Self-Service with CloudForms & RHEV pt4

Hi folks, we’re tying up our series on building a self-service portal with RHEV and CloudForms today. In part 1, we deployed the CloudForms appliance in RHEV. In part 2, we created a single VM catalog item. In part 3, we created a multi-item catalog bundle. And now in part 4, we’re going to launch both of those creations from the self-service portal, and see what happens from both the RHEV standpoint and the CloudForms admin standpoint.

Let’s get started.

Getting to the CloudForms self-service portal is as easy as using the CloudForms URL, then adding “/self_service” to the end, and then logging in. Your login is tied to a role which is tied to access. All of that can be customized for your particular environment. You can even copy existing roles and customize them if necessary.

Once logged in, click on “Service Catalog” to see what is available per your login. In our case, I’m logged as “admin”, so we’ll see everything. In the previous demos, we created “demo_item” and “multi-tier-app” and those will be launched in the video below.

NOTE:One of the things that may not have been clear during the creation of the catalog items was the concept of the “dialog” or “service dialog”. We selected a “dialog” from a drop down menu, but didn’t necessarily get to see what that entailed at that time. However it is about to be very clear, now that we’re actually items ordering from the self-service portal. Once something is ordered, things like service names or VM names are entered into fields. If there is a choice for number of CPU’s or amount of RAM, all of these things are part of the Service Dialog. That Service Dialog can also be customized per catalog item or bundle.

From a self-service standpoint, all that needs to be done is enter data into the service dialog fields, add the item to the shopping cart, then order everything that’s in the shopping cart. That’s it. Your VMs are then in process. The “bundle” is ordered the same way.

“Click, click, type, click, click. In process”

Once things are in the shopping cart, you have the opportunity to remove them before ordering. Once things are ordered, you can view your requests from the “My Requests” tab.

In the video, once things are ordered, we switch back to the “admin” view of CloudForms, just to see what the requests look like there.

From there, we look at things from the RHEV point of view. We can see the 3 item bundle as well as the single item being created. They all start off as “image locked” as the VMs are being created from template, and that template is being cloned.

Once the VMs are created, they are automatically started.

Let’s get to the video (best viewed in full screen):

From a customer standpoint this is significant. Login, click on “Service Catalog”, make a selection, enter minimal data, add to cart, order. Six steps.

From an administration standpoint, it’s no less significant. Sure, we went through a little work on the front end to set things up, but every VM or group of VM’s that gets created using the portal from here on out is consistent. Now imagine adding in compliance and security policies. Maybe even the chargeback. And under the covers, RHEV is just chugging along.

My point is this: a few months ago, I talked about “Cloud Light”. The ability to have a front end and a backend work together seamlessly for the purpose of automating virtual applications and their underlying virtual machines. This is it. Granted, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, as there are many many other things that can be done with RHEV and CloudForms, but if you’re familiar with virtualization, you can do this.

Hope this helps,

Captain KVM

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