Transitioning from Red Hat Satellite 5 to Satellite 6

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Red Hat® Satellite 6 — a complete update and modernization

Since 2002 Red Hat® Satellite has grown from an ambitious on-premise update service into the popular, robust systems management product it is today. Red Hat continues to be on the forefront of leading edge open source technologies with the introduction of Red Hat Satellite 6.

Red Hat Satellite 6 is not merely an update though. Version 6 is a leap forward from its predecessor (version 5) to the most advanced technologies available today. This leap in technology and design reaffirms Red Hat Satellite as the premier manager of your workloads for the next generation of computing platforms—embracing modern models of bare-metal, virtual, and cloud-based management.

Considering Red Hat Satellite 6 is a complete technology update to the Red Hat Satellite family, refreshing your Red Hat Satellite deployment from version 5 to 6 is a transition, not a traditional upgrade.


There are two strategic models or approaches to consider when transitioning from Red Hat Satellite version 5 to 6: (1) A more passive approach that largely leaves existing workloads alone and (2) a more active approach that endeavors to migrate existing workloads rapidly to the new technology. Both involve standing up the newer architecture alongside your current architecture.


Legacy (existing) workloads remain with Red Hat Satellite 5. New workloads are managed by Satellite 6.

This strategic approach may be most appropriate if your Red Hat Satellite deployment is complex and has significant integration with other applications (via APIs or other processes). A passive transition gives administrators the most flexibility to rethink their infrastructure with the least possibility of disruption of services.

With this scenario, Red Hat Satellite 5 continues to manage existing workloads until they are retired. Red Hat Satellite 6 is deployed to manage only new workloads and projects.


Move workloads from Red Hat Satellite 5 to 6.

This strategic approach strives to decommission Red Hat Satellite 5 after re-registering existing systems to Red Hat Satellite 6. All new workloads and projects are targeted for management by Red Hat Satellite 6. Of course, if some workloads are targeted for later migration, Satellite 5 can be scheduled for a delayed decommission and archive.

An active transition allows data models to remain somewhat similar and familiar with all workloads appropriately migrated to the new Red Hat Satellite. Red Hat Satellite 5 is then freed to be transitioned into an archived state and shut down.


The process outlined below assumes an active transition strategy, where each transition step involves a duplication of data, object models, and architectural expression. For this process, Red Hat affords our customers one year of management infrastructure duplication, for admins to investigate and become comfortable with the how systems are managed in Satellite 6.

With this breadth of time, and with no increase in subscription cost for Red Hat Satellite for the duration, admins can make a determination if some, most or all systems are able to move to the new platform in that one year window of time.


The high-level process is conceptually simple: Stand-up the new architecture, move Satellite 5 workloads to Satellite 6, alternatively migrate systems to the new platform, decommission and archive the Red Hat Satellite 5 architecture.

  1. LEARN

    Review the available resources (more listed, with links, below this outline)

    • Steps listed here outlining the high-level process
    • Technical brief describing how the mechanics of the process work
    • Transition documentation
    • Comparative Recommended Practices for managing Standard Operating Environments on both platforms
    • Contact your account representative to discuss the process and your particular needs

    Claim your 1-year Transition Subscriptions

    By default, we give you a year to evaluate and transition to Red Hat Satellite 6.

    In the section "I'm Ready to Explore Transition Now" below, you will see a link—”Request Transition Subscriptions”. That is your ticket to duplicate your entire Red Hat Satellite infrastructure. You will click through, accept, and populate your account with all the subscriptions needed to stand-up a Satellite 6 infrastructure that duplicates your Satellite 5 infrastructure—same number of additional Satellites; same number of Capsule servers to match your Red Hat Satellite Proxy servers (Capsules and Proxies are analogous).

    Note: Your product (RHEL, etc) and Smart Management subscriptions do not need to be duplicated. They will migrate from one platform to the other throughout this process.


    Create Subscription Manifest and Install Red Hat Satellite 6

    Within the Red Hat Portal (our hosted support infrastructure), system, product, and Smart Management subscriptions are assigned to “Subscription Management Applications”. For example, in the past you likely generated a Red Hat Satellite 5 Certificate in order to assign subscriptions to your local Satellite 5. Similarly, from a Satellite 6 “Subscription Management Application” a manifest is generated.

    For all subscriptions targeted for migration from v5 to v6 you will, within the Red Hat Portal, incrementally depopulate your Red Hat Satellite 5 “Subscription Management Application” of subscriptions to a Satellite 6 one. Then you will generate a manifest to be delivered to your on-premise Satellite 6. One does not update the Satellite 5 Certificate until systems have been migrated. This is explained in greater detail in the Red Hat Transition Documentation.

    From that Satellite 6 “Subscription Management Application”, create and download a manifest. If you have systems managed by multiple organizations, you will generate a manifest for each (unlike Satellite 5 where there is only one certificate encapsulating all subscription and then organizationally split within the Satellite itself).

    If not done already, download the Red Hat Satellite 6 installer and install! Create and Install Red Hat Satellite Capsule servers as needed.


    Migrate Systems

    Red Hat has provided the bootstrap script that will register a system to Satellite 6, and once successfully attached, de-registering from Satellite 5. We recommend that administrators migrate a few systems initially. Test. And then migrate systems in bulk.


    Decommission and Archive. Transition Complete!

    Once all systems of value have been migrated to Satellite 6, administrators can then shut down their Satellite 5 and archive it for audit purposes for which we provide tooling to pull data if needed in the future.

Satellite 6 will super-charge how your systems are managed, making them even more manageable, scalable, deployable, and consistent; all with the very latest and most powerful 100% open-source technologies; whether those systems are bare-metal, virtual, containers or cloud.


Experts are here to help—from analysis and advice, all the way through to implementation. Contact your account representative for an overview of the process that is more specific to your situation and consider leveraging our expert consulting services to ease the transition.

Resources and FAQ


Recommended Practices (comparative)

I'm Ready to Explore Transition Now

To begin, you must have an active Satellite subscription and have
upgraded your Satellite to, at least, version 5.6.
Only Organizational Administrators can perform this action.

[Request Transition Subscriptions]

Once you confirm that you intend to transition, you will have 1 year, by default, to complete the process. In that time frame, if you don't transition, or determine after evaluation that you are not ready to transition, please contact us.