Self-Service with CloudForms & RHEV pt1

Ok, so we’ve really built up our RHEV environment over the last few weeks, but if you remember I promised to get this to the point of “Cloud Light” or you could call me out on it. Well, we’re here so you can’t call me out… This means we’re going to start integrating with a cloud management platform (CMP) so that we can have a self-service portal in order to get some more advanced and complicated work done.

Let’s get started.

So what do I mean by CMP and “move advanced work”? A cloud management platform or hybrid management platform will allow you to handle several different virtualization and cloud platforms from the same “pane of glass”.. In this case, I’m going to use Red Hat CloudForms as I can deploy it as a VM appliance. If we want, we can use it to manage RHEV, Vmware, AWS, and Azure simultaneously.. But we’re just going to use it to manage RHEV for now.

But what about “more advanced work”? RHEV is great for handling the virtual resources, but not so much on the advanced workflows. And yeah, it has a basic user portal, but you’re going to see a much more useful self-service portal.

I’m going to break this next series into 3 or 4 parts in order to show you how to deploy CloudForms in RHEV, then configure it, then show you how to setup both single VM and multi VM catalog items. The catalog items are what actually show up in the self-service catalog (user portal) when your end users go to order applications and VMs.

Think of it this way: you can spend your workday creating VMs based on tickets, or you can create a standard “menu” (self-service catalog) that your users can choose from that creates the VMs in a consistent fashion. You can add in whatever quotas, security, resources, security, and compliance policies that you need. They hit what I like to call an “easy button” that initiates automation for one or more VMs. This will include all of the IP information, hostname, applications, updates, and everything else that you need for the end users to be productive.

I’ll show you how to create a single VM item so that you can get the basic idea as well as the use case of actually setting up a single VM. And then I’ll show you how to set up multi item catalog bundles for when someone needs a menu item that when selected actually creates several VMs and applications

With all of that, let’s get going on downloading the CloudForms appliance image and getting it deployed in RHEV!

The basic rundown is as follows:

  1. Go to and download the Red Hat version of CloudForms (as opposed to the AWS version, VMware version, etc).
  2. It is delivered as an OVF template, so it is imported as a template, then a VM is created based on that template with the addition of a 4GB data disk.
  3. The new VM is booted and configured, embedded DB is initialized (this is where the demo vid picks up).
  4. We log into the admin interface and add the admin credentials for RHEV Manager and let it discover the resources in the RHEV environment.

Enjoy the demo video (best viewed in fullscreen):

Keep checking back over the next week or so for the follow ups for this post as I show you the workflows for creating the self-service catalog items.

Hope this helps,

Captain KVM

Agree? Disagree? Something to add to the conversation?