Red Hat Update Infrastructure vs Satellite

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My company is building a Cloud offering and is either in negotiations with RH to become a Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider or may have completed those negotiations. As part of the RHCCP program, we will "get", and  be required to use, the Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI). In addition to our anticipated cloud offering, we also have numerous RHEL servers (standalone) used internally for various purposes.

 

Do we need to run both RHUI and Satellite to keep our RHEL servers (both cloud and non-cloud) patched or can RHUI be used for both, technically and legally? It would appear that a RHUI CDS could support our standalone infrastructure with proper key management and firewall management.

 

Would the only concern be that RHUI access would cease if the RHCCP relationship ended?

Responses

Brin, if your company is in discussion with Red Hat about becoming a CCP, then there should be a Cloud Solutions Architect assigned to your account that can go into detail about the positioning of RHUI and Satellite. That said, here's a general overview of why you need them both.

 

RHUI is not designed to manage, monitor, deploy or entitle your underlying infrastructure. The intent of RHUI is to provide non-invasive, secure updates to your cloud guests and to provide them access to content, on-demand. The access to content on-demad portion is where Red Hat requires its CCP partners to meter and report back usage. Without that metering and reporting component, there is no way to determine what subscription entitlements have been consumed. This enables Red Hat's cloud partners to dynamically offer relatively unlimited subscription entitlements to their customers without having to determine ahead of time how many of what will need to be entitled.

 

As mentioned, RHUI enables our CCP partners to provide a unique and secure method of allowing their customers to update their RHEL guests in the cloud without the CCP partner needing any administrative/invasive access to the customer's guest environment. We believe this offers our CCP partners a tremendous advantage in cloud security and cloud updates.

 

Satellite is designed to manage your entire RHEL infrastructure, from subscription entitlement, to deployment, to monitoring and patching when updates are necessary. The current version of Satellite was not designed for dynamic, on-demand resource expansion, though. For example, a customer in your cloud may turn on 500 machines for 2 hours. Satellite would need 500+ RHEL entitlements to handle that, but then, how do we dynamically un-entitle those machines when they are turned down? Satellite is an extremely powerful infrastructure management solution for RHEL, and we suggest using it to manage both traditional infrastructure as well as your KVM on RHEL virtualization hosts where you would host cloud customer virtual machines.

 

Satellite has been designed for a much more static infrastructure. RHUI has been designed to address the needs of cloud providers, specifically. There are some aspects of how RHUI handles updates that it may be nice to have in Satellite, and of course, you can probably expect to see those improvements in whatever is the eventual next version of Red Hat's infrastructure management solution.

 

In simpler terms, think of Satellite as the tool to manage subscriptions that we "sell to" you, as our CCP partner. Those are the Red Hat products for which we support you, as our customer, directly. Think of RHUI as the tool to manage subscriptions that we "sell through" you, to your customer. Those are the products that, in general, you would support, as our CCP partner, directly with your customers.

 

In answer to your question specifically about using RHUI to update your infrastructure machines, that is not allowed under the terms of agreement for RHUI usage. You would continue to use and benefit from the full feature set of Satellite in those circumstances.

 

I hope that helps answer your question.