One of the challenges of deploying CloudForms to manage a large environment is knowing how to tune it – what knobs to turn and dials to watch for.

Red Hat’s Systems Engineering team have just completed a document entitled “Deploying CloudForms at Scale”. This describes the architectural components that affect large-scale deployment, and details the monitoring, troubleshooting and scaling measures that can be taken to optimally tune each component.

The document is divided into three sections:

Part I – Architecture and Design

  • Architecture discusses the principal architectural components that influence scaling: appliances, server roles, workers and messages.
  • Regions and Zones discusses the considerations and options for region and zone design.
  • Database Sizing and Optimization presents some guidelines for sizing and optimizing the PostgreSQL database for larger-scale operations.

Part II – Component Scaling

  • Inventory Refresh discusses the mechanism of extracting and saving the inventory of objects – VMs, hosts or containers for example – from an external management system.
  • Capacity and Utilization explains how the three types of C&U worker interact to extract and process performance metrics from an external management system.
  • Automate describes the challenges of scaling Ruby-based automate workflows, and how to optimize automation methods for larger environments.
  • Provisioning focuses on virtual machine and instance provisioning, and the problems that sometimes need to be addressed when complex automation workflows interact with external enterprise tools.
  • Event Handling describes the three workers that combine to process events from external management systems, and how to scale them.
  • SmartState Analysis takes a look at some of the tuning options available to scale SmartState Analysis in larger environments.
  • Web User Interface discusses how to scale WebUI appliances behind load balancers.
  • Monitoring describes some of the in-built monitoring capabilities, and how to setup alerts to warn of problems such as worker restarts.

Part III – Putting it into Practice

Design Scenario takes the reader through a hypothetical design, scaling CloudForms Management Engine appliances in a region with several zones to manage a hybrid cloud. The document is available here: (