Next year, will I be using Satellite 6, Cloudfront, or something else?

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Has anyone heard anything on the Cloudfront front?

Last I heard, this was to be the successor to Satellite, with a superset of its functions and a lot more. Puppet was to figure prominently -- a bonus for us since we use it in-house.

But my boss hasn't heard anything about it from his sales person, and nobody seems to know much about it.

Am I missing something obvious? All I've found here is a couple of Powerpoint presentations from last year.




A good starting point might be

Later this year the "satellite compatible" version of CloudForms will be coming out. I get the impression that is when they will be more eager to talk to customers about migration to the new product.


Have you seen cloudforms release notes which covers various of all things. I suggest you to contact your sales rep who will be able to oraganize a session with Red Hat solution archtech to give you a quick roadmap of products you are looking for.

I hope this helps.

CloudForms is RH's first try at an "answer" to VMware LabManager or vCloudDirector. It may be v1.1 but I think it would be charitable to call it a beta. It wasn't until this month that RH even got it's first paying customer deployment. Unfortunately I don't know how (if) it went since my assignment as the implementation engineer was changed.

Think of CF in terms of a virtual machine hardware recepie that is "portable" across Amazon AWS, VMware vCenter/vCloudDirector, Xen, and KVM. It has the necessary hooks and logic to create a VM spec file, register instance with the hypervisor, create virtual disks, register interfaces with the relevant underlying APIs...If you study how AWS does "image" based deployments, CF works along similar lines.

To answer your question, I expect you'll still be using Satellite. I think it will take at least another year before you'd want to revisit the matter. And by then maybe RedHat will have re-evaluated their pricing assumptions.

I think the usefulness and relevance of Satellite is eroding. Back in the day before Chef/Puppet (not dissing CFEngine, mind) Satellite was unique and offered valuable capabilities. But these days Chef/Puppet have much more flexibility and an actual logic engine driving configuration control. I would love to see Satellite rip out the sorry excuse of a 'monitoring' system and instead generate Nagios templates. Likewise with the Configuration management; rip it out and generate Chef recepies.

Personally I consider the provisioning aspect of Satellite to be it's least useful feature. In 15+ years I haven't once worked at a place where we deployed hundreds of machines, only to throw them away, and re-deploy, lather, rinse, repeat. Even so, you can do that with a decently written Anaconda kickstart file and a handy YUM repository helped along with a DHCP server. But apparently other posters in this forum who work in Big Finance or Big Content do this sort of thing.

To it's credit, Satellite lets a non-CLI person do a lot of neat things. I don't know of any easy way outside of Satellite to selectively deploy RPM packages based on errata or level of bug criticality. Cloning an RPM repository based on a date "snapshot" is also not trivial with YUM alone. Can it be done? I'm sure but it would take a bit of work and I don't feel motivated to spend the time.

Like any pretty good tool, Satellite offers some advanced features that I'm expect next to nobody uses. I think a Nagios/Zabbix/ZenOSS plugin that used the API to query patch status and display as an alert could be pretty useful. An asset management program ought to be able to import from Satellite if not reference it directly.

Hi Brad,

You may be interested in watching a webinar from last month in which Todd Warner (Product Manager for Satellite and CloudForms) and Alice Cockrum (Product Marketing Manager) talk about where the future is for Satellite and replacement products.

Don't worry though, Satellite isn't going anywhere for a few more years, the Production 2 phase for Satellite was extended out to March 2017.

(Also, as a clarification for the other comments, the component of CloudForms that will be of most interest to you is CloudForms System Engine)

CloudForms gets mentioned 28 minutes in.