Ansible Service Catalog

This part of the lab will guide you through the process of setting up an Service Catalog Item which runs an Ansible Playbook.

Value provided by a Service Catalog

One of the features CloudForms provides, is a Self Service User Interface. From the Service Catalog users can order, manage and retire Services. Services are categorized in Catalogs, where they can be organized and easily consumed.

By providing a Service Catalog, users can deploy the Services they need quickly and easily. This helps to improve agility, reduce provisioning time and free up resources in internal IT.

Service Basics

But first some basics. Four items are required to make a Service available to users from the CloudForms Self Service Catalog:

  1. Provisioning Dialog

    The Provisioning Dialog specifies the list of customizable parameters. For example, when ordering a Virtual Machine, users can specify the number of virtual CPUs, how much memory the VM should have and other parameters. The list of possible parameters is defined in the Provisioning Dialog.

  2. A Service Dialog

    When the user orders a Service Catalog Item from the Service Catalog, you might want to allow them to override certain default values. For example, you might allow users to choose from a range of values of how much memory the new Virtual Machine can have, where the Virtual Machine will be placed and how the application is configured. You might want them to only choose from a list of predefined values like 2, 4, or 8 GB of RAM - but not more or less. This is specified in the Service Dialog.

  3. A Service Catalog Item

    The Service Catalog Item is what users will see in the Service Catalog and are able to order. It usually consists of a Service Dialog allowing users to change specific parameters, it can have a nice icon and an (optional) HTML description. Service Catalog Items are organized in Service Catalogs for easier navigation.

  4. A Service Catalog

    The Service Catalog allows administrator to organize the Service Catalog Items. You might want to have a Service Catalog for different Virtual Machine types, or one offering certain applications like Wordpress, MariaDB etc. Or you might want to categorize by Operating System. This is done by creating Service Catalogs and adding Items to them.

We can also use Role Based Access Control to make certain Service Catalog Items available only to specific groups of users.