How are you using your Satellite?

Latest response

Hi folks,

I'm part of the Red Hat documentation team and I'm looking to get more information on how people use Satellite (both 5 and 6). I wanted to start this discussion around this topic based on Robert Teeter's awesome Cookbook threads:

  • Patch Control - https://access.redhat.com/discussions/1199583
  • Adding VMware machine to Sat 6 - https://access.redhat.com/discussions/1275493

I'm keen to get more examples of how people are using Satellite, or even how people want to use Satellite. To kick off some discussion, I've got questions for people about how they use Satellite:

  • What kind of environment do you have? (i.e. mostly physical or virtual? Are you using RHEV, VMware, OpenStack? How many systems are you managing?)
  • What kind of Satellite environment are you using? (i.e. Satellite5 or Satellite 6? Do you have a proxy/capsule setup?)
  • How are you currently using Satellite? (i.e. mostly as a provisioning tool? patch control tool? system management?)
  • What would you like to know more about with Satellite? (especially areas lacking in the main documentation)
  • Any major hurdles you've faced?
  • Are there any situations with your Satellite that you think are unique to your environment? (i.e. any interesting use cases)

Please feel free to contribute your thoughts and ideas. Anything you can provide will be useful to us!

Dan

Responses

OK since I wrote the first 2 docs here is my input - Why not put up the areas that are part of Satellite. Also realize that 5.6 and 6.0 - one is a blue ox and the other is a white charger (horse)- you choose which is which. So we need to be very explicit as to what version of software we are talking about. Also break it into functional areas. My first pass was on patch control. This is probably the first area most people start with just to get their feet wet but not ice bound. So we need to define the functional areas to be used.

Also one other thing from the time I started this effort to this date the docs have improved tremendously - THANK YOU - BUT I did not know that that was happening and always worked from the original set I had. There has to be a better way to let every Satellite user know that the docs have been updated and to go get the new version.

Bob

Hey Dan,

Thanks for posting this. In case you didn't see them, here's a couple of older threads that might also have some useful stuff for you:

Thanks, David! Those are exactly the kinds of comments I was looking for. Lots of great ideas in those threads.

I am in the process of transitioning from Sat 5.6 to 6 and running into a lot of road blocks.

  • What kind of environment do you have? (i.e. mostly physical or virtual? Are you using RHEV, VMware, OpenStack? How many systems are you managing?)
    VM Ware 5.5 with about 50 existing RHEL guests and about 10 physical RHEL machines. I randomly stumbled upon virt-who so I was able to get the vmware hosts added to satellite and licensed with our RHEL for virtual datacenter licenses.

  • What kind of Satellite environment are you using? (i.e. Satellite5 or Satellite 6? Do you have a proxy/capsule setup?)
    Satellite 5.6 still managing all of the production RHEL servers until I can make 6 do the things I have 5 doing. I do not have a 5 proxy setup, but will be setting up a 6 capsule in our remote datacenter when I get further along in my deployment.

  • How are you currently using Satellite? (i.e. mostly as a provisioning tool? patch control tool? system management?)
    I'm using Sat 5.6 for provisioning, patch management and configuration management. I want to configure satellite 6 to do these same functions, but am having troubles. The available documentation is not enough and seems to assume that everyone is already a puppet expert. Puppet experts are probably going to have puppet up and running in their environments and not have a use for satellite.

  • What would you like to know more about with Satellite? (especially areas lacking in the main documentation)
    All of these are for Satellite 6.

  1. How exactly to create and maintain a puppet module which manages a common configuration file (such as resolv.conf or sudoers)
  2. How exactly to apply security errata to channels that are locked to a release version. I have a lot of servers that need to stay at 5.10 and 6.5 because vendors wont "support" 5.11 or 6.6, but still need to be able to apply security patches through central package management.
    These are the main things which are holding me back from fully transitioning from 5.6 to 6.

Any major hurdles you've faced?
I was trying for a long time to get the provisioning in Sat 6 to work with our already existing Windows 2008 R2 DHCP server. For anyone considering this, don't do it. Just make a new VLAN for your linux servers, remove the DHCP helper and use the included DHCP server with sat 6. Other hurdles are mentioned above.

  • Are there any situations with your Satellite that you think are unique to your environment? (i.e. any interesting use cases)
    Not yet. Just want to get the basics to function well

Hi Ben,
This is excellent info. Thanks for taking the time to write this.
I'll try and put together some documentation on basic Puppet config on a Satellite-provisioned system (looking to publish in January). I'll also work with the rest of the documentation team in getting some of these other areas documented.
- Dan

Hi Daniel,
- What kind of environment do you have? (i.e. mostly physical or virtual? Are you using RHEV, VMware, OpenStack? How many systems are you managing?)
About 1/3 physical and 2/3 VM on VMware. About 1000 RHEL in total.

  • What kind of Satellite environment are you using? (i.e. Satellite5 or Satellite 6? Do you have a proxy/capsule setup?)
    Just moved to Sat 5.6 and run a Proxy

  • How are you currently using Satellite? (i.e. mostly as a provisioning tool? patch control tool? system management?)
    Patch control and security patch compliance reporting. Managing subscriptions numbers - subscription compliance.

  • What would you like to know more about with Satellite? (especially areas lacking in the main documentation)
    Currently looking at integrating with SAM for Extended reporting, but battling with getting Hypervisor info integrated.

  • Any major hurdles you've faced?
    Have started looking at Sat 6, but it a HUGH mindset change. Probably to disruptive for current work flows.

  • Are there any situations with your Satellite that you think are unique to your environment? (i.e. any interesting use cases)
    Making use of cloned channels and attempting to only deploy critical security patches to these "pegged" channels

2c

Thanks for the response, Johnny. It gives us a good idea of how we can tailor the Sat docs.

You are totally right about Sat 6 being a huge mindset change in a lot of areas (e.g. configuration channels vs Puppet). We aimed to bridge this gap with the info in the Sat 6 Transition Guide, but if there are other specific areas that we can address to further bridge this gap please feel free to let us know here.

Also regarding the hypervisor info issues, is this through virt-who ? What issues are you facing? Maybe I can help (and if I can't, I can at least find someone who can help).

Hi Daniel,

Yes doing battle with virt-who. I have opened case 01327231, but it seems that virt-who is not updating the Satellite (using the ESX vCenter host name instead of Satellite). It is also not clear how hosts allocated to different Organizations in Satellite will be updated (ie. RH Sat login for only a single organization is provided?)

I'm hoping that the combination of RH Sat 5.6 and SAM Extended reporting will assist me with determining the optimal use of "RHEL for Virtual Datacenters" vs "normal" subscriptions. Running a mix of multiple ESX clusters with different RHEL densities has its challenges.

Regards
johnny

Thanks, Johnny. I'll have a look at the case you've opened and try and help the support engineer assigned if I can.

The transition guide needs a lot of work in regards to the configuration channels to puppet section. Yes, it tells us how to export out our configuration channels and then use hammer to create a puppet module for it. It does not tell us what to do with it after. Not only that, but it creates static puppet modules. How do we make changes to a centrally managed file? How can we create a puppet module that is more modular?

The sat 5 documentation has great documentation on creating configuration channels, how to add files, how to edit files, how to apply configuration channels to systems and deploy. I have yet to find this kind of documentation for sat 6.

Hi Ben,

This is useful to know. One of the main areas of Sat6 documentation that's missing is Puppet in general. I'll be working with the rest of the Sat6 docs team to try and build some more documentation around Puppet over the next few months.

  • Dan