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Avoid unplanned downtime this holiday season with automated risk remediation

Will Nix published on 2017-12-15T18:01:25+00:00, last updated 2017-12-23T23:23:54+00:00

It's that time of year again! Many of us in information technology don't have the luxury of letting our guard down during this crucial time for retail, finance, healthcare, and logistics. Being on call or glued to a monitor or app so that we can keep track of late breaking issues and quickly troubleshoot problems if the need arises is often a requirement in the infrastructure and operations world.

Downtime is unavoidable. It’s either planned or it's forced.

We can help you avoid unplanned downtime and save your organization time and effort with a quick introduction to Red Hat's proactive analytics service for security and infrastructure operations: Red Hat Insights.
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When your systems are forced down or have known critical vulnerabilities how do you typically respond?

For those risk averse and security conscious, and to be honest -- who isn’t these days, being informed and having accurate intelligence to more quickly fix vulnerabilities and bugs so that we can safeguard valuable data and achieve greater infrastructure stability is only half the battle.

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The other half is actually acting on that intelligence. Red Hat Insights can help you do both.

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I'll also link you to the getting started guide so that you can begin using Insights right away with an evaluation, or you can contact your Red Hat account team for a larger scale proof of concept. It only takes a couple of minutes to get up and running on most deployments, and may take only a few seconds if you're already leveraging automation technologies like Ansible, or one of Red Hat's Management portfolio solutions like Ansible Tower, CloudForms, or Satellite.

What is Red Hat Insights?

Red Hat developed the Insights service for exactly the type of problems that keep us on edge during this time of year, to ease troubleshooting, find problems that crop up, and fix them faster!

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Red Hat Insights takes advantage of both historical data and the latest knowledge from Red Hat and scales to your infrastructure. Insights is a constantly evolving and hyper-aware Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that monitors and helps manage risk in both the traditional datacenter and hybrid cloud environments.

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Insights is not an appliance and requires a very minimal setup with no added infrastructure cost. The goal with Insights has always been to help reduce complexity and risk in our customers’ infrastructures. We want to enable an easy to understand analysis of where problems exist and how to quickly resolve them with trusted, validated advice from Red Hat.

Get Started with Red Hat Management:

We do this in a few different ways. Insights is already integrated into each of the tools you may be using to manage your Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure, and we continue to more tightly integrate with each management solution from Red Hat each release.

The latest releases of Red Hat Ansible Tower supports Insights host reporting directly from the inventory as well as project integration for Insights Ansible Playbook generation and automation jobs built with or imported from the Insights Planner.

Red Hat Satellite has had Insights support since Satellite 5.7 and Satellite 6.1, and continues to be a popular platform management solution for systems lifecycle provisioning and management, as well as risk reporting and remediation with Insights integration.

Red Hat CloudForms has had Insights reporting integration since CloudForms 4.0, and now with the latest 4.5 release has Ansible automation capabilities to further increase remediation efficiency across your managed infrastructures.

Red Hat's Customer Portal also makes it really easy to get started with Insights if you don't currently utilise any other software in the management portfolio.

Even if you're using the Ansible upstream unsupported offering you can take advantage of dynamically generated Ansible Playbooks from Insights to quickly remediate any problems that are identified. Insights can generate a playbook template that enables you to run immediately with ansible-playbook or AWX, or modify tasks therein for your own needs.
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In addition, If you have a Technical Account Manager or Consulting engagement you can also engage those services to get more information about enabling Insights reporting for infrastructure health assessments.

How it works:

I'll drop a few screenshots here to give you an idea of how Red Hat Insights works and how easy it is to get started, but if you have a minute or two you should give it a try. Insights supports RHEL 6.4 and newer, so you will need a current RHEL subscription to take advantage of Insights.

You can also use Satellite 5.7 or newer for Insights reporting, but at the time of this post the newest Insights features are being developed for Red Hat Satellite 6 and newer, Red Hat CloudForms 4.5 and newer, and Ansible Tower 3.2 and newer.

We're always adding new Rules based off of the newest or hottest critical issues which are impacting our customers' infrastructures that trigger Actions.

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A Rule is how we describe what kind of risks we're looking for from the analytics engine.

When a rule is generated for reporting an action is displayed.
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Actions typically offer a description of the associated risk, tailored to the system with the problem, and how to resolve.

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From here, you perform the remediation. If you’re using automation, it will call the Insights client to run again and verify if the problem has been resolved.
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Using these techniques you can remediate vast amounts of systems with automation, or more surgically if you need to perform some targeted manual or custom automated remediations.

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So if you’d like to get started this holiday season and take advantage of Insights proactive remediation capabilities click here to get started. We think Insights will help you avoid potential downtime and increase your infrastructure health score with a minimal time investment during this busy holiday season.

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And finally, as with everything we do here at Red Hat - We truly value your feedback. There's a "Provide Feedback" button at the top of Red Hat Insights in the Customer portal, which you get access to as an Insights subscriber, so please give us your feedback about what's working great or what could help make Insights more valuable for you. Barring that, you may also email us at insights at redhat dot com as well.

Thanks for reading, and stay secure and informed,
Will

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About The Author

Will Nix's picture Red Hat Pro 689 points

Will Nix

Will works out of Red Hat's Management Business Unit, evangelizing the management portfolio and engaging with and assisting customers and Red Hat teams to build portfolio level proactive systems management solutions.
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