The Why and the How
Hybrid Cloud, yes, we understand the business value propositions, or, at least, we think we do. We see the advantages of using an IaaS platform for template modelling, generation and image publication and furthermore we really appreciate these advantages compared to "how we did it" in the good old bad days. So with this safely all taken onboard, how do we actually get started on automating all this wonderful technology for a flourishing and often changing hybrid cloud environment?
This question may be more simple to answer than we may first imagine, so let us explain why? Since, the UForge Platform permits us to seamlessly execute all the various steps we can perform "manually" using a powerful UI, by giving us the additional flexibility, strength and option, to switch into an "automation" or "industrialisation" mode, using standard RESTful web services methods or by just writing code, for direct access to the backend services, using a Java API SDK.
At the workshop
Using the Java API SDK code taken from the samples provided on our website. We can very quickly "build and run" the java module
CreateWindowsAppliance.java in a NetBeans IDE, for example. What happens in this module is roughly algorithmically equivalent to what we demonstrated in our previous blog, where we used the UI to do all the "hard work", but now let's use the Java API SDK, which will empower us further, by subsequently allowing us to incorporate complex or simple processes into any semi or fully automatic or industrialised production methodology we care to choose. Even transforming such automated processes into fully RESTful procedures, should be easily feasible, if needs be. Obviously, development proceeds in iterative cycles, so this will ultimately "cut down" drastically on defect evolutions, which can be spuriously introduced by manual template production and manipulation processes.
Once the appliance creation is completed, we can use another code module, to take the appliance template, generate and then publish the image to any of the many (Hybrid) Cloud infrastructures supported by the UForge Platform. For this demonstration, we will use a "QCOW2" format to be published on CloudStack infrastructure. But this could easily have been any one, of the many other cloud format offerings, we support in our comprehensive coverage of cloud connectors (e.g. AMI, Flexiant, OpenStack, Windows Azure and Abiquo, to name a few).
PublishCloudstack.java module will generate the appliance image and publish it to our CloudStack (hybrid) cloud using the provided API access and keys. Once successfully published, we can access the cloud management console and launch our image on a compute node and finally access our running instance using the provided console, that's all there is to it!
The Hybrid Cloud challenge
We have to note, that in any real Hybrid Cloud environment we will have many different services. We can envisage; launched and running image templates, providing their services on many different cloud infrastructures, most likely deployed from an IaaS platform, using differing connectors and or supporting multiple and different image formats. Such diverse cloud ecosystems may lead to hugely challenging situations, which would need highly adaptable, agile and flexible solutions to succeed well in. Management of these Hybrid Cloud systems would be well suited to the rich functionality provided in the UForge Platform, which can easily aide, in adapting any cloud service, on any cloud, in a world of very rapid changes by making the change process, as simple as regenerating and publishing images, from existing appliance templates to any new cloud environment in a few automatable steps.
Once a user has joined your workspace, you (or another workspace administrator) can modify their status. By default, when users accept your invitation and join your workspace they will be collaborators.
Members of a Workspace are either:
- Guest: A guest can read and post to the activity stream, and import templates into their private appliance library.
- Collaborator: The collaborator has the same rights as the Guest, but can also share templates.
- Administrator: This is generally the user who has created the workspace. There can be several administrators in a workspace. In addition to the basic rights of the collaborator, the administrator can invite members and is able to delete a Workspace.
To modify the status of a member:
- Click on the drop-down menu next to the member's name.
- Select the new status.
The main purpose of the collaboration workspace is to share appliance templates with a group of users. This is not the same as sharing a template on the Marketplace. A template in a collaboration workspace is only visible to members of the workspace. A template on the Marketplace is available to all the members of an organization.
Once you have created a collaboration workspace, you can invite users to your workspace. By inviting users, they will be able to view appliances you have shared and potentially share templates, depending on the rights you attribute to the users. By default, the users invited to your workspace will be collaborators.
UForge allows users to create shared workspaces. Under the Collaboration tab, all users can create a number of workspaces, invite other users and share appliance templates with the members of their workspace. While the Marketplace shares your templates with all the users in the organization, with a collaboration workspace, you must invite specific users to join your workspace. Only users who accept the invitation will be able to view your appliance templates.
page 1 of 2 next