2. A Quick Reference of Subscription-Related Terms

system
Any entity — a physical or virtual machine — which is in the subscription service inventory and which can have subscriptions attached to it.
subcriptions
A subscription defines the products that are available, the support levels, the quantities (or number) of servers that the product can be installed on, architectures that the product is available for, content repositories which supply the product, and other information related to the products.
attach
Assigning a subscription to a system.
utilization
A summary of the total number of subscriptions available to an organization, and the total number of subscriptions that are attached to Customer Portal Subscription Management, RHN Classic, and different subscription management applications.
overusage
A state for an organization when they have more subscriptions attached than they have purchased. This can occur when infrastructures are using both Customer Portal Subscription Management and RHN Classic to register systems, since they draw from the same subscription pools but use separate tallies.
service level preference
A preference based on what service level to use for installed products.
release preference
A preference that restricts products and updates to a specific operating system minor release.
organization or subscription management application organization
A local subdivision that contains a subset of subscriptions. This is a way to define a subscription structure that reflects the IT environment. An organization can be aligned with a physical location or an organizational division in a company.
hosted
Subscription and content services provided by Red Hat, rather than an on-premise application.
available
A subscription which has quantities that have not been attached to a system yet.
Customer Portal Subscription Management
The hosted subscription management service. In this service, subscriptions are managed based on the product (and verified through issued certificates), rather than access to channels.
CDN
The Content Delivery Network.
channel
A collection of packages based around a software product, a group of related products, or a version of product. The channel-based way of defining subscriptions is used only by RHN Classic.
compatible
Available and active subscriptions which match the architecture of the system.
unit
Any entity — a physical or virtual machine, a domain, or a person — which is in the subscription management service inventory and which can have subscriptions attached to it.
content
Software downloads and updates.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The Red Hat-hosted content repositories and technology to deliver software, updates, and packages.
entitlement certificate
An X.509 certificate that contains a list of subscriptions for a system, including information about the products and quantities, content repositories, roles, and different namespaces.
identity certificate
An X.509 certificate which is issued to a system when the system is registered with the subscription management service. This certificate is used to authenticate and identify the system to the subscription management service.
inventory
A list of units (systems, domains, people, or applications) which have been registered to the subscription management service and a list of all subscriptions (current, expired, and future) which have been purchased by an organization.
license
A legal statement that defines how software can be used. Red Hat products are licensed under GPLv2. A subscription determines how many instances (quantities) or a product can be updated through Red Hat content streams and will be provided support but they do not restrict the ability to install or use software products.
product
The individual software product, like Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Directory Server.
product certificate
An X.509 certificate that is generated and installed on a system once a product is installed. This contains information about the specific system that the product is installed on (such as its hardware and architecture) and the product name, version, and namespace. This identifies that specific product installation to the subscription management service and CDN.
register (verb)
To add a system (physical or virtual) to the subscription management service inventory.
RHN Classic
The traditional RHN system. This will be available for a few years but is being phased out.
status
Whether all of the products installed on a system are fully covered with active subscriptions.
Subscription Manager
A set of tools used to view and attach subscriptions and to manage systems in the inventory. There are two Subscription Manager tools:
  • Subscription Manager GUI which is installed on the local system and manages that local system. It can be opened by running subscription-manager-gui or in the System => Administration menu.
  • Subscription Manager CLI which is also installed on the local system and manages that local system. Different operations can be invoked by running subscription-manager command. This tool can also be used to script interactions for subscriptions, such as for kickstart installations.
subscription management service
The backend server which interacts with the individual systems by creating an inventory of systems. It also keeps the inventory of subscriptions, including contracts, quantities, and expiration dates. When a new system is registered, when subscriptions are attached, and when products are installed. The subscription management service manages the changes and issues a corresponding X.509 certificate to the system to mark the change. The subscription management service also defines rules for products, such as hardware/architecture restrictions, to help with attaching subscriptions.
X.509 certificate
A specific certificate standard that is used to determine the format of certificates used for SSL communication and within a public key infrastructure. This is used to delineate the certificates used by the new subscription management service from the Satellite certificates used in the RHN Classic system.