With each release of CloudBolt, we introduce new features, enhance existing ones, and fix issues brought to our attention from our customers. We also thank a CloudBolt Champion and recognize their efforts in making us the market-leading hybrid cloud management solution for enterprises and organizations.
Release 8.8 is named after Sal Sharief, who is a VP in IT at Neuberger Berman. He was involved in the evaluation and selection of CloudBolt in 2014 and continues to be involved. According to Sal, “CloudBolt brings us great operational efficiency, time-to-market, and the ability to manage our data centers more efficiently.”
In 8.8, we went inside and made some major improvements to Approval Workflows and have more sophisticated IPAM support. We’re featuring two Beta features for remote updates to Blueprints and a Terraform Plan action to lay the groundwork and continue enhancing with each new release. The release also includes enhancing the Debug Mode for plugins and requiring Approvals for Actions if desired.
Check out some of the main highlights:
Remote Source Blueprints
Enterprise resource provisioning and development often requires sharing the responsibility among several different teams. Having a “single source of truth” becomes problematic with an agreed upon workflow of where the desired state of configuration process resides.
In this release, you can export your blueprints as a “flat file” to a remote repository, typically Github, and configure the setting outside of the CloudBolt interface. The standard or must up-to-date blueprint resides in this repository and can be edited and maintained by users who do not need access to CloudBolt.
CloudBolt then can run a recurring job to always have the blueprints that are used by the catalog to be the most current. The first step is to export a blueprint from the Overview tab as shown in the following figure:
Terraform Plan Actions
Terraform has become a very popular way for enterprise DevOps teams to configure and provision resources to private and public cloud environments. Terraform plans are written as code that specifies all the connection and configuration parameters and can be executed from any machine where Terraform binaries are installed.
CloudBolt now supports running Terraform Plans using Actions, as shown in the following figure.
NOTE—All VMs created by Terraform Plan Actions become CloudBolt server records but they are not under CloudBolt management by default. You can associate them with Resource Handlers using a Sync VMs job to discover them and then manage.
VMware Content Library Templates
VMware provides a way to share provisioning templates across all the enterprise data center vCenter hosts. A vCenter can maintain templates locally or subscribe to the VMware Content Library. In this release, when you import templates from a vCenter that has subscribed to a template from the VMware Content Library, you can also import that template to CloudBolt as shown in the following figure.
Many enterprises need a robust IP Address Management (IPAM) system to assign IPs without ending up with Domain Network Service (DNS) errors. CloudBolt integrates with Inflobox and can be customized to support other IPAM providers.
In these release, we have added a step as the foundation for supporting any IPAM provider. We are providing a way to import IPAM networks from Infloblox and then associate them with CloudBolt networks for assigning IPs at the time of provisioning. We plan to offer this extensibility with other IPAM providers in future releases.
Enable Debug Mode
Many CloudBolt champions use the extensible plug-in architecture of CloudBolt and edit plug-in code on a regular basis. The debugger has made it a lot easier to troubleshoot any issues with plug-ins that run in CloudBolt actions.
In the release, we’ve made it super easy to toggle the debugger on/off at any time, as shown in the following figure:
NOTE—This release now supports order form validation for blueprints that do not have a server tier configured. For more information, see the Release Notes.
Sophisticated Approval Workflows
In order to enable smooth self-service IT for most enterprises, it’s important to have control on what users are provisioning to avoid unexpected spending or resource usage. It’s also important for both technical and finance teams to be part of the process for some provisioning workflows.
In this release, we’ve enabled an orchestration action to override the default approval process of requiring some users to have their blueprints approved before they can be run. You can now add custom plug-in code to be as basic or “elegant” as you want. This release ships with a Two Approvers plug-in so that the order stays pending until a second approver approves the order.
As a possibility, you could create an approver plug-in that requires at least two approvers from one group approve an order and one member of another group. This would be considered when approvals are sometimes held up because a particular user is out of the office. There are many use cases and this new feature ensures that the sky’s the limit.
NOTE—This release now supports requiring server and resource actions to be approved if desired. For more information, see the Release Notes.