4.2. Managing Systems with Satellite

Once systems are registered to Red Hat Satellite, these systems will appear in the Overview page of the Systems tab. The Overview page provides a summary of systems, including their status, the number of associated errata and packages, the base channel the system is under, and the entitlement level. The systems can then be managed using several methods.

4.2.1. Managing Individual Systems

The Satellite administrator can manage systems individually by clicking on the system name while on the Overview page of the Systems tab. This will take you to the Details tab for the system. The Details page has numerous tabs that provide specific system information as well as other identifiers unique to the system.

4.2.1.1. Controlling the System's Power Management

Important

This feature is available only for Red Hat Satellite servers on x86_64 architecture.
Satellite provides power management features for physical machines through cobbler integration with IPMI. Prior to using power management features, Satellite requires installation of the IPMI fencing agent on the server. Install the fencing agent using the following command:
# yum install fence-agents
This installs a set of fencing agents, including the IPMI agent.
After completing the fencing agent installation, Satellite requires some minor configuration to use the IPMI fencing agent. Edit the /etc/rhn/rhn.conf file and add the following property to the end of the file:
java.power_management.types = ipmilan
Save the file and restart the Satellite server:
# rhn-satellite restart
Use the following procedure to use Satellite's power management features.
  1. Navigate to SystemsSystem.
  2. Choose a system to manage.
  3. Check your System's provisioning entitlement is enabled by navigating to DetailsProperties. Check Provisioning under Add-On Entitlements and click Update Properties.
  4. Navigate to ProvisioningPower Management.
  5. Choose IPMI for the fencing agent Type.
  6. Enter the Network address for your IPMI power management board. Satellite communicates with the power management board using the fencing agent.
  7. Enter the Username and Password for the power management board.
  8. Click Save.
You can now control the system's basic power management including Power On, Power Off, and Reboot.

4.2.1.2. Viewing the System's Hardware Profile

The Hardware tab shows you the system's hardware profile. It includes information such as DMI, Networking details, and the description of what drivers are being used by the machine. This is useful in identifying the machine or when vendor information is needed.
Should any of the hardware on the system change or if the list is incomplete, you may also refresh the hardware list on this page by clicking Schedule Hardware Refresh.
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click on Hardware.

4.2.1.3. Scheduling a System Reboot from the Satellite

This will schedule a remote reboot of the system. This is suitable in situations where the system administrator is not in close proximity to the Satellite and requires a reboot for troubleshooting purposes.
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. On the right-hand side of the page under System Events, click Schedule System Reboot.

4.2.1.4. Changing a System's Base Channel Subscriptions

Base channel subscriptions are chosen by default based on the hardware and system profile that has been sent to Red Hat Satellite upon registration. However, this setting can be changed if there are issues that occur. To change the system's base channel:
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. On the left-hand side of the page, under Subscribed Channels, click on Alter Channel Subscriptions.
  4. Scroll down to the Base Software Channel section on the bottom of the page and choose the base channel you wish to apply.
  5. Click Confirm.

Note

If you change the base channel subscription of the system, Satellite will unsubscribe your system from all previously subscribed channels and subscribe your system to the new base software channel you have chosen. Any additional child channels will have to be re-added.

4.2.1.5. Changing a System's Child Channel Subscriptions

Additional channels may be added based on specific requirements that a system has, such as optional packages in the Red Hat Network Tools channel or Virtualization capabilities. To subscribe your system to additional channels, follow the steps below.
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. On the left-hand side of the page, under Subscribed Channels, click on Alter Channel Subscriptions.
  4. Choose the child channels that the system requires by ticking the checkboxes. You may choose as many as needed. Note that some channels may consume additional software entitlements if chosen.
  5. Click Change Subscriptions.

4.2.1.6. Adding Provisioning/Monitoring Entitlements to a System

Provisioning or Monitoring entitlements can be added to systems inside the Satellite, provided that these entitlements are available. These entitlements are relevant to systems that have the following requirements:
  • Provisioning- This entitlement is required by a system that needs the ability to use kickstart, package rollback and configuration file management.
  • Monitoring- This entitlement allows Satellite with Monitoring-entitled clients to notify administrators of system performance issues before they become critical.
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click on DetailsProperties.
  4. Select the required entitlements in the Add-On Entitlements section.
  5. Click Update Properties.

4.2.1.7. Remotely Installing New Packages

The ability to choose packages to install remotely can be used to manage new or changed requirements in a system. If systems are powered down when the remote install is scheduled, the action will be performed once the system is back up.
Follow these steps to install packages from Red Hat Satellite:
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click on SoftwarePackagesInstall.
  4. Select the packages to install on the system.
  5. Click Install Selected Packages.
  6. Choose to schedule the installation on a specific time or as soon as possible.
  7. Click Confirm.

Note

If additional commands are required to install packages into the system, click Add Remote Command to Package Install. Add the script required to boot it and click Confirm Remote Command and Schedule Package Install. This additional step maybe useful for systems that have special configuration requirements.

4.2.1.8. Remotely Upgrading Packages

To remotely upgrade packages from the Red Hat Satellite:
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click on SoftwarePackagesUpgrade
  4. Select packages to be upgraded.
  5. Choose to schedule the installation on a specific time or as soon as possible.
  6. Click Confirm.

Note

If additional commands are required to install packages into the system, click Add Remote Command to Package Install. Add the script required to boot it and click Confirm Remote Command and Schedule Package Install. This additional step maybe useful for systems that have special configuration requirements.

4.2.1.9. Locking the System against Changes

In events where it is a requirement for a system to be kept unchanged, the system can be locked. A locked system will receive no package upgrades or any system-changing actions that occur even if the system is in a system group.
To lock a system:
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click Lock System in the Lock Status field in the System Info section.

Note

A system that has pending actions cannot be locked. To cancel the scheduled actions, click on EventsCancel Events.

4.2.1.10. Configuring System Currency Weights/Multipliers

Included in Satellite is a System Currency report which lists registered systems ordered by score. The score is determined by the totals of the errata relevant to the systems. A specific weighted score per category per errata adds to the total score where the default weight awards critical security errata with the heaviest weight and enhancement errata with the lowest. The report can be used to prioritize maintenance actions on the systems registered to the Satellite. The following values are default system currency values stored in /usr/share/rhn/config-defaults/rhn_java.conf: :
# multiplier for critical security errata
java.sc_crit = 32
# multiplier for important security errata
java.sc_imp = 16
# multiplier for moderate important security errata
java.sc_mod = 8
# multiplier for low important security errata
java.sc_low = 4
# multiplier for bugfix errrata
java.sc_bug = 2
# multiplier for enhancement errata
java.sc_enh = 1
They can be overridden by adding them to the /etc/rhn/rhn.conf file. The higher the score, the higher the importance is given to the system in the report.
To change the default weight/multipliers of each errata type:
  1. Log in as root on the Satellite server.
  2. Edit the /etc/rhn/rhn.conf with your chosen text editor:
    # vim /etc/rhn/rhn.conf
    
  3. Add the custom values you wish to change in the /etc/rhn/rhn.conf file:
    java.sc_imp = desired_value
    java.sc_mod = desired_value
    java.sc_low = desired_value
    java.sc_bug = desired_value
    java.sc_enh = desired_value
    
  4. Save the /etc/rhn/rhn.conf file.
  5. Restart the Satellite service:
    # rhn-satellite restart
    

Note

In Red Hat Satellite 5.5, the Currency Report and weight/multiplier values can also be retrieved using the Red Hat Network API Calls. See the API Overview for more information about the following calls:
  • system.getSystemCurrencyMultipliers - this API call provides information about the current weight/multiplier configuration.
  • system.getSystemCurrencyScores - this API call returns a list of systems, their scores and the counts of applicable errata of each type.

4.2.2. Managing System Groups

When administrators plan to create logical divisions of the organization's systems whether because of system use or role, Red Hat Satellite provides the ability to do so from the "System Groups" functionality. Segregating systems into logical grouping allows the administrator to maintain similar package versions across all the systems in the group, maintaining a standard build that is easier to manage.
The procedures on this section will assist in setting up a system group as well as basic guidance on System Group management.

4.2.2.1. Adding a System to a System Group

These steps show how to add an individual system to a System Group.
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. Click GroupsJoin.
  4. Select the group or groups that the system should be added to.
  5. Click Join Selected Groups.

4.2.2.2. Adding Multiple Systems to the System Group

Multiple systems can be added to the system group instead of individually. This is most effective action to choose if there are more than one system to add to the system group.
  1. Click SystemsSystem Groups.
  2. Click on the desired system group.
  3. Click the Target Systems subtab.

    Note

    Target Systems are eligible systems that are on the Satellite and can be added to the group.
  4. Click Add Systems.

4.2.2.3. Adding Group Administrators to the Group

These steps show how to add users as administrators of a specific group.
  1. Click SystemsSystem Groups.
  2. Click on the desired system group.
  3. Click the Admins subtab.
  4. Click on the usernames that need to be group administrators.
  5. Click Update.

Note

Organization Administrators can administer all the systems within the Satellite.

4.2.2.4. Removing Systems from the System Group

These are the steps to remove systems from a specific system group.
  1. Click SystemsSystem Groups.
  2. Click on the desired system group.
  3. Click on Systems.
  4. Select all the systems to be removed from the System Group.
  5. Click Remove Systems.

4.2.2.5. Applying Errata to Affected Systems in a Group

Errata can be remotely applied to multiple systems using the following method:
  1. Click SystemsSystem Groups.
  2. Click on the desired system group.
  3. Click on the Errata subtab.
  4. Select the Advisory that you would like to apply to the affected systems.
  5. Click Affected Systems to view a list of systems that are affected by the erratum.
  6. Select the systems you wish to apply the erratum to or choose Select All.
  7. Click Apply Errata.

4.2.3. Managing Systems with System Set Manager

System Set Manager (SSM) allows administrators to work with large numbers of systems in the Red Hat Satellite server, performing system management, maintenance, and deployment. SSM is used when working with systems that are in different system groups but require similar maintenance, configuration or deployment changes.
There are other various features that System Set Manager can offer:
  • Scheduling errata updates, as well as upgrading, installing and removing packages
  • Managing systems' channel membership, the deployment of configuration channels and configuration channel subscriptions
  • Provisioning systems, running remote commands and tagging systems for snapshot rollbacks
  • Migrating systems to another organization and setting custom values for selected systems in the Satellite
In order to use SSM, make sure that systems have been added to SSM. This is the first action that should be undertaken before using SSM features.

4.2.3.1. Adding Systems to SSM

Adding systems to SSM will allow the administrator to administer updates, configuration changes, etc to a specific group of systems regardless of the system group they belong to. To add a system to SSM:
  1. Click SystemsSystems.
  2. Click on the system name.
  3. On the top right-hand corner of the page, click add to ssm.
This should add the system to the system list in SSM.

4.2.3.2. Scheduling Errata Updates in SSM

To schedule errata updates for systems in the working group in SSM:
  1. Click SystemsSystems Set Manager.
  2. Click Schedule Errata Updates on the main page or click the Errata subtab.
  3. Select the Advisory that you would like to apply to the affected systems. Choose as many as is applicable for the set of systems.
  4. Click Apply Errata.

4.2.3.3. Managing Channel Memberships

The Channel Administrator can change the base channels the systems are subscribed to. Valid channels are either channels created by the organization or the default Red Hat base channel for specific operation system versions and processor type. Choosing a new base channel will unsubscribe the system from all previous channels. All child channels will have to be re-subscribed.
To change channel memberships:
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set ManagerChannels.
  2. As discussed, base channels need to be selected prior to subscribing to child channels. If only child channel subscriptions are to be changed, go the next step. If the base channel needs to be changed, follow these steps to subscribe to a base channel:
    1. Click the Base Channels subtab.
    2. Choose the base channel you wish to subscribe to from the Desired Base Channel.
    3. Click Confirm Subscriptions.
    4. Click the Child Channels subtab to go back to the Child Channel page.
  3. Select Subscribe to subscribe the selected systems to the channel. Select Unsubscribe to unsubscribe the selected systems to the channel and select Do Nothing if no changes should be made for the channel subscriptions.
  4. Click Alter Subscriptions to save the changes made.
  5. A summary of changes will appear to confirm the changes made in the previous screen. Review these changes and select Change Subscriptions when the changes are correct.

4.2.3.4. Enabling Configuration Management with SSM

To manage different configuration files in a system, configuration management needs to be enabled.
Requirements
The following requirements are necessary to enable configuration management in a system:
  • A provisioning entitlement. See the Systems chapter for the procedure on how to add a provisioning entitlement to a system.
  • A subscription to the Red Hat Satellite Tools channel. See the Systems chapter for the procedure on how to change a child channel.
  • An organization administrator.
  • System subscribed to SSM. In order for SSM to perform this action, the systems need to be subscribed to SSM.
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set ManagerConfiguration.
  2. Click the Enable Configuration subtab.
  3. Schedule the package installation of the rhcfg-* packages. Select a time for these configuration packages to be installed.
  4. Click Enable Red Hat Satellite Configuration Management.
  5. Open a terminal console on the individual systems or remotely login as root. The following actions need to be performed:
    1. Run this command to complete the pending rhncfg-* package installation:
      # rhn_check
      
    2. Run the following command to enable Red Hat Network actions:
      # rhn-actions-control --enable-all
      

4.2.3.5. Subscribing to Configuration Channels with SSM

Configuration Channels are discussed further in the Channel Management chapter. This procedure only covers how to subscribe systems to configuration channels through SSM.
Requirements
In order for SSM to subscribe systems to channels, the following requirements need to be fulfilled:
  • The system must be added to SSM. See the Adding Systems to SSM procedure in this section.
  • Configuration management should be enabled. See the Enabling Configuration Management with SSM. procedure in this chapter.
  • Configuration management requires that the system has a provisioning entitlement. See the Systems chapter for the procedure on how to add a provisioning entitlement to a system.
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set ManagerConfiguration or SystemsSystem Set Managerconfig channel subscriptions.
  2. Select the channels the systems should be subscribed to.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Choose a channel on the list and use the up and down arrows to change the priority. This assigns a rank to the channel. Ranking the channels will allow higher ranked channels to override any configuration changes from files with the same path in the lower channels.
  5. Select the configuration channel's priority by using the radio buttons on the side. This will rank the priority of the configuration channels listed here against the current configuration channels on the system.
  6. Click Apply Subscriptions.
  7. Confirm the systems against the configuration channels they will be subscribed to. Once all the information is confirmed correct, click Confirm.

4.2.3.6. Deploying Configuration Channels through SSM

To deploy a changed configuration file associated with systems through SSM:
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set ManagerConfiguration or SystemsSystem Set ManagerDeploy config channels.
  2. Select the filenames of the files to be deployed.
  3. Schedule the deployment of the configuration file by choosing to deploy it as soon as possible or choose a specific date and time.
  4. Click Confirm File Deploy to confirm the configuration deployment.

4.2.3.7. Tagging Systems for Provisioning

Tagging the system allows it to rollback to the most recent snapshot of the system when the tag was created. To tag systems:
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set ManagerTag.
  2. Fill in the Tag name field.
  3. Click Tag Current Snapshots.

4.2.3.8. Running Remote Commands using SSM

To run remote commands using SSM:
  1. Click SystemsSystem Set Managerremote commands.
  2. Fill in the following fields:
    • Run as user
    • Run as group
    • Timeout (in seconds)
    • Script
  3. Set a scheduled date and time for the shell script to run on the target systems.
  4. Click Schedule Remote Command.

4.2.4. Managing Action Chains

Satellite provides the ability to run several actions in a sequence. For example, to configure a webserver, you might need to install the httpd package on a system, upload a set of configuration file in /etc/httpd/conf.d/, and finally run a script to start the httpd service. Satellite can schedule and execute these actions in order using the action chaining features.
Action chaining can link the following actions in a sequence:
  • Install a package
  • Update a package
  • Remove a package
  • Verify a package
  • Apply errata
  • Run a remote command
  • Deploy a configuration file
  • Reboot a system
This applies to both individual systems and system sets.
To add an action to an action chain, initiate the action but select Add to Action Chain on the confirmation page, then click Confirm to add the action.
Add to Action Chain

Figure 4.1. Add to Action Chain

Navigate to ScheduleAction Chains to view a list of your action chains. Click on the Label of an action chain to view its actions, edit their order, or delete individual actions from the chain. In additon, the Schedule section provides fields to select the date and time to schedule the action. After selecting an appropriate date and time to schedule the action, click the Save and Schedule button and Satellite excutes the action chain at the date and time specified.