With Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters, how do I register third party hypervisors and RHEL guests with the Customer Portal or Satellite?

Solution In Progress - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (all supported versions)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Data Centers

Issue

  • We purchased qty (n) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters, which includes unlimited supported virtual machines with (n) hypervisors.
  • Our datacenter uses RHEL guest virtual machines hosted by third party hypervisors such as ESXi from VMWare, Hyper-V from Microsoft and/or KVM on alternate Linux systems.
  • How do we register our VMs and third party hypervisors with the Red Hat Customer Portal or our Satellite server so our guest VMs can receive updates and support?

Resolution

Since the subscription includes unlimited virtual machines, the easiest solution is to build a small VM in the virtualized environment and set it up as the virt-who server. Virt-who will find and query the hypervisors in the environment and register the hypervisors and guest VMs with either the Customer Portal or Satellite as appropriate.

See these solutions and articles for details on installing and setting up a virt-who server:

How to install Virt-who without a subscription
How to register a VMware ESX host/hypervisor on the Customer Portal to use virtual subscriptions
Virt-who and Satellite 6.1
How to use a windows domain account with virt-who?
Which hypervisors allow virt-who to query virtual machines?
Registering VMware ESXi Guests to the Red Hat Customer Portal using virt-who

The virt-who server may be perceived as a potential attack vector in cases when some of the VMs in the environment are in a DMZ network or other heavily restricted subnet. Although the virt-who server does not need access to any VMs, it does need access to the hypervisors running the VMs and metadata describing the VMs.

Here is a list of ports that need to be open for different hypervisors:

  • VMWare ESX/vCenter: 443/tcp
  • Hyper-V: 5985/tcp
  • RHEV-M: 443/tcp or 8443/tcp (depending on version)

virt-who also needs to have access to Subscription Asset Manager or Satellite (5 or 6). Default port is 443.

Root Cause

  • Quantity (n) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters includes the right to support unlimited virtual machines with (n) hypervisors.
    • The practical limit to "unlimited" is 500.
  • Third party hypervisors such as ESXi from VMware, Hyper-V from Microsoft, and other Linux implementations, have no ability to register with Red Hat subscription services on their own.
  • Red Hat provides a software tool named virt-who to register these hypervisors and associated virtual machines.
  • Virt-who needs to run on a system with visibility into all hypervisors in the environment.

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