Chapter 16. How does subscription watch show my subscription data?

Subscription watch currently shows data in two views, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux view and the Red Hat OpenShift view. You can change between these two views by using the navigation menu.

The subscription watch views show you your total subscription usage and capacity over time, providing perspective on your account’s subscription threshold and remaining subscription capacity, along with the historical trend of your software usage. The data that appears in the subscription watch views is based on a daily snapshot, provided by the Cloud Services platform processing tools.

Usage is the actual or equivalent consumption of physical hardware. Usage is represented by an area graph, with different types of usage, such as physical, virtual, and public cloud usage, represented by different colors.

Capacity is the sum of similar subscriptions across all of your contracts. Based on this sum of your subscriptions, the maximum capacity, also known as the subscription threshold, is represented by a dashed line.

16.1. Measurement of usage and capacity

Currently, subscription watch tracks certain types of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift. The data that is displayed for usage and capacity can vary by product.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RHEL usage

Usage is measured in CPU sockets. Data is divided by architecture, including the RHEL variants for x86. You can view either aggregated data for all architectures or specific data for each supported architecture by selecting from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux options in the navigation menu.

The usage data in the area graph is divided into three sections, based on RHEL on physical systems, virtual systems, or public cloud.

RHEL capacity
To measure capacity, the socket contribution of each RHEL subscription is added to a total that encompasses the inventory’s CPU architecture, including the RHEL variants for x86.

For RHEL, only those subscriptions with a system purpose value of "production" are tracked. Those with another system purpose value, such as "development," "academic," or "disaster recovery," are not tracked. In addition, RHEL that is installed in support of another Red Hat product, such as Red Hat Satellite, is not tracked.

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift usage
Usage of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is measured in CPU cores or sockets. Data displays as an account-level view that is a sum of usage across active clusters.
Red Hat OpenShift capacity
To measure capacity, subscription watch accesses the Red Hat internal subscription services to display the current and recent historical trend of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform subscription capacity, as measured in cores or sockets, for comparison against the usage data.

For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 4.1 and later, subscription watch is able to distinguish between overhead and compute nodes, also commonly referred to as infrastructure and worker nodes. In the aggregation of usage data for these versions of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, infrastructure nodes are ignored.

Subscription watch is not able to make this same distinction for earlier versions of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, so data for infrastructure nodes is displayed. Analysis of cluster data indicates that approximately 15% of data displayed for earlier versions of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is infrastructure node overhead.

16.2. Units of measurement

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Because of the inherent differences between physical, virtual, and public cloud offerings and their relation to hardware, subscription watch tracking uses different units of measurement, as follows:

Physical usage
Subscription watch measures your physical RHEL installations by CPU socket pairs. Each system contributes its installed socket count, rounded upwards to the next even number.
Virtual usage
Subscription watch measures your virtualized RHEL installations in two ways. Where host-guest mappings are not used, such as with standard guest subscriptions, each system contributes a single installed socket. Where host-guest mappings are required, such as with virtual data center (VDC) subscriptions, the socket count of the hypervisor host node is counted, by using the same method that is used with physical RHEL installations.
Public cloud usage
Subscription watch measures public cloud RHEL installations by socket. The instances launched from public cloud RHEL images are recognized through Desktop Management Interfaces (DMI) fact-value pairs that are present in the image and instance metadata. The values of the DMI facts identify an instance as running in the cloud infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Alibaba Cloud. Each instance contributes a single socket to the socket count.

Red Hat OpenShift

Subscription watch measures your Red Hat OpenShift usage in units of CPU cores or CPU sockets. Currently, subscription watch cannot display a mixed-unit view of Red Hat OpenShift usage in environments that include core-based and socket-based clusters within the same account.

You can use a filter in the interface to toggle the usage and capacity data between the two units of measurement. If subscription attributes are set on the cluster (through Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager for Red Hat OpenShift 4) or on the node (through the command to set the ocm.units value for Red Hat OpenShift 3), then that data can be reported by cores or sockets. If subscription attributes are not set or cannot be set, then the data is reported by both cores and sockets.

Sockets and cores explained

A subscription has a unit of capacity associated with it that describes a measurable attribute on the system that the subscription covers, such as sockets or cores.

One end of a communication link between two programs that are running on the same network. A socket is bound to a port number so that the application that the host system is running can be identified. A socket pair is a set of two sockets that are connected on the same host system.
A physical processing core that is located in a CPU or a virtual processing core within a virtual machine or that supports a container. In each case, the core contains or executes the software for that system.

16.3. Filtering

You can further refine the subscription watch data by selecting values from the available filters in the interface. When you select a filter option, the view refreshes to show data that relates to that option. In other words, a filter is inclusive, not exclusive, for the selected option.

Filtering by time

You can filter data by several different time intervals, including daily (the default) and quarterly.


During the rapid development of subscription watch, the addition of new features is improving the scope and accuracy of this tool. Subscription watch does not provide in-application capability to recalculate older usage and capacity data as these new features are being added. Therefore, the selection of a longer time interval could display results that contain inconsistencies.

Filtering by subscription attributes

You can filter by subscription attributes, which is data that describes the characteristics and intended usage of subscription. The accuracy of those filters is dependent upon how accurately the subscription attribute data is set.

Subscription attributes are configured from operating system or management tools. In these various tools, subscription attribute data is also known as system purpose, subscription settings, or similar names.

For example, filtering your RHEL subscriptions by service level agreement (SLA) to show only those with an SLA of premium could help you determine the current usage of those premium subscriptions compared to your overall capacity for premium subscriptions.

Currently, subscription watch provides the following filters and filter options for both the RHEL and Red Hat OpenShift views.

  • service level agreement (SLA): premium, standard, self-support

Subscription watch also provides the following filter and filter options for the Red Hat OpenShift view.

  • Cores: cores (default), sockets