5.2. Managing Subscription Expiration and Notifications

5.2.1. About Subscription Validity Ranges

Subscriptions are active for a certain period of time, called the validity period. When a subscription is purchased, the start and end dates for the contract are set.
On a system, there can be multiple subscriptions attached. Each product requires its own subscription. Additionally, some products may require multiple quantities of subscriptions for the product to be fully covered. For example, a 16 socket machine may require four 4-socket operating system subscriptions to cover the socket count.
The My Installed Software tab shows the subscription status for the entire system. It also shows a date; that is the first date that a product subscription goes from valid to invalid (meaning it expires).
Valid Until...

Figure 12. Valid Until...

For example, if you have a Load Balancer subscription that expires on April 17 and all other product subscriptions are valid until October 1, the Certificate Status summary show that the certificates are valid until April 17, the closest expiration date.
Subscriptions can string together in a queue. For example, you have a 4-socket system that uses two 2-socket subscriptions to cover the socket count. However, the system actually has three subscriptions attached to it:
  • 2-socket subscription A expires April 1, 2012.
  • 2-socket subscription B expires July 31, 2013.
  • 2-socket subscription C starts March 1, 2012 and expires April 1, 2014.
The system is valid through July 31, 2013, because Subscription C is already queued up to replace Subscription A when it expires.

5.2.2. About System Notifications

The Red Hat Subscription Manager provides a series of log and UI messages that indicate any changes to the valid certificates of any installed products for a system. In the Subscription Manager GUI, the status of the system subscriptions is color-coded, where green means all subscriptions are attached for all installed products, yellow means that some products may not have all of the required subscriptions attached but updates are still in effect, and red means that updates are disabled.
Color-Coded Status Views

Figure 13. Color-Coded Status Views

The command-line tools also indicate that status of the machine. The green, yellow, and red codes translate to text status messages of subscribed, partially subscribed, and expired/not subscribed, respectively.
[root@server ~]# subscription-manager list
+-------------------------------------------+
    Installed Product Status
+-------------------------------------------+

ProductName:            Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server
Status: Not Subscribed
Expires:                                         
SerialNumber:                                    
ContractNumber:                                  
AccountNumber:
Whenever there is a warning about subscription changes, a small icon appears in the top menu bar, similar to a fuel gauge.
Subscription Notification Icon

Figure 14. Subscription Notification Icon

As any installed product nears the expiration date of the subscription, the Subscription Manager daemon will issue a warning. A similar message is given when the system has products without a valid certificate, meaning either there is not subscription attached that covers that product or the product is installed past the expiration of the subscription. Clicking the Manage My Subscriptions... button in the subscription notification window opens the Red Hat Subscription Manager GUI to view and update subscriptions.
Subscription Warning Message

Figure 15. Subscription Warning Message

5.2.3. Responding to Subscription Status Changes

When the Subscription Manager UI opens, whether it was opened through a notification or just opened normally, there is an icon in the upper left corner that shows whether products lack a valid certificate. The easiest way to attach subscriptions which match invalidated products is to click the Auto-attach button.
Auto-attach Button

Figure 16. Auto-attach Button