Monday, September 14, 2015

ManageIQ Cloud Providers

For IT leaders and architects, the ability to match business requirements with technology capabilities has become a fundamental skill for executing strategic initiatives. The move from traditional IT to hosted solution provider is a substantial opportunity for any IT department to add value to the business it serves by offering a choice of infrastructure solutions. ManageIQ is a single pane of glass that helps you manage your on-premises and public cloud resources. 

In a previous post, we walked through the process of setting up infrastructure providers for vSphere and Red Hat, providing us the capability of managing a multi-hypervisor datacenter. A provider is a hosting instance with software to manage multiple virtual machines. ManageIQ can manage vSphere, Hyper-V, Red Hat, OpenStack, and Amazon EC2 environments. Today, we are going to focus on the process of setting up Amazon EC2 as our cloud provider in ManageIQ, which will give us the ability to build virtual machines on various platforms depending on the use case and business requirements.

To start, we are going to select Clouds and use the Providers taskbar to add a new cloud provider. Click on the Configuration drop-down and select + Add a New Cloud Provider. Additionally, you use the Providers taskbar to initiate the refresh of any existing cloud provider.

For the Basic Information, we are going to give our new provider a name, select the type of Amazon EC2, and choose a region. You also need to provided your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key from Amazon Web Services.

Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key, which are used to sign programmatic requests that you make to AWS. If you don't have access keys, you can create them by using the AWS Management Console and selecting Identity & Access Management.

From the navigation menu, click on users and select your user name.

Scroll down the page to Security Access and click the Create Access Key button.

Your keys will look something like this:

  • Secret access key: wjalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY

Click Download Credentials, and store the keys in a secure location.

ManageIQ uses virtual thumbnails to describe providers. Each thumbnail contains four quadrants by default. This allows users to glance at a provider for a quick view of its number of hosts and authentication status.
  • Top left: Number of hosts
  • Bottom left: Management system software
  • Top right: For future use
  • Bottom right: Authentication status
As we can see from my provider, I have 1 host on Amazon AWS and valid authentication credentials have been added. Clicking on my Amazon EC2 instance, I get more detailed information on the provider including region, type, availability zones, flavors, and current instances.

Clicking the Availability Zones taskbar shows me the the east zones, since I have selected the US East (Northern Virginia) region. You will notice that I have one instance on us-east-1b.

The flavors tab provides me with the instance types, which include C1 through C4 instances. C4 instances are the latest generation instances, featuring the highest performing processors and the lowest price/compute performance in EC2.

There are also D2 dense storage instance available that provide up to 48 TB of HDD-based local storage and high disk throughput. To get more information on the different instance types, you can go to Amazon's EC2 Instance Page.

Selecting the Instances tab, it gives me details on the instances I have running on Amazon EC2. My current instance is i-1602a1c5 in availability zone us-east-1b and it is a T2.micro type. 

To create an AWS instance, first we need to go into our AWS Management Console and select one of current running instances to create a template. Drop-down the Actions menu, click Images, and then select Create Images.

Provide the Image Name and Description, then click Create Image.

After the image has been created, it will show up under AMIs on the Images taskbar.

From the ManageIQ console, click on Clouds and Instances. We are going to select Lifecycle and click on Provision Instances.

Our new image will show in the center panel, we are going to highlight the image and click Continue.

We are going to provide the request information; including e-mail, first name and last name. After that is completed select the Catalog tab.

On the Catalog tab, we select the number of instances and give our instance a name. In my example I am calling my new virtual machine devcloud-VM.

Now we select the Environment tab, this is where we select our Availability zone and Virtual Private Cloud, the Cloud Subnet should fill in by default.

On the Instances tab, we are going to select our Instance Type and then click Submit. 

After submitted, it will bring you to the Requests page where you can monitor the status of the deployment. After 3 to 5 minutes, the virtual machine with be deployed in AWS and it will show in the ManageIQ console.

Now we have ManageIQ setup to deploy virtual machines in Amazon Web Services, vSphere, and Red Hat depending on the business requirements for our enterprise applications.

Becoming a hosting provider of IT services enables IT operations to become true strategic partners of the business, rather than being simply a cost center of the organization. You become a value-adding department that actively delivers infrastructure solutions that drive business benefits.
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