Getting Started with Subscription Watch

Subscription Central 2020-10

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Abstract


Part I. About subscription watch

Subscription watch provides a visual representation of the subscription experience across your hybrid infrastructure in a dashboard-based application. The subscription watch tool is intended to simplify how you interact with your subscriptions, providing both a historical look-back at your subscription usage and an ability to make informed, forward-facing decisions based on that usage and your remaining subscription capacity.

Learn more

Chapter 1. What is subscription watch?

Subscription watch provides unified reporting of Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription usage information across the constituent parts of your hybrid infrastructure, including physical, virtual, on-premise, and cloud. This unified reporting model enhances your ability to consume, track, report, and reconcile your Red Hat subscriptions with your purchasing agreements and deployment types.

Subscription watch also provides reporting of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform subscription usage information. Subscription watch uses data available from Red Hat internal subscription services, in addition to data from Red Hat OpenShift reporting tools, to show aggregated cluster usage data in the context of the capacity of the Red Hat OpenShift subscription profile.

The simplified, consistent subscription reporting experience shows your account-wide Red Hat subscriptions compared to your total inventory across all deployments and programs. It is an at-a-glance impression of both your account’s remaining subscription capacity measured against a subscription threshold and the historical record of your software usage.

Subscription watch provides increased and ongoing visibility of your subscription usage. By implementing it, you might be eligible to shift away from the challenges of the current content enforcement model, which can be error-prone and inconvenient for your operational workload requirements, to a newer model of content access and consumption with fewer barriers to content deployment. The simple content access tool enables this shift. Currently, simple content access is available to customers who manage subscriptions through Red Hat Satellite. To learn more about the simple content access tool and how you can use it with subscription watch, see the Getting Started with Subscription Watch with Simple Content Access guide.

Chapter 2. What are the benefits of subscription watch?

Subscription watch provides these benefits:

  • Tracks selected Red Hat product usage and capacity at the fleet or account level in a unified inventory and provides a daily snapshot of that data in a digestible, filterable dashboard at cloud.redhat.com.
  • Tracks data over time for self-governance and analytics that can inform purchasing and renewal decisions, ongoing capacity planning, and mitigation for high-risk scenarios.
  • Helps procurement officers make data-driven choices with portfolio-centered reporting dashboards that show both inventory-occupying subscriptions and current subscription limits across the entire organization.
  • With its robust reporting capabilities, enables the transition to simple content access tooling that features broader, organizational-level subscription enforcement instead of system-level quantity enforcement.

Chapter 3. What does subscription watch track?

Subscription watch currently tracks the following products:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Tracks RHEL on physical systems, virtual systems, and public cloud. If your RHEL installations predate certificate-based subscription management, subscription watch will not track that inventory.

  • Tracks physical RHEL usage in CPU sockets, organized by architecture and variants for x86.
  • Tracks virtualized RHEL by installed socket count for standard guest subscriptions and by socket count of the hypervisor host node for virtual data center (VDC) subscriptions and similar virtualized environments.
  • Tracks public cloud RHEL usage in sockets, where one instance equals one socket.
Red Hat OpenShift

Tracks Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform usage in CPU cores or sockets for clusters and aggregates this data into an account view, as refined by the following version support:

  • RHOCP 4.1 and later with Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS based nodes or a mixed environment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS and RHEL based nodes

    Note

    Socket-based reporting for Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS nodes is available only in the most recent minor version of 4.2 or later versions.

  • RHOCP 3.11

For RHOCP subscription usage, there was a change in reporting models between the major 3 and 4 versions, where version 3 usage is considered at the node level and version 4 usage is considered at the account level. While the subscription management process for version 3 era subscriptions is still done at the node level, the data is tabulated and displayed in subscription watch in an account-level view.

The difference in reporting models for the RHOCP major versions also results in some differences in how subscription watch and the associated services in the Cloud Services platform calculate usage. For RHOCP version 4, subscription watch recognizes and ignores the parts of the cluster that perform overhead tasks. These parts of the cluster are commonly called infrastructure nodes, and can include master, router, registry, metrics, logging, etcd, and similar nodes. Subscription watch recognizes and tracks only the parts of the cluster that contain compute nodes, also commonly called worker nodes.

However, for RHOCP version 3.11, the version 3 era reporting model cannot distinguish and ignore the infrastructure nodes. Therefore, for RHOCP version 3.11, you can assume that approximately 15% of the subscription data reported by subscription watch is overhead for infrastructure nodes. This percentage is based on analysis of cluster overhead in RHOCP version 3 installations. In this particular case, usage results that show 15% over capacity are likely to still be in compliance.

Part II. Requirements and your responsibilities

Before you start using subscription watch, review the hardware and software requirements and your responsibilities when you use this tool.

Learn more

Chapter 4. Requirements

To begin using subscription watch, you must meet the following software requirements. For more complete information about these requirements, contact your Red Hat account team.

You must meet at least one of the following requirements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux management:

  • RHEL managed by Satellite.

    • The minimum Satellite version is 6.5 or later.
  • RHEL managed by Red Hat Insights.
  • RHEL managed by Red Hat Subscription Management.

You must meet the following requirements for Red Hat OpenShift management, based on your Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 4.1 or later managed with the monitoring stack tools and Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 3.11 with RHEL nodes managed by Insights, Satellite, or Red Hat Subscription Management.

Chapter 5. How to select the right data collection tool

To display data about your subscription usage, subscription watch requires a data collection tool to obtain that data. The various data collection tools each have distinguishing characteristics that determine their effectiveness in a particular type of environment.

It is possible that the demands of your environment require more than one of the data collection tools to be running. When more than one data collection tool is supplying data to the services in the Cloud Services platform, the tools that process this data are able to analyze and deduplicate the information from the various data collection tools into standardized facts, or canonical facts.

The following information can help you determine the best data collection tool or tools for your environment.

5.1. Red Hat Insights

Insights as a data collection tool is ideal for the always-connected customer. If you fit this profile, you are interested in using Insights not only as a data collection tool, but also as a solution that provides analytic, threat identification, remediation, and reporting capabilities.

With the inclusion of Insights with every Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription beginning with version 8, and with Insights available as an operator with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform beginning with version 4.2, the use of Insights as your data collection tool becomes even more convenient.

However, using Insights as the data collection tool is not ideal if the Insights agent cannot connect directly to the cloud.redhat.com website or if Red Hat Satellite cannot be used as a proxy for that connection. In addition, it cannot be used as the sole solution if hypervisor host-guest mapping is required for virtual data centers (VDCs) or similar virtualized environments. In that case, Insights must be used in conjunction with Satellite.

5.2. Red Hat Subscription Management

Red Hat Subscription Management is an ideal data collection tool for the connected customer who uses the Subscription Manager agent to send data to Red Hat Subscription Management on the Red Hat Customer Portal.

For customers that are using subscription watch, Red Hat Subscription Management automatically synchronizes its data with the Cloud Services platform tools. Therefore, in situations where Red Hat Subscription Management is in use, or required, such as with RHEL 7 or later, it is being used as a data collection tool.

5.3. Red Hat Satellite

The use of Satellite as the data collection tool is useful for customers who have specific needs in their environment that either inhibit or prohibit the use of the Insights agent or the Subscription Manager agent for data collection.

For example, you might be able to connect to the Cloud Services platform directly, but you might find the connection and maintenance of a per-organization Satellite installation is more convenient than the per-system installation of Insights. The use of Satellite also enables you to inspect the information that is being sent to the Cloud Services platform on an organization-wide basis instead of a system-only basis.

As another example, your Satellite installation might not be able to connect directly to the Cloud Services platform because you are running Satellite from a disconnected network. In that case, you must export the Satellite reports to a connected system and then upload that data to the Cloud Services platform. To do this, you must use a minimum of Satellite 6.5 or later. You must also install the Satellite inventory upload plugin on your Satellite server.

Finally, you might have a need to view subscription watch results for RHEL usage from a virtual data center (VDC) subscription or similar virtualized environments. To do so, you must obtain accurate hypervisor host-guest mapping information as part of the data that is collected for analysis. This type of data collection requires the use of Satellite in combination with the Satellite inventory upload plugin and the virt-who tool.

5.4. Red Hat OpenShift

Subscription watch is designed to work with customers who use Red Hat OpenShift 4.1 and later in connected environments. Customers with disconnected Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform environments can use Red Hat OpenShift as a data collection tool by manually creating each cluster in Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager. This workaround enables customers with disconnected environments to simulate an account-level view of their Red Hat OpenShift usage. For example, an organization with disconnected clusters distributed across several departments might find this workaround useful.

The data collection for Red Hat OpenShift 4.1 and later usage is dependent on several tools, including tools developed by the Red Hat OpenShift development team. For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 4.1 and later, the Prometheus and Telemetry tools in the monitoring stack and Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager are used to gather and process cluster data before sending it to Red Hat Subscription Management. Red Hat Subscription Management provides the relevant usage data to the Cloud Services platform tools such as inventory and subscription watch.

For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 3.11, data collection is dependent on an older, Red Hat Enterprise Linux based reporting model. Therefore, data collection is dependent upon the connection of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux nodes to one of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux data collection tools, such as Insights, Red Hat Subscription Management, or Satellite.

Additional resources

  • For additional help with deciding which data collection tool or tools to use, see the Red Hat Subscription Watch Helper. This Red Hat Customer Portal Labs application is available at https://access.redhat.com/labs/rhsw/. The application guides you through a series of questions to determine the data collection tools that are the best fit for your environment.

Chapter 6. How to set subscription attributes

Your Red Hat subscriptions provide value to software products in use cases that are important to your business. Subscription watch helps you to align your software deployments with the use cases supporting them and compare actual consumption to the capacity provided by the subscription profile of your account.

Red Hat provides a method for you to associate use case information with products through the application of subscription attributes. These subscription attributes can be supplied at product installation time or as an update to the product. Proper, automated maintenance of the subscription attributes for your inventory is important to the accuracy of subscription watch reporting.

Subscription attributes can generally be organized into the following use cases:

technical use case
Attributes that describe how the product will be used upon deployment. Examples include role information for RHEL used as a server or workstation.
business use case
Attributes that describe how the product will be used in relation to your business environment and workflows. Examples include usage as part of a production or disaster recovery environment.
operational use case
Attributes that describe various operational characteristics such as how the product will be supported. Examples include a service level agreement (SLA) of premium, or a service type of L1-L3.

The subscription attributes might be configured from the operating system or its management tools, or they might be configured from settings within the product itself. Collectively, these subscription attributes might be known as system purpose, subscription settings, or similar names across all of these tools.

Subscription attributes are used by the Cloud Services platform tools such as the inventory tool to build the most accurate usage profile for products in your inventory. The subscription watch tool uses the subscription attributes found and reported by these other tools to filter data about your subscriptions, enabling you to view this data with more granularity. For example, filtering your RHEL subscriptions 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.

The quality of subscription attribute data can greatly affect the accuracy and usefulness of subscription watch data. Therefore, a best practice is to ensure that these attributes are properly set, both for current use and any possible future expansion of subscription attribute use within subscription watch.

6.1. Setting subscription attributes for RHEL

You can set subscription attributes from RHEL, Red Hat Subscription Management, or Satellite.

As a best practice, you should set the subscription attributes from only one tool. If you use multiple tools, there is a possibility for mismatched settings. Because these tools report data to the Cloud Services platform tools at different intervals, or heartbeats, and because subscription watch shows its results as a once-per-day snapshot based on last-reported data, adding subscription attributes to more than one tool could potentially affect the quality of subscription watch data.

Setting the subscription attributes from RHEL

For RHEL 8 and later, you can use a few different methods to set subscription attributes. These methods, which include using the syspurpose command line tool, are described in a few different contexts in the RHEL 8 documentation. For more information, see the following links:

Note

The syspurpose command line tool has also been added to RHEL 7.7 and later.

Setting the subscription attributes from Red Hat Subscription Management

For Red Hat Subscription Management, the methods to set subscription attributes are contained in the section for registering a system and the descriptions of register commands, but are more fully described in the section related to using system purpose. For more information, see the following link:

Setting the subscription attributes from Satellite

For Satellite, the methods to set subscription attributes are described in instructions for creating a host and editing the system purpose of a host. For more information, see the following link:

  • See the section about administering hosts in the Managing Hosts guide.

6.2. Setting subscription attributes for Red Hat OpenShift

You can set subscription attributes from Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager for version 4. For version 3, you use the same reporting tools as those defined for RHEL.

Setting the subscription attributes for Red Hat OpenShift 4

You can set subscription attributes at the cluster level from Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager.

  1. From the Clusters view, select a cluster to display the cluster details.
  2. Click Edit Subscription Settings on the cluster details page or from the Actions menu.
  3. Make any needed changes to the values for the subscription attributes and then save those changes.

Setting the subscription attributes for Red Hat OpenShift 3

You can set subscription attributes at the node level by using the same methods that you use for RHEL, setting these values from RHEL itself, Red Hat Subscription Management, or Satellite. As described in that section, set subscription attributes by using only one method so that the settings are not duplicated.

If your subscription contains a mix of socket-based and core-based nodes, you can also set subscription attributes that identify this fact for each node. As you view your Red Hat OpenShift usage, you can use a filter to switch between cores and sockets as the unit of measurement.

To set this subscription attribute data, run the applicable command for each node:

  • For core-based nodes:

    # echo '{"ocm.units":"Cores/vCPU"}' | sudo tee /etc/rhsm/facts/openshift-units.facts
  • For socket-based nodes:

    #  echo '{"ocm.units":"Sockets"}' | sudo tee /etc/rhsm/facts/openshift-units.facts

Chapter 7. Your responsibilities

Subscription watch and the features that make up this offering are new and are rapidly evolving. During this rapid development phase, you have the ability to view, and more importantly contribute to, the newest capabilities early in the process. Your feedback is valued and welcome. Work with your Red Hat account team, for example, your technical account manager (TAM) or customer success manager (CSM), to provide this feedback.

As you use subscription watch, note the following agreements and contractual responsibilities that remain in effect:

  • Customers are responsible for monitoring subscription utilization and complying with applicable subscription terms. Subscription watch is a customer benefit to manage and view subscription utilization. Red Hat does not intend to create new billing events based on subscription watch tooling, rather the tooling will help the customer gain visibility into utilization so it can keep track of its environment.

Part III. Setting up subscription watch

To set up the environment for subscription watch, connect your Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift systems to the Cloud Services platform services through one or more data collection tools.

After you complete the steps to set up this environment, you can continue with the steps to activate and open subscription watch.

Do these steps

  1. Optional: If you are interested in finding out more information about how use subscription watch in conjunction with simple content access to manage your content access and subscriptions, contact your Red Hat account team.

  2. To gather Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage data, complete at least one of the following three steps to connect your Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems to the Cloud Services platform by enabling a data collection tool. This connection enables subscription usage data to show in subscription watch.

    1. Deploy Insights on every RHEL system that is managed by Red Hat Satellite:

    2. Ensure that Satellite is configured to manage your RHEL systems and install the Satellite inventory upload plugin:

    3. Ensure that Red Hat Subscription Management is configured to manage your RHEL systems:

  3. To gather Red Hat OpenShift usage data, complete the following step for Red Hat OpenShift data collection on the Cloud Services platform.

    1. Set up the connection between Red Hat OpenShift and subscription watch based upon the operating system that is used for clusters:

Chapter 8. Determining your eligibility for simple content access

If you are eligible to use simple content access, you can also set up simple content access to manage your subscriptions.

Currently, simple content access is available to customers who manage subscriptions through Red Hat Satellite. To learn more about the simple content access tool and how you can use it with subscription watch, see the Getting Started with Subscription Watch with Simple Content Access guide.

Procedure

To confirm that you have Red Hat Satellite and are therefore able to use simple content access, use these steps:

  1. Go to access.redhat.com.
  2. Click My Subscriptions.
  3. Find the Red Hat Satellite section and ensure that the Red Hat Satellite Infrastructure Subscription is listed as an active subscription.
Note

The required version of Satellite is version 6.5 or later.

Chapter 9. Deploying Red Hat Insights

If you are using Red Hat Insights as the data collection tool, deploy Red Hat Insights on every RHEL system that is managed by Red Hat Satellite.

Do these steps

  1. To install Red Hat Insights, see the following information:

Learn more

9.1. Installing Red Hat Insights

Install Red Hat Insights to collect information about your inventory.

Procedure

  1. Install Insights on every RHEL system that is managed by Red Hat Satellite by using the following instructions:

9.2. What data does Red Hat Insights collect?

When the Red Hat Insights client is installed on a system, it collects data about that system on a daily basis and sends it to the Red Hat Insights cloud application. The data might also be shared with other applications on the Cloud Services platform, such as inventory or subscription watch. Insights provides configuration and command options, including options for data obfuscation and data redaction, to manage that data.

For more information, see the Client Configuration Guide for Red Hat Insights, available with the Red Hat Insights product documentation.

You might also want to examine the types of data that Insights collects and sends to Red Hat or add controls to the data that is sent. For additional information that supplements the information available in the product documentation, see the following articles:

Chapter 10. Installing the Satellite inventory upload plugin

If you are using Red Hat Satellite as the data collection tool, and you do not use Satellite plus Red Hat Insights to send data to the Cloud Services platform tools for processing, then you must install the Satellite inventory upload plugin to send this data.

You must also use the Satellite inventory upload plugin in combination with the virt-who tool for accurate reporting of hypervisor host-guest mapping information for virtual data center (VDC) subscriptions and similar virtualized environments.

Note

In the following steps, the actions that you do and the options that appear in the interface might vary according to your Satellite version.

Procedure

  1. Install the Satellite inventory upload plugin on the Satellite Server. For Satellite 6.8, the plugin is installed for you during Satellite installation.

    1. For Satellite 6.6 and 6.7, use the following command:

      # foreman-maintain packages install tfm-rubygem-foreman_inventory_upload-*
    2. For Satellite 6.5, use the following command:

      # yum install tfm-rubygem-foreman_inventory_upload-*
  2. When installation is complete, restart the Satellite services:

    # foreman-maintain service restart
  3. Depending upon the Satellite version, you might have to activate the plugin to start automatic collection of data. To activate the plugin, click RH Inventory or RH Cloud in the navigation, then click Allow Auto Upload.

Verification steps

After a successful installation and restart, the RH Inventory or RH Cloud navigation option displays in the Red Hat Satellite interface, where you can view the status of the extract and upload actions.

The Satellite inventory upload plugin reports once per day by default, but this value is configurable. You can also manually send data from Satellite.

Chapter 11. Registering systems to Red Hat Subscription Management

If you are using Red Hat Subscription Management as the data collection tool, register your RHEL systems to Red Hat Subscription Management.

Procedure

  1. Register your RHEL systems to Red Hat Subscription Management, if not already registered. For more information about this process, see the following information:

Chapter 12. Connecting Red Hat OpenShift to subscription watch

If you are using Red Hat OpenShift as the data collection tool, the steps you must do to connect to subscription watch depend on multiple factors. These factors include the installed version of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, whether you are working in a connected or disconnected environment, and whether you are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS, or both as the operating system for clusters.

Subscription watch is designed to work with customers who use Red Hat OpenShift 4.1 and later in connected environments. For Red Hat OpenShift version 4.1 and later, this communication is enabled through connected Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform clusters, specifically, clusters that report data to Red Hat through Telemetry. These connected clusters can communicate through Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager to supply information to the data pipeline for subscription watch.

Customers with disconnected Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.1 and later environments can use Red Hat OpenShift as a data collection tool by manually creating each cluster in Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager.

Customers who use Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 can also use subscription watch. However, for Red Hat OpenShift version 3.11, the communication with subscription watch is enabled through other tools that supply the data pipeline, such as Insights, Satellite, or Red Hat Subscription Management.

Procedure

Complete the following steps, based on your version of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and the cluster operating system for worker nodes.

For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.1 or later with Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS

For this profile, cluster architecture is optimized to report data to Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager through Telemetry, one of the remote monitoring tools. Therefore, setup of subscription watch reporting is essentially confirming that this monitoring tool is active.

  1. Make sure that all clusters are connected to Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager through the Telemetry monitoring component. If so, no additional configuration is needed. Subscription watch is ready to track Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform usage and capacity.

For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.1 or later with a mixed environment with Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

For this profile, data gathering is affected by the change in the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform reporting models between Red Hat OpenShift major versions 3 and 4. Version 3 relies upon RHEL to report RHEL cluster usage at the node level. This is still the reporting model used for version 4 RHEL nodes. However, the version 4 era reporting model reports Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS usage at the cluster level through Red Hat OpenShift tools.

The tools that are used to gather this data are different. Therefore, the setup of subscription watch reporting is to confirm that both tool sets are configured correctly.

  1. Make sure that all clusters are connected to Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager through the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Telemetry monitoring component.
  2. Make sure that Red Hat Enterprise Linux nodes in all clusters are connected to at least one of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux data collection tools, Insights, Satellite, or Red Hat Subscription Management. For more information, see the instructions about connecting to each of these data collection tools in this guide.

For Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 3.11

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 3.11 reports cluster usage based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux nodes in the cluster. Therefore, for this profile, subscription watch reporting uses the standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux data collection tools.

  1. Make sure that all Red Hat Enterprise Linux nodes in all clusters are connected to at least one of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux data collection tools, Insights, Satellite, or Red Hat Subscription Management. For more information, see the instructions about connecting to each of these data collection tools in this guide.

Part IV. Opening subscription watch

After you complete the steps to set up the environment for subscription watch, you can go to cloud.redhat.com to request subscription watch activation. After the initial data ingestion, analysis, and processing is complete, you can open subscription watch to begin viewing subscription usage and capacity data.

Do these steps

  1. To log in to cloud.redhat.com and activate subscription watch, see the following information:

  2. To log in to cloud.redhat.com and open subscription watch after activation, see the following information:

  3. If you cannot activate or log in to subscription watch, see the following information:

Learn more

Chapter 13. Activating subscription watch

To begin displaying usage and capacity data, subscription watch must be activated by one user with access to the Red Hat account through a Red Hat Customer Portal login. The organization administrator (org admin) account role is not required to activate subscription watch.

Note

If a Red Hat Customer Portal login is associated with an organization that does not have an account relationship with Red Hat, then subscription watch cannot be activated.

When subscription watch is activated, the Cloud Services platform tools begin analyzing and processing data from the data collection tools for display in subscription watch.

Note

The following procedure guides you through the steps to activate subscription watch from cloud.redhat.com. You can also access the activation page at the conclusion of the subscription watch tour or from an option on the Subscription Central page.

Procedure

  1. In a browser window, go to cloud.redhat.com.
  2. If prompted, enter your Red Hat Customer Portal login credentials.
  3. On the Subscription Watch tile, click Open to open subscription watch.
  4. Complete one of the following steps, depending on the status of subscription watch activation:

    • If subscription watch is not yet active for the account, the activation page displays. Click Activate Subscription Watch.
    • If subscription watch is activated but not yet ready to display data, the subscription watch application opens, but it displays an empty graph. Try accessing subscription watch later, typically the next day.
    • If subscription watch is activated and the initial data processing is complete, the subscription watch application opens and displays data on the graph. You can begin using subscription watch to view data about subscription usage and capacity for the account.

Verification steps

Data processing for the initial display of subscription watch can take up to 24 hours. Until data for the account is ready, only an empty graph will display.

Chapter 14. Logging in to subscription watch

You access subscription watch from the cloud.redhat.com console after logging in to your Red Hat Customer Portal login.

Procedure

  1. In a browser window, go to cloud.redhat.com.
  2. If prompted, enter your Red Hat Customer Portal login credentials.
  3. On the Subscription Watch tile, click Open to open subscription watch.
  4. If subscription watch is activated and the initial data processing is complete, the subscription watch application opens and displays data on the graph. You can begin using subscription watch to view data about subscription usage and capacity for the account.

    Note

    If the subscription watch application opens but displays an empty graph, then subscription watch is activated but the initial data processing is not complete. Try accessing subscription watch later, typically the next day.

Additional resources

Chapter 15. Verifying access to subscription watch

User access to many cloud.redhat.com services, including subscription watch, is controlled through a role-based access control (RBAC) system. The user management capabilities that are granted to the organization administrators (org admins) by access.redhat.com enable the org admins to manage the cloud.redhat.com groups, roles, and permissions that affect cloud.redhat.com user access for your organization. Org admins can manage user access by using the Settings > User access option at cloud.redhat.com.

The predefined role Subscription Watch administrator controls the ability to activate and access subscription watch. By default, every user in the organization has this role. However, if your org admin has made changes to user access roles and groups, you might not be able to access subscription watch.

Procedure

  1. If you cannot activate or access subscription watch, contact your organization administrator. Your org admin can provide information about the status of the subscription watch service for your organization.

Additional resources

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

Subscription watch shows subscription data for Red Hat offerings such as software products or product sets, organized by the Red Hat software portfolio options in the navigation menu. Each portfolio displays on its own subscription watch page, and the submenus filter the data on the page according to available product architectures, products, or product sets within the selected portfolio.

Currently, subscription watch shows subscription data for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift.

Each product page offers multiple views. These views enable you to explore different aspects about your subscriptions. When combined, the data from these views can help you recognize and mitigate subscription noncompliance problems or trends, organize subscription allocation across all of your resources, and improve decision-making for future purchasing and renewals.

16.1. How to use the subscription data in the views

The graph view, with its details about your subscription usage and capacity across the organization, helps you track usage trends and determine utilization, which is the percentage of deployed software when measured against your total subscriptions. The table view, with details about the usage on the individual systems within your inventory, helps you resolve questions you might have about usage and refine plans for future deployments on individual systems.

Note

The table view data is derived from data in the Cloud Services platform inventory application. Access to subscription watch, inventory, and other applications is controlled independently by a role-based access control (RBAC) system for the Cloud Services platform tools. If you do not have access to the inventory application, you cannot view the current system inventory data in the table view. For more information, contact the organization administrator for your account.

The usage and utilization graph view

This view shows you your total subscription usage and capacity over time in a graph form. It provides perspective on your account’s subscription threshold, current subscription utilization, and remaining subscription capacity, along with the historical trend of your software usage. The usage and capacity calculations that appear in the graph are based on a data snapshot that is provided once every 24 hours by the Cloud Services platform processing tools.

Usage is the actual or equivalent consumption of physical hardware. The terms of subscriptions determine the physical hardware that is consumed, such as sockets or cores. 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.

Utilization is the percentage of capacity, as indicated by the subscription threshold, that is exhausted through the deployment and usage of Red Hat software in this account.

Although the graph shows trends over a selected time interval, you can also view more specific information for the graph. For example, if the selected time interval is Weekly, you can hover over the graph near a date to see more specific data for a particular week.

You can also use the available filters, which can vary by product or product set, to change the usage data that displays in the graph. For example, you can filter by the time interval or the unit of measurement, or by the subscription attribute filters such as service level agreement (SLA), as applicable.

The current systems table view

This view shows you an inventory of the systems that compose the most recent daily snapshot of data in the graph view. It provides information that can help you correlate the usage totals in the graph with the current software deployments on individual systems across your organization.

Note

The data in the current systems table view contains aspects of the data that is available from the Cloud Services platform inventory application, with the following differences:

  • The inventory application shows significantly more system data. The current systems table view is a small subset of this data.
  • Data in the inventory application can be more current because of the methods that are used to update the data. The current systems table view in subscription watch is based on a daily snapshot, so that data could be up to 24 hours old.
  • Consumption of sockets or cores in the inventory application is represented as actual consumption. Usage in subscription watch is represented as normalized consumption, bound by the terms of subscription. For example, usage of a physical RHEL subscription is measured by socket pair, so a socket count for that type of system is always rounded to the next higher even number.

The information in the current systems table shows the name of the system, the type of the system, the usage total for that system according to the unit of measurement, and the date that the system was last seen.

The system is the machine, either physical or virtualized, on which the product or product set is deployed. The system is usually represented by either its display name or its universally unique ID (UUID). For multi-guest systems such as hypervisors, you can expand the system to see more information about individual guests. You can also click a system name to open the full system record in the inventory application.

The infrastructure type is the type of system on which the product or product set is deployed. A system can be a physical host, hypervisor, individual virtual machine, or other form of virtual deployment such as a public cloud instance.

The usage total is the actual or equivalent amount of physical hardware that the product or product set is consuming on that system. The usage is counted according to the unit of measurement, which in turn is determined by the terms under which a subscription to a product or product set is sold. For example, a subscription might be sold by sockets or cores.

The last seen date is the date that the system was last seen by the Cloud Services platform inventory application. As part of the underlying tasks that subscription watch and other Cloud Services platform tools perform to calculate usage, the inventory application helps to identify and deduplicate system data that is gathered by the various data collection tools.

As with the usage and utilization graph, you can use the filters to change the data that displays in the current systems table. However, a change to the time interval, such as changing from days to weeks, has no effect on the current systems table. The data displayed is from the most recent daily snapshot, so it is usually no more than 24 hours old.

16.2. 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.

Overall usage and capacity trends display on the usage and utilization graph. The information in the current systems table provides additional detail about the most recent day of data from the graph.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RHEL usage

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

The usage data in the graph is divided into three sections, based on RHEL on physical systems, virtualized 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 some Red Hat products, RHEL is included with and is installed to support that product. For example, RHEL is included with Red Hat Satellite. That type of RHEL is not tracked or counted against total usage or capacity.

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 and counted along with the worker node usage. Analysis of cluster data indicates that approximately 15% of data displayed for earlier versions of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is infrastructure node overhead. Therefore, if your subscription profile includes Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform version 3, it is possible that you can exceed your Red Hat OpenShift subscription threshold by up to 15% but still be in compliance with your subscriptions.

16.3. 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. The value that displays is the total socket count, including all of the system-level pair rounding.

In the current systems table, on-premise physical hardware and other structures such as a RHEL based hypervisor can display as physical machines.

Virtualized 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 or similar virtualized environments, the socket count of the hypervisor host node is counted, by using the same socket pair method that is used with physical RHEL installations.

Virtualized usage for hypervisors and virtual machines is grouped together in the usage and utilization graph, but hypervisor usage is displayed separately from virtual usage in the current systems table. This separation can help you troubleshoot questions about the collection of usage data for virtualized environments. In particular, it can help you determine whether host-guest mapping data is being correctly provided to subscription watch through the configuration of virt-who and the Satellite inventory upload plugin. For example, when these tools are correctly configured, virtualized usage is counted as follows:

  • For a RHEL based hypervisor with RHEL guests, the socket count of the hypervisor is counted twice, with the socket pair method applied. One count as physical represents the node’s own copy of RHEL, and one count as virtualized represents the usage of guest systems.
  • For a non RHEL based hypervisor with RHEL guests, the socket count of the hypervisor is counted once, as virtualized, with the socket pair method.
  • For standalone virtual machines, or for virtual machines with no detectable hypervisor management, each virtual machine is counted as a single socket.
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.

Public cloud usage displays separately in the usage and utilization graph, but displays as virtual in the current systems table.

Red Hat OpenShift

Subscription watch measures your Red Hat OpenShift usage in units of CPU cores or CPU sockets. For Red Hat OpenShift 4, the counting is aggregated at the cluster level, and for Red Hat OpenShift 3, the counting is aggregated at the node level. Currently, subscription watch cannot display a single, mixed-unit view of Red Hat OpenShift usage in environments that include core-based and socket-based clusters within the same account. You must use filtering to view that data in separate views.

You can use a filter 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 included in reports for both core- and socket-based usage.

Physical usage

Subscription watch measures your core-based physical Red Hat OpenShift installations by actual core count. Socket-based physical installations are measured by socket pairs, so the count is rounded upwards to the next even number.

In the current systems table, an example of a physical system for Red Hat OpenShift is a Red Hat OpenShift cluster running on bare metal.

Virtual usage

Subscription watch measures your core-based and socket-based installations by actual core and actual socket count.

In the current systems table, an example of a virtual system for Red Hat OpenShift is a cluster installed in environments such as Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, VMware vSphere, or on public cloud.

16.4. 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 graph view (and in some cases, the table 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. Filtering by time affects only the usage and utilization graph view. The current systems table view is always data from the most recent subscription watch daily snapshot, and is not affected by the time filter.

Note

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 might be configured from the operating system or its management tools, or from settings within the product itself. In these various tools, subscription attribute data is also known as system purpose, subscription settings, or similar names. In some cases, subscription attribute values might be derived from the subscription, such as when a subscription is sold either by sockets or cores.

You can use the subscription watch filters to get a more focused view on usage that meets certain use cases within your subscription profile. 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 premium subscriptions compared to your overall capacity for those premium subscriptions. In turn, this knowledge can inform decisions such as additional deployments, actions to mitigate subscription compliance issues, or future purchasing and renewals.

As another example, selecting a nonspecific value for a filter, such as the No SLA or Unspecified options, can help show subscriptions that have subscription attribute values that might be missing or that might be less common and not specifically filterable by subscription watch. For those subscriptions with missing subscription attributes, adding that data can improve the accuracy and usefulness of subscription watch reporting.

Subscription watch provides the following filters and filter options for RHEL:

  • SLA (service level agreement): Premium, Standard, Self-Support, No SLA
  • Usage: Development/Test, Disaster Recovery, Production, Unspecified

Subscription watch provides the following filter and filter options for Red Hat OpenShift:

  • SLA (service level agreement): Premium, Standard, Self-Support, No SLA
  • Cores: Cores (default), Sockets

Chapter 17. What data does subscription watch store?

Subscription watch stores only a subset of the data that is collected by Red Hat Insights. The primary data that is stored by subscription watch includes information related to installed Red Hat products, system size, and other similar system characteristics.

For more information about the types of data that subscription watch stores and uses, see the following article: Data Gathered and Used by Subscription Watch

For additional information about Insights data governance and security, see the following article: Insights 102

Chapter 18. How subscription watch gets and refreshes data

The data collection tools gather and periodically send data, including data about subscription usage, to the Cloud Services platform tools that analyze and process this data. After the data is processed, the data that is needed for subscription watch, including the data related to subscription usage and capacity, is sent to subscription watch for display. This data is sent once per day. Therefore, the data that displays in subscription watch is a daily tally of the results in the form of a snapshot, and is not a real-time, continuous usage monitor.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux data pipeline

The following image provides additional detail about the data pipeline that moves RHEL data from collection to display in subscription watch. The data collection tool, whether you are using Red Hat Insights, Satellite, or Red Hat Subscription Management with the Subscription Manager agent, sends data to the Cloud Services platform processing tools. After data is processed, it is available to Cloud Services platform services such as the inventory service. Subscription watch uses a subset of the data that is available to the inventory service to display data about subscription usage and capacity.

Figure 18.1. The RHEL data pipeline for subscription watch

The RHEL data pipeline for subscription watch

The Red Hat OpenShift data pipeline

For Red Hat OpenShift version 4.1 and later data collection, the tools available in the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform monitoring stack monitor and periodically sum the CPU activity of all worker-based nodes, while ignoring the activity of infrastructure-based nodes. That data is sent to Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager at different intervals for new clusters, resized clusters, and clusters with deleted entities, to maintain currency.

Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager then updates the cluster size attribute for existing clusters and creates entries for any new clusters in the Cloud Services platform inventory tool. Lastly, subscription watch analyzes the inventory data and creates an account-wide Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform usage entry that accounts for both core and socket usage to display in the subscription watch interface, along with capacity data.

Figure 18.2. The Red Hat OpenShift data pipeline for subscription watch

The Red Hat OpenShift data pipeline for subscription watch

Heartbeats for data collection tools

The frequency at which the data collection tools send data for processing, also known as the heartbeat, varies by tool. This variance can affect the freshness of the data that subscription watch displays.

The following table shows default heartbeats for the data collection tools. In some cases, these values are configurable within that data collection tool.

Table 18.1. Heartbeats for data collection tools

ToolConfigurableHeartbeat interval

Insights

No

Daily, once every 24 hours

Red Hat Subscription Management

Yes

Multiple times per day, 4 hour default

Satellite

Yes

Monthly, configurable with the Satellite scheduler function

If used, the Satellite inventory upload plugin reports daily, with a manual send option.

Additionally, to maintain accurate information about the mapping of virtual guests to hosts, a best practice is to run the virt-who utility daily.

Red Hat OpenShift

No

Several tools are involved in the data pipeline, including tools in the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform monitoring stack and in the Cloud Services platform, with differing intervals:

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform monitoring stack:
New clusters identified every 15 minutes
Cluster size updated every 2 hours
Cluster cleanup for deleted entities updated every 5 hours

Red Hat OpenShift Cluster Manager:
New clusters identified to Red Hat Subscription Management every 15 minutes
Existing clusters synchronized every 6 hours

subscription watch:
daily, once every 24 hours

Part V. Troubleshooting subscription watch

Learn how to resolve some of the most common problems that are experienced by subscription watch users.

Chapter 19. Correcting over-reporting of virtualized RHEL

So that subscription watch can accurately report Red Hat Enterprise Linux in virtualized environments such as virtual data center (VDC) subscriptions, the Satellite inventory upload plugin and the virt-who tool must be correctly configured.

Host-guest mappings must be present in the data that subscription watch analyzes to accurately report virtualized RHEL usage. The Satellite inventory upload plugin and the virt-who tool gather these mappings for subscription watch.

If these tools are not used, virtualized usage data cannot be correctly calculated. In that type of scenario, guests are counted, not ignored. Each guest is counted as an individual virtual machine, leading to a rapid escalation of virtualized socket count and unusual deployment over capacity. When multiplied over numerous VDC subscriptions, all running multiple guests, subscription watch could easily show RHEL overdeployment that significantly exceeds your subscription threshold.

The following example contains an isolated usage and utilization graph view from the subscription watch interface. It shows a substantial drop in the reporting of virtualized usage after the correct configuration of the Satellite inventory upload plugin and virt-who. Throughout the time period displayed, the subscription threshold remains constant, at 904 sockets. Before correction, total RHEL usage is reported as approximately 2,250 sockets. This count far exceeds the subscription threshold. After correction, virtualized usage is considerably reduced, with total RHEL usage at 768 sockets. This count falls below the subscription threshold of 904 sockets.

Figure 19.1. Corrected virtualized RHEL with virt-who and Satellite data

Corrected virtualized RHEL with virt-who and Satellite data

Procedure

To correct over-reporting of virtualized RHEL usage in subscription watch, make sure that you have completed the following steps:

  1. Review your RHEL subscription profile in Red Hat Satellite and determine which subscriptions require virt-who.
  2. Confirm that the virt-who tool is deployed on your hypervisors so that host-guest mappings can be communicated to Satellite. For more information, see the virtualization documentation that is appropriate for your version (for example, Configuring Virtual Machine Subscriptions in Red Hat Satellite) from the Product Documentation for Red Hat Satellite page.

    Note

    If you are also using simple content access, the workflows for some of the subscription management tools such as virt-who are altered. In addition to reviewing the information in the Satellite documentation, see also the information in the Simple Content Access article.

  3. Make sure that the Satellite inventory upload plugin is installed and configured to supply data to subscription watch. If needed, review the information in the "Installing the Satellite inventory upload plugin" topic in this guide for additional information.

Legal Notice

Copyright © 2020 Red Hat, Inc.
The text of and illustrations in this document are licensed by Red Hat under a Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license ("CC-BY-SA"). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version.
Red Hat, as the licensor of this document, waives the right to enforce, and agrees not to assert, Section 4d of CC-BY-SA to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Shadowman logo, the Red Hat logo, JBoss, OpenShift, Fedora, the Infinity logo, and RHCE are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.
Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and other countries.
Java® is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
XFS® is a trademark of Silicon Graphics International Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries.
MySQL® is a registered trademark of MySQL AB in the United States, the European Union and other countries.
Node.js® is an official trademark of Joyent. Red Hat is not formally related to or endorsed by the official Joyent Node.js open source or commercial project.
The OpenStack® Word Mark and OpenStack logo are either registered trademarks/service marks or trademarks/service marks of the OpenStack Foundation, in the United States and other countries and are used with the OpenStack Foundation's permission. We are not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by the OpenStack Foundation, or the OpenStack community.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.