Chapter 1. Introduction

RHN Satellite provides a solution to organizations requiring absolute control over and privacy of the maintenance and package deployment of their servers. It allows Red Hat Network customers the greatest flexibility and power in keeping servers secure and updated.
Two types of RHN Satellite are available: One with a stand-alone database on a separate machine and one with an embedded database installed on the same machine as the Satellite. This guide describes the installation of both types of Satellite.
Although the two types of RHN Satellite are functionally similar, some differences do exist. These variations are primarily isolated to hardware requirements, installation steps, and maintenance activities. They may also appear during troubleshooting. This guide identifies distinctions between the Satellite types by marking the differing instructions as either Stand-Alone Database or Embedded Database.

1.1. Red Hat Network

Red Hat Network (RHN) is the environment for system-level support and management of Red Hat systems and networks of systems. Red Hat Network brings together the tools, services, and information repositories needed to maximize the reliability, security, and performance of their systems. To use RHN, system administrators register the software and hardware profiles, known as System Profiles, of their client systems with Red Hat Network. When a client system requests package updates, only the applicable packages for the client are returned (based upon the software profile stored on the RHN Servers).
Advantages of using Red Hat Network include:
  • Scalability — with Red Hat Network, a single system administrator can set up and maintain hundreds or thousands of Red Hat systems more easily, accurately, and quickly than they could maintain a single system without Red Hat Network.
  • Standard Protocols — standard protocols are used to maintain security and increase capability. For example, XML-RPC gives Red Hat Network the ability to do much more than merely download files.
  • Security — all communication between registered systems and Red Hat Network takes place over secure Internet connections.
  • View Errata Alerts — easily view Errata Alerts for all your client systems through one website.
  • Scheduled Actions — use the website to schedule actions, including Errata Updates, package installs, and software profile updates.
  • Simplification — maintaining Red Hat systems becomes a simple, automated process.