Book Image

Hybrid Cloud Management with Red Hat CloudForms

By : Sangram Rath
Book Image

Hybrid Cloud Management with Red Hat CloudForms

By: Sangram Rath

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Hybrid Cloud Management with Red Hat CloudForms
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Introducing Red Hat CloudForms

Red Hat CloudForms is a scalable, open, and extensible management platform that provides insight, control, automation, and integration capabilities all under a single pane of glass. It is apt for managing resources distributed across private and hybrid clouds, and also includes support for traditional virtualized environments.

It can help you build a private cloud using existing virtualized infrastructure and deliver self-service infrastructure resources, such as compute, storage, and networking. It provides an advanced virtualization management platform with capabilities such as:

  • Monitoring and tracking

  • Capacity management and planning

  • Resource usage and optimization

  • Workload life cycle management

  • Policies to govern access and usage

Red Hat CloudForms can also help you build and manage a hybrid cloud from a unified platform, or just provide enhanced management capabilities to existing private cloud environments built using platforms such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack. Some of these capabilities include:

  • A self-service portal and catalogs

  • Controls for managing requests

  • Quota enforcement and usage

  • Chargeback and cost allocation

  • Automated provisioning

It follows an open-hybrid cloud strategy, making it possible to use external technologies such as VMware, Hyper-V, and Amazon Web Services EC2 and run Linux, as well as Windows workloads alike.

The platform provides operational visibility and control across environments in a unified view using capabilities such as:

  • Dashboards

  • Reports

  • Policies

  • Alerts

  • Approval workflows


Red Hat CloudForms provides a host of advantages that provide a seamless management experience. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • An easy-to-deploy management appliance available for different virtualization and cloud platforms

  • A lightweight web-based interface meant to administer, manage, and operate a private or hybrid cloud

  • Directory integration support for control and compliance, which supports existing technologies such as Active Directory, IBM Blue Pages and LDAP

  • A multitenant architecture that's secure and isolated, with each tenant containing its own data and network

  • It provides secure and compliant management across infrastructure platforms by using policies

  • Scalability

  • It ensures high availability through the clustering of hosts and zoning of cloud resources

  • Load balancing capabilities through clustering

  • The unified management of resources spread across geographical locations

  • Support for heterogeneous infrastructure and cloud platforms

  • Improved automation through services and service catalogs

  • A better optimization of resources

  • A single tool to manage it all


The architecture of Red Hat CloudForms consists of a host of features that together form the adaptive management platform, which sits on top of the virtualized and cloud infrastructures, providing a unified management experience.

The Red Hat CloudForms architecture; source:

The components of Red Hat CloudForms

Red Hat CloudForms consists of the CloudForms Management Engine, which is the primary component. This appliance is provided as a secure, high-performance, and preconfigured virtual machine in different formats for different deployment environments, such as Open Virtualization Format (OVF) for VMware, QCOW2 (QEMU Copy On Write) image for Red Hat OpenStack, and Red Hat Virtual Appliance for RHEV.

In addition to the CloudForms Management Engine, there are some other components that make up the platform:

  • CloudForms Management Engine Server: This component is part of the CloudForms Management Engine Appliance and provides secure communication between SmartProxy and the virtual management database.

  • Virtual Management Database: This collects information about the virtual infrastructure and appliance. It is usually part of the CloudForms Management Engine Appliance, but can be deployed on another machine as well.

  • CloudForms Management Engine Console: This provides the User Interface (UI) required to view, manage, and control the CloudForms Management Engine Appliance. It uses Web 2.0 mash-ups and web service interfaces for communication.

  • SmartProxy: This component can either be used as part of the CloudForms Management Engine Appliance or be installed separately on an ESX server. It performs actions on behalf of the CloudForms Management Engine Appliance on data stores. The communication between the appliance and SmartProxy takes place over HTTPS.


Red Hat CloudForms provides a lot of capabilities which can be broadly categorized into four different feature sets, that build upon one another to provide seamless, unified management of the hybrid cloud infrastructure:

  • Insight: The insight feature set includes discovery, monitoring, utilization, performance, reporting, analytics, chargeback, and trending, which give operational visibility of the hybrid cloud environment

  • Control: The control feature set includes security, compliance, alerting, policy-based resource access, and configuration enforcement, which provides control over the hybrid cloud environment

  • Automate: This feature set contains IT processes, tasks and events, provisioning, workload management, and orchestration

  • Integrate: This contains features such as systems management, tools and processes, event consoles, Role-based Administration (RBA), and web services


Red Hat CloudForms provides a host of infrastructure management benefits depending on the use case and implementation, some of which include:

  • Flexibility in managing a heterogeneous environment from a single pane of glass

  • Lower implementation and acquisition costs

  • An open-hybrid cloud strategy

  • A single tool to manage it all

  • Quicker failover to the cloud

  • Increased automation compared to vendor-specific tools

  • Continuous optimization of resources