Red Hat is updating its CloudForms hybrid cloud management platform with the new 4.2 release, providing users with enhanced capabilities. CloudForms enables organization to manage multiple types of cloud deployments including private and public clouds, as well as container-based platforms.
The CloudForms 4.2 release is based on the open-source ManageIQ Euwe release that debuted on Dec. 20, 2016. Red Hat acquired ManageIQ in December 2012 for $104 million. Geert Jansen, senior principal product management for Red Hat CloudForms explained that there are a few differences between the open-source ManageIQ project and the commercially supported CloudForms product.
"CloudForms includes a commercial PDF generation library and the appliance is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux instead of CentOS," Jansen told eWEEK.
Another difference between ManageIQ and CloudForms is the software lifecycle. ManageIQ releases come out approximately every six months. Jansen explained that when a new ManageIQ release comes out, the previous release becomes unsupported with and no additional patch updates.
"CloudForms releases on the other hand, are supported for three years under our enterprise subscription model, allowing customers to stay on a single release for up to three years," Jansen said.
Among the enhanced features in the CloudForms 4.2 release are improved metrics and events capabilities for Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. Jansen explained that on Microsoft Azure, additional metrics are now collected from the Azure Resource Manager API including: memory, disk and network I/O. For Google Cloud Platform, CloudForms 4.2 now implements the Google Cloud Monitoring API to monitor resource usage.
"Both improvements allow for more accurate reporting and additional CloudForms capabilities across clouds, like chargeback and showback, control policies and alerts, right-size recommendation and resource trending," Jansen said.
For containers, Jansen noted that chargeback for containers was introduced in CloudForms 4.1, allowing the assignment of rates to container workload consumption for historical showback and chargeback reports. He added that CloudForms 4.2 improves this functionality by introducing additional reports and filtering capabilities, including leveraging tags and labels synchronized from Red Hat's OpenShift platform.
While CloudForms is a hybrid cloud management technology it's also a core element of Red Hat's strategy for managing OpenStack cloud deployments. CloudForms is included in Red Hat OpenStack Platform, where it is the primary operations management platform for both the cloud resources presented by OpenStack and the infrastructure resources on which OpenStack itself runs.
Jansen said that in CloudForms 4.2 there are multiple new features for OpenStack management including: tenant management, region and domain support, floating IP assignment, backup/restore management, snapshot management, topology visualization and additional eventing support. Additionally he noted that network management has been added, as well as a new storage integration to manage object and block storage.
CloudForms is also a core element of Red Hat's strategy for managing containers. Jansen noted that CloudForms is included in Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform as the operations management technology.
"Rather than building a separate admin console for container management, we have chosen to enhance CloudForms with container management capabilities and include it in OpenShift," Jansen said. "With CloudForms, operations teams now have a single interface to manage both containers deployed in a production environment as well as the underlying virtual, cloud, or bare metal infrastructure."
Looking forward to future releases, Jansen commented that new features in CloudForms are developed first in the ManageIQ community.
"One recent focus in the community has been tighter integration with Ansible," Jansen said. " This will allow ManageIQ and CloudForms users to leverage the power and simplicity of Ansible to define multi-tier services, desired state policies and custom workflows."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.