Transition of Red Hat's subscription services to console.redhat.com

Updated -

What is changing?

Red Hat is migrating many of its core customer facing subscription services from access.redhat.com to the Hybrid Cloud Console console.redhat.com. This is being done to unify system and subscription management experiences, regardless of deployment or registration method, by migrating key use cases from Customer Portal RHSM to console.redhat.com. This migration will allow new capabilities such as richer permissions/RBAC tooling to better reflect customer environments, simplification of client registration tooling, and better alignment with cloud-native management tooling.

Additionally Red Hat is transitioning from entitlement based (system-level) subscription management to account level subscription management (Simple Content Access).

Important Upcoming dates and releases

  • Satellite 6.15 - Satellite version 6.15 will be the last release of Satellite which supports entitlement workflows.
  • Satellite 6.16 - Satellite versions 6.16 (and future versions) will only support Simple Content Access.
  • April 2024 - Red Hat Subscription Management users who have adopted Simple Content Access, will be redirected to the Hybrid Cloud Console.
  • Oct/Nov 2024 - Red Hat Subscription Management users who haven't switched to using Simple Content Access will be converted to use this experience.

How does this subscription experience work?

RHSM

There are three core components that power this experience.

  • Simple Content Access - Access the software as simply as possible
  • System Purpose - Tag the workloads, as needed to help delinate between development/production or standard/premium/self-support
  • The Subscriptions Service - View your utilization of Red Hat products, with the ability to filter for deployment type, SLA, add-ons/variants, etc.

RHSM

Let's walk through an example workflow.

Step 1 - Register a system using either subscription-manager or rhc

subscription-manager register OR rhc connect

Both tools can also use Activation Keys instead of username/password for automation.

Step 2 - (Optional) - Set System Purpose Attributes

In this example, the system being registered should be counted as Standard, so set the service-level to Standard

subscription-manager syspurpose service-level --set Standard

Step 3 View your usage in the Subscription Service

Visit the Subscriptions Service to see your product usage. An example of this usage is shown below.

RHSM

Want to learn more about the Subscriptions Service? Try our self-paced lab

That's it. No complexity of attaching (and reattaching) subscriptions, ever again.

Which capabilities are changing, have moved, and are moving to console.redhat.com?

All of the major functions of Red Hat Subscription Management have been moved to the Hybrid Cloud Console. Listed below is a simple mapping of those functions to help understand where to go to complete tasks.

RHSM Function HCC
https://access.redhat.com/management/ "Where do I go to see the subscriptions I own?" https://console.redhat.com/subscriptions/inventory
https://access.redhat.com/management/systems "Where are my systems?" https://console.redhat.com/insights/inventory
https://access.redhat.com/management/activation_keys "How do I create an activation key?" https://console.redhat.com/insights/connector/activation-keys
https://access.redhat.com/management/subscription_allocations "How do I create a manifest?" https://console.redhat.com/subscriptions/manifests
https://access.redhat.com/management/cloud "Where do I get gold images?" https://console.redhat.com/settings/integrations
  • Subscription Inventory (Released - Q2/2022) - The Subscription listings at access.redhat.com are now deprecated and are now available at console.redhat.com.
  • Activation Keys (Released - Q3/2022) - Activation keys (which are used to connect systems in lieu of username/password) are available at console.redhat.com, and will include new features such as the ability to set System Purpose attributes. The activation key UI at RHSM is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
  • Manifests
    • Connected Manifests (Released - Q3/2021) - Satellite customers who have Satellites which can reach console.redhat.com can manage their manifests via the UI at console.redhat.com. The new UI allows the creation (and modification) of a subscription manifest, which can then have subscriptions added/removed via the Satellite UI. Additionally, newly created Satellite manifests default to having Simple Content Access enabled.
    • Disconnected Manifests (TBD) - Satellite customers who have Satellites which cannot reach access.redhat.com or console.redhat.com should continue to manage their manifests via Red Hat Subscription Management.
  • Cloud account linkage (formerly known as Cloud Access) (Released - Q2/2021) - Customers who are running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the public cloud are advised to use the Hybrid Cloud Your Way workflow on console.redhat.com, The workflows to request gold images via access.redhat.com are deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
  • Default account configuration - As of 15-Jul-2022, newly created Red Hat accounts default to having Simple Content Access enabled.

Which capabilities are being retired

  • Entitlement Management - Entitlement management, effective with the release of Satellite 6.11 (for Satellite customers) and 15-Jul-2022 (for RHSM) is deprecated. Customers are advised to enable Simple Content Access if you haven't already. The ability to operate RHSM in 'entitlement mode' WILL be removed in a future release. Additionally:

    • Requests For Engineering (RFEs) for subscription tooling related to attaching entitlements will be CLOSED-WONTFIX.
    • Requests For Engineering (RFEs) for subscription tooling when operating with SCA enabled will be addressed based on severity & urgency.
    • Bugs related to 'the subscription tools didn't attach the right entitlement' will also be CLOSED-WONTFIX.
    • Bugs related to 'the subscription tools block access to content' will be addressed based on severity & urgency.
    • RFEs and Bugs related to RHSM (the subscription web UI at access.redhat.com) will be CLOSED-WONTFIX
    • RFEs and Bugs related to subscription services at console.redhat.com will be addressed based on severity & urgency.
  • Offline profile creation - Registering 'offline' systems, as documented in https://access.redhat.com/solutions/3121571 is also deprecated. Support for this functionality will be removed from the subscription-manager CLI tooling in the near future and isn't supported at console.redhat.com. Customers who are in disconnected environment are advised to use either Red Hat Satellite or Red Hat Discovery for localized tracking of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage totals. These tools can provide summarized usage counts for almost all RHEL variants, which can be manually compared to available account capacity.

What is the roadmap/future for Red Hat Subscription Tooling?

Presented at Red Hat Summit 2022 is the following presentation:

RHSM

Additionally, the video below convers some of the modern improvements to the Red Hat subscription experience.

Modernizing the Registration Experience | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Presents 43

Access RHEL Subscriptions: Trials & More | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Presents 75

The Red Hat subscription experience of the future is built on a trifecta of tools with the stated goal of allowing you to "use simply. use obviously."

Simple Content Access

Empower the operator of Red Hat technologies to simply 'register & run' their systems without having to be an expert at Red Hat subscription management.

SCA Makes renewals super simple

When SCA is enabled, you no longer have to attach subscriptions to hosts, and therefore, you do not have to (re) attach subscriptions to hosts post-renewal.

  • If you are a RHSM customer, you have absolutely nothing to do at renewal time. Just renew your subscriptions and keep using the bits. You don't have to reattach subscriptions to hosts; nor do you have to reattach them.
  • If you are a Satellite customer, add the new subs to your manifest and refresh.

Renewals with Red Hat should be like any other renewal: It should keep working with little to no action required on your part. Simple Content Access makes that a practical reality.

Improves registration performance
* Registering systems has been measured to be up to 10x improved when SCA is enabled. This is primarily due to not having the overhead of calculating which entitlement should be attached. An example of the positive performance implications of enabling SCA are described in this document Performance impact of Simple Content Access and Red Hat Satellite. Similar perspective will be seen with large RHSM accounts.

Removes subscription complexity
* Your administrators no longer need to know exactly which subscription, entitlement, or pool-id that is needed to access a certain repository. All that is needed is to register the system, either using subscription-manager or rhc and optionally enable non-default repositories via subscription-manager repos.

Subscription Watch

Empowers the buyer of Red Hat to understand at the fleet level where technology is being used, how much, and if they need to purchase more. Subscription Watch has other more holistic benefits:

Account-level reporting
* Subscription Watch provides reporting across the entirety of a Red Hat account, including connected systems in RHSMs, systems in Satellite, OpenShift clusters, their add-ons and workloads, cloud based systems on Amazon/Azure/Google clouds, and in the near future disconnected systems.

Historical usage data
* Subscription Watch provides historical usage data, which can be useful for reporting and forecasting.

System Purpose

System Purpose is an implementation of use-case attributes, allowing the gathering of data that isn't traditionally fingerprint-able, which connect the two personas together. This allows the operator to tag the systems with the use-case data (which they actually know) and subsequently allows the buyer to filter based upon the use-cases in Subs Watch.

Summary (Read: what do we want you to do?)

Frequently Asked Questions:

General

Question: How do my systems get to the Hybrid Cloud Console?
Answer: By enabling either the Subscriptions Service or Simple Content Access. You are not expected, nor required to reconfigure or re-register each system to get them to show up in the Hybrid Cloud Console.

Question: How quickly do my systems get to the Hybrid Cloud Console?
Answer: systems registered solely with subscription-manager will show in the Hybrid Cloud Console's system inventory within a few minutes. It is recommended to register systems using either the rhc command or subscription-manager + insights-agent as per the guidance in the Getting Started with RHEL registration guide. Using either of these methods ensures that the systems will show in the Hybrid Cloud Console's inventory, immediately.

Question: Do I need to change my workflows when Simple Content Access is enabled?
Answer: Generally no. In some advanced use-cases, some reconfiguration of tools will be required. These are documented in the Simple Content Access guide.

Question: How often is the subscriptions service updated?
Answer: Once per day for most products. More detail can be found in the subscription service documentation

Question: My usage is higher that I expected in the Subscriptions Service
Answer: Check your configuration, particularly that of the virt-who utility. When virt-who is misconfigured, the subscription service may show incorrect data

Question: Is the virt-who utility still required?
Answer: Yes. Without the host/guest mapping information that the virt-who utility provides, the subscriptions service will be incorrect for subscription types (like RHEL Virtual Data)

Question: Are systems which are paid for via a cloud provider (such as PAYG or Marketplace systems) counted in the subscription service?
Answer: No. These systems are not counted. In the charts in the subscription service, these systems show up with a "double-dash" -- for their 'Sockets' usage to indicate this.

Question: What do I need to do at renewal time when SCA is enabled?
Answer: Other than purchasing the correct types & quantities of subscriptions, nothing. Note: Satellite is designed to operate independently of Red Hat's hosted properties, so Satellite users will need to add renewed subscriptions to their manifest and refresh it. But after that, nothing. You don't need to (re)attach subscriptions to systems or activation keys. Learn more about how Simple Content Access simplifies the renewal process here

Question: How do I file a bug or Request For Engineering (RFE) on the Hybrid Cloud Console?
Answer: On each page of the Hybrid Cloud Console there is a Feedback option. Use that to file feedback and/or bugs.

Question: How does the subscription service count my product usage, if I not attaching entitlements to systems?
Answer: See this subscription service documentation

Question: I use Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a CI/CD pipeline, how does Simple Content Access & the subscriptions service help me?
Answer: The new subscription experience improves this workflow in many ways.

  • Firstly, when SCA is enabled, you no longer have to worry about either reclaiming entitlements from retired systems nor do you have to worry about deleting inactive systems.
  • While it is recommended to delete inactive systems for general "system hygiene" reasons, systems which haven't checked in with the past 24h are not included in the daily usage charts in the subscription service.
  • The time to register a system is reduced significantly when SCA is enabled (Performance impact of Simple Content Access and Red Hat Satellite)

Satellite

Question: What if I do not want to use the Simple Content Access?
Answer: Satellite versions <= 6.15 are the only versions that support entitlement mode. Eventually, as per the Red Hat Satellite Lifecycle document, those versions will be out of support eventually.

Question: As a satellite user, how do I track my usage of subscriptions?
Answer: Install and/or enable the Satellite inventory upload plugin

Question: I am a disconnected user of Satellite and I cannot send usage data to console.redhat.com?
Answer: There are a number of ways our data/security sensitive customers can address this.

  • The Satellite rh_cloud plugin has options to redact certain attributes like hostname or IPv4 addresses
  • Future versions of the rh_cloud plugin will have additional features to make it easier for disconnected or semi-connected users to upload inventory.
  • Satellite versions >= 6.15 has a new report template Host - Installed Products, which allows a user to export their inventory with subscription pertinent facts. This report can be used to help determine subscription usage.

Question: The manifest UI in console.redhat.com doesn't have any way to attach subscriptions. How do I attach subscriptions to a manifest?
Answer: The preferred pattern for a connected Satellite customer is to download the manfiest from console.redhat.com, import it, and add subscriptions via the Satellite user interface. Learn more about creating manifests for a connected Satellite Server. If you are a disconnected Satellite or Ansible Automation Platform user, please continue to use the Subscription Allocations page on access.redhat.com.

Legacy Functions:

Question: I download paper certificates via access.redhat.com. Are those moving to the Hybrid Cloud Console?
Answer: No. Those can still be downloaded via the Subscription inventory page in access.redhat.com. Select which subscription you are downloading a paper certificate for and select "Download"

Question: I use the How to register and subscribe a system offline to the Red Hat Customer Portal? process, what replaces it?
Answer: The "offline system" workflow attempted to solve the needs of multiple use-cases, and did not do that satisfactorily. It depends on either lots of manual action by the end-user OR workflows that are unsupported and brittle.

Users who used offline profiles for subscription tracking - We are removing this as a valid workflow. There are better ways to gather actual product usage for tracking purposes. If you register systems directly to Red Hat, this is done for you via the subscriptions service. If you are disconnected, tools such as Red Hat Satellite or Red Hat Discovery

Users who need to provide access to Red Hat content for 3rd party tools to mirror/sync content - This functionality is NOT moving to the Hybrid Cloud Console. Copying entitlement certificates is inherently very brittle as these certificates are periodically rotated leading to their revocation and a loss of content access. Tools like subscription-manager, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, and the Satellite manifest refresh process properly (and transparently) handle the rotation of certificates. While it is still unsupported to use them outside of the scope of those three tools, if you are going to use them in conjunction with a third party tool, configure your tool (on a registered system) to use the certificates in /etc/pki/entitlement as they'll keep working when rotated.

Users who need want to provide updates directly from the Red Hat CDN without registering a system - This process also depends on copying entitlement certificates which are used to access to CDN between systems. These certificates may be periodically revoked, making this process incredibly brittle. If you are disconnected, use tools such as Satellite to provide updates in a supported manner or register the system (via the guidance in the Getting Started Guide with RHEL system registration guide)

Users who need to provide updates to a Red Hat container - Red Hat containers, when running on a registered host (RHEL, CentOS Stream, or Fedora) or cluster (Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform) are automatically granted access to the same repositories of the host/cluster which is it running on. There is generally no reason to explicitly register a container, though that is also supported if needed. Copying entitlement certificates into containers manually is inherently broken and unsupported. Many valid alternatives are supported and are recommended for use.

Contact us

If you have questions regarding the future of Red Hat's subscription tools, please reach out to your account team. Additionally, you can email the product team directly at smx AT redhat DOT COM

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