Deploy Windows VM's with Red Hat Satellite

Latest response

Hi all
We would like to test deploying Windows VM's via Satellite.
Does anybody have experience with this topic?
Red Hat Support wrote:
"We cannot provision a Windows VM via Satellite Server"
"We only support provisioning of RHEL VMs"
Of course - I understand that RHEL only supports their own VM's, but I'm surprised Red Hat offers other OS to choose from in Satellite if they can't be deployed.

Thanks a lot!

Responses

Edith,

Satellite was never intended to be a "all purpose, all OS Deployment tool." Satellite's primary purposes are to manage Red Hat subscriptions, deploy Red Hat OS, and provide patches and updates to Red Hat OS. As a SIDE BENEFIT, Satellite can manage other LINUX Based OS's, as well as 3rd party repositories for Linux systems. While we do not use Fedora or other Linux OS, I know that Satellite can deploy and manage some of them.

Windows has a COMPLETELY different method of deployment and patch management. I do not know of any tool that will deploy both Windows systems and Linux systems.

We use Satellite to manage our Red Hat systems and Microsoft's MDT to deploy Windows VM's. I do know that there are a few different tools available from Microsoft for deployment and management of Windows systems.

Hope that helps,
Frank

Edith Waelchli

A side note, while Satellite does not deploy Windows products, Ansible can be used with Windows. After building a system, you could use Ansible with Windows. On that note, if you have systems joined to a domain controller you manage, you could of course use group policies to do a wide variety of things (and you should use group policies).

Quoted material from that link above goes further in depth, and visiting the link above offers more things to review on the usefulness of it...

SIMPLICITY ACROSS YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE
It’s hard to find a homogeneous IT stack nowadays. You may have a Linux server farm, but an AD cluster providing identity. Or you have a cross-platform build environment that builds your software for multiple different targets.

Your management and automation tools need to be able to handle multiple, vastly different targets - Linux, Unix, networking, cloud services… and Windows.

ANSIBLE: LINUX LIKE LINUX, WINDOWS LIKE WINDOWS.
Users and customers love Ansible’s simple, agentless, powerful automation that allows them to model and deliver any configuration, any deployment, any environment across their IT infrastructure.

Ansible knew that the key was to bring the same simple, agentless paradigm to managing Windows, while still feeling native to Windows administrators. Ansible’s native Windows support uses Windows PowerShell remoting to manage Windows like Windows in the same Ansible agentless way that Ansible manages Linux like Linux.

With Ansible’s native Windows support, you can, out of the box:

Gather facts on Windows hosts
Install and uninstall MSIs
Enable and disable Windows Features
Start, stop, and manage Windows services
Create and manage local users and groups
Manage Windows packages via the Chocolatey package manager
Manage and install Windows updates
Fetch files from remote sites
Push and execute any PowerShell scripts you write
You can connect to and automate Windows using local or domain users, and soon you’ll be able to use Windows ‘runas’ support to execute actions as the Administrator, just as you would use ‘sudo’ or ‘su’ on Linux.

Plus, with Ansible’s easy extensibility, you can write your own modules in PowerShell and extend Ansible for whatever other functionality you need. Ansible users have written modules for managing filesystem ACLs, managing Windows Firewall, and managing hostname and domain membership, and more.

And when you need to roll this out across your team, Red Hat® Ansible® Tower works out of the box with Ansible’s Windows support.

For more information on Ansible’s Windows support, check out our Intro to Windows, and our List of Windows Modules.

Kind Regards,
RJ

Thanks all for your posts and help. Hope Red Hat will remove other OS families form drop down menu in further Satellite releases. Unnecessary options are just confusing. Cheers Edith

This can't be emphasized enough. My management has seen the references to Windows kickstarts that exist in the Satellite UI and are pushing me to figure out how it works, despite there being nothing in documentation about how a provisioning would be configured for Windows hosts. We're primarily a Red Hat/Linux org but have Windows hosts in some of our products that would benefit from being on a shared deployment platform (and yes, we're exploring Ansible as well).

If it doesn't work, and never intended to, why are there tools built in that imply that it could/should?

Merrill Frazier,

Here's some options:

EDITED/ADDED - I examined a Satellite server tonight. I went to the Satellite web UI, "Hosts" >> "Operating Systems" >> "Create Operating System" and in the drop-down I saw "Windows".

  • That being said I still recommend conferring with Red Hat in the ways I mentioned above regarding Microsoft Windows "kickstarts" to slake the thirst for an answer your people have for this.

Original reply below..., please confer with Red Hat in the methods mentioned below with the information above.

  • Option 1: Please submit a case regarding "Windows" existing in the drop-down menu to Red Hat directly and mention this discussion.
  • Option 2: Request a Red-Hatter - You can go to the Satellite Product page here, and click the link named Talk to a Red Hatter and discuss this with a Red Hatter as another option, if you set that up - mention this discussion to the Red-Hatter.
  • I've never heard of Red Hat venturing into building Windows systems through their Satellite product. I believe your management needs to talk with a Red Hatter or at minimum submit a case. I've been using Satellite since about 2008 and have never heard of Satellite building Microsoft Windows systems. If it is possible for Satellite to manage/build kickstarts for Microsoft systems, Red Hat doesn't seem to wave a flag about that feature that I can find. I found one tiny thing with "Windows" in the first paragraph of this post that Red Hat itself should answer for you and your people.

I can only find Linux-based offerings in the release notes, and provisioning, and Managing Hosts and Managing Content documentation that I reviewed tonight on this, and nothing from Microsoft.

Kind Regards,
RJ

Then, why do we see all these below templates in the Satellite provisioning templates ? in Satellite 6.10

Windows default finish Finish template
Windows default iPXE iPXE template
Windows default provision Provisioning template
Windows default PXELinux PXELinux template
Windows network
Windows peSetup.cmd

Did you have a look at the Foreman tutorial ?

Has anyone tried using Satellite to host the LiteTouch boot image only? That way the OS would be hosted in MDT, and Satellite would just be used as the PXE server to host the boot image.