds a private cloud based either on Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOSP) with public cloud-like scalability, or Red Hat Virtualization (RHV), which is based on high-performance virtualization. Both provide secure and scalable foundations for hosting the application development platform known as OpenShift Enterprise (OSE), which automates the development and administration of container-based applications.

You can also use Red Hat Ceph Storage, a scalable software-defined storage that is now bundled with Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Red Hat Ceph Storage is designed for commodity hardware and preferred by Red Hat OpenStack Platform users because of its integration with Red Hat OpenStack Platform’s modular architecture and components for ephemeral and persistent storage.

Red Hat Cloud Suite Architecture and Components

Red Hat Cloud Suite consists of the following components:

  • Red Hat CloudForms is the management component of the Red Hat Cloud Suite. Red Hat CloudForms makes it possible to establish a consistent management interface over part of your cloud infrastructure, or over all of it. Red Hat CloudForms delivers the insight, control, and automation, enterprises need to address the challenges of managing virtual environments. This product enables enterprises with existing cloud infrastructures to improve visibility and control, and those just starting virtualization deployments to build and operate a well-managed cloud infrastructure. For more information on supported features in Red Hat CloudForms, see Platform Support Matrix Red Hat CloudForms 4.0/Red Hat CloudForms Management Engine 5.5
  • Red Hat Virtualization is an enterprise-grade server and desktop virtualization platform built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Virtualization makes it possible to create and administer virtual machines. Red Hat Virtualization consists of a Manager (to manage virtual machines and other Red Hat Virtualization components) and at least one host computer for running virtual machines (host computers are also referred to as "hypervisors" or "compute nodes"). From the Red Hat Virtualization Manager, you can connect to storage, configure networking, manage user roles, and run reports. Red Hat CloudForms makes requests to the Red Hat Virtualization Manager for services through the Red Hat Virtualization application programming interface (API).
  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform provides the foundation to build a private or public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.The primary function of Red Hat OpenStack Platform is the creation and management of virtual machines. In this, Red Hat OpenStack Platform resembles Red Hat Virtualization. Unlike Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat OpenStack Platform is able to split virtualization workloads across multiple controller nodes. As with Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat CloudForms manages Red Hat OpenStack Platform assets using an API.
  • Red Hat Ceph Storage is a software-defined storage that combines the most stable version of Ceph with a Ceph management platform, deployment tools and support services, designed for cloud infrastructures and web-scale object storage.


    Red Hat Ceph Storage is integrated with Red Hat OpenStack Platform with a 64TB limited storage.

  • QuickStart Cloud Installer (Red Hat Satellite) is the evolution of Red Hat’s life cycle management platform. QuickStart Cloud Installer (QCI) provides an on-premise mirror of all entitled content found on the Red Hat Customer Portal. It also synchronizes with custom content repositories, the Puppet Forge, and local GIT repositories. QCI provides a comprehensive work flow designed to package, version, and configure a complete Linux application stack. The work flows include host provisioning on a variety of compute resources, including bare-metal, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, VMware, and EC2. QCI tracks the arrival of critical errata and guides administrators through the use of dashboards and notifications in the task of keeping Linux hosts patched and protected from exploits and service-affecting incidents. Managed hosts register with QCI for updates and configuration services, which are locally administered by a distributed network of Satellite Capsule Servers.
  • OpenShift Enterprise (OSE) by Red Hat is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that provides developers and IT organizations with a cloud application platform for deploying new applications on secure, scalable resources with minimal configuration and management overhead.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters is meant for a virtualized environment on supported hypervisors, and is deployed on systems that are sized by the socket pair. Each socket pair subscription comes with an unlimited number of guests that can be run on Red Hat Virtualization, VMware, or Microsoft HyperV. These subscriptions are also stackable and can be purchased with Standard or Premium Support.

Red Hat Insights is a new service available in the Red Hat products as an add-on feature that uses the collective knowledge to help end-users proactively diagnose systems and avoid critical downtime situations. Red Hat Access Insights does this by having systems periodically check in similar to Red Hat Subscription Management.

Smart Management Add-On for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, when coupled with QuickStart Cloud Installer (Red Hat Satellite), makes it possible for you to manage the complete life cycle of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. The Smart Management Add-On is a subscription that allows you to provision, update, configure your environemnt. It also allows you to automate routine tasks, such as errata management.

2.2. Supportability Matrix

To check which versions of the products you can use together for the best results, use Cloud Deployment Planner. Select a version for two or more products you want to deploy. Scroll down to see the Feature Compatibility list between the selected products. Click the Lifecycle Compatibility tab to check the support duration for individual products. Red Hat Cloud Suite does not have a master lifecycle support policy. Each product is supported based on its individual lifecycle support policy.

Refer to the following links for specific feature compatibility:

2.3. Integrating Red Hat Cloud Suite into Existing Infrastructure

Red Hat Cloud Suite makes it possible to use an existing infrastructure to connect to features from other open source or proprietary solutions. This means that you can add new peripheral technologies to Red Hat Cloud Suite or use the following technologies you already have on site:


You can use storage features built into Red Hat Enterprise Linux or other third-party products that offer NFS, iSCSI, or fibre channel storage.


Red Hat Virtualization provides support for authentication without requiring additional authentication services.

Red Hat Virtualization also supports centrally-managed network authentication such as Red Hat Identity Management, Microsoft Active Directory, Red Hat Directory Server 9, or other LDAP-based authentication (such as OpenLDAP). Red Hat CloudForms, however, currently supports only local (admin user) or Active Directory authentication when requesting services from Red Hat Virtualization.

Software Management

QuickStart Cloud Installer (Red Hat Satellite) makes it possible to automate and manage deployments, manage ongoing software updates for a variety of virtualization and cloud infrastructure.

Third-Party Virtualization and Cloud Providers

If you are currently running virtual machines in virtualization or cloud environments such as VMware vCenter or Microsoft Hyper-V Server, you can begin using Red Hat CloudForms to manage those environments, along with your Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform providers. This allows you to manage all of your cloud providers from the one console and in a consistent way.