Chapter 2. Comparing Satellite 5 and Satellite 6

This chapter explores the differences between Red Hat Satellite 5 and Red Hat Satellite 6, especially in the areas of system architecture, organizational structures, and the application life cycle.
The following table outlines some initial concepts and their respective implementation in both Satellite 5 and Satellite 6.

Table 2.1. Comparison of Satellite 5 and Satellite 6 Concepts

Satellite 5
Satellite 6
Open source projects
A single project approach versus a modular approach.
Foreman, Katello, and Puppet
Subscription types
Pool- or channel-based versus certificate-based. Subscription management has improved over the years from a pool- or channel-based approach to a more specific certificate-based approach. Certificate-based subscription management provides better overall control of subscriptions of those consuming clients.
Subscription methods (or Satellite subscription consumption).
The way that Satellite is enabled to synchronize and distribute Red Hat content. Certificates are activated during installation; manifests are uploaded after installation.
Certificate file
Manifest file
Organization management
Both Satellite 5 and 6 have a concept of multiple organizations, but Satellite 6 also includes functionality to include the context of the location.
Organizations and Locations
Software and configuration content
Distributed through channels versus distributed through content views published and promoted through environments. In Satellite 6 a content view contains a chosen set of software repositories and configuration modules that are published and promoted to an environment. Client systems consume its software and configurations through its environment associations.
Software Channels
Products and repositories
Configuration Channels
Puppet Repositories
Proxy services
Red Hat Satellite Proxy Server
Red Hat Satellite Capsule Server
Command-line tools
Various CLI tools
Virtualization and cloud providers
KVM and Xen
Openstack, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, KVM, VMware, EC2
Database support
Embedded PostgreSQL, managed PostgreSQL, external PostgreSQL, Oracle Database 10g Release 2 or 11g (Standard or Enterprise Edition)
Embedded PostgreSQL for 6.0.

2.1. System Architectures

Red Hat Satellite 5 is based on an open source project called Spacewalk and is comprised of several key components arranged in the following architecture.
Red Hat Satellite 5 System Architecture

Figure 2.1. Red Hat Satellite 5 System Architecture

Web UI
The Web UI runs through an Apache web server and provides the main entry point for Satellite operations.
Front-end API
The Front-end API provides the ability to interact with Satellite 5 through an XML-RPC API. This allows system administrators to write scripts to perform repetitive tasks, or develop third-party applications around Satellite. The Front-end API exposes most of the Web UI functionality using XML-RPC.
Back-end API
The back end provides a set of APIs that the different client utilities (rhn_register, yum) connect to. These are not documented and are used solely by the client utilities.
Taskomatic is generally a separate service within Red Hat Satellite 5 that runs various asynchronous jobs, such as cleaning up the sessions table, or sending email notifications for new errata. The majority of these jobs run periodically, and you can adjust the frequency with which they occur.
Search Server
Satellite contains a standalone search server that runs as a daemon that allows you to quickly find a system, package, or errata, as opposed to paging through hundreds of items in a list. It uses Apache's Lucene search engine library, which provides more relevant search results and a richer query language.
Red Hat Satellite 6 is based upon several open source projects arranged in the following architecture.
Red Hat Satellite 6 System Architecture

Figure 2.2. Red Hat Satellite 6 System Architecture

Foreman is an open source application used for provisioning and life cycle management of physical and virtual systems. Foreman automatically configures these systems using various methods, including kickstart and Puppet modules. Foreman also provides historical data for reporting, auditing, and troubleshooting.
Katello is a subscription and repository management application. It provides a means to subscribe to Red Hat repositories and download content. You can create and manage different versions of this content and apply them to specific systems within user-defined stages of the application life cycle.
Candlepin is a service within Katello that handles subscription management.
Pulp is a service within Katello that handles repository and content management.
Hammer is a CLI tool that provides command line and shell equivalents of most Web UI functions.
Red Hat Satellite 6 includes a RESTful API service that allows system administrators and developers to write custom scripts and third-party applications that interface with Red Hat Satellite.
Red Hat Satellite Capsule Server acts as a proxy for some of the main Satellite functions including repository storage, DNS, DHCP, and Puppet Master configuration. Each Satellite Server also contains integrated Capsule Server services.