Issue #10 August 2005

Coming soon: RHN Satellite Monitoring and Solaris Management

This month, Red Hat is updating its Red Hat® Network offering. This new release, available in the next few weeks, includes two exciting new features for Red Hat Network Satellite: Monitoring and Solaris Management.

Monitoring

With a new Monitoring Module, Red Hat extends the life cycle management capabilities of Red Hat Network. Now, Red Hat Network users can track the performance of their Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® systems and applications to maintain the availability of key resources. Linux has moved far beyond the edge of corporate networks. Now, it is commonly used as the platform for mission-critical services, including web, database, and application servers. These services require monitoring to maintain performance and detect increasing system loads.

With the Monitoring Module, probes can be used to gather information from systems. It can also send alerts when probes discover warning or critical states you define as shown in Figure 1. Creating a probe.

Creating a probe
Figure 1. Creating a probe

You can use the included tools to create your own probe or select from over 60 pre-defined probes, some of which are described in Table 1. Sample of pre-defined probes.

Category Pre-defined RHN probes
Linux CPU Usage, Disk I/O Throughput, Disk Usage, Interface Traffic, Load, Memory Usage, Process Health
Network FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, IMAP, Ping, POP, RPCService, SSH, SMTP
Log Agent Log Size, Pattern Matching
Oracle® 8i/9i Availability, Client Connectivity, Disk Sort Ratio, Index Extents, Locks, Sessions, Tablespace Usage, TNS Ping
BEA® Weblogic® Heap Free, JDBC Connection Pool, Server State
Apache Processes, Traffic, Uptime
MySQL Database Accessibility, Opened Tables, Query Rate, Threads Running
Table 1. Sample of pre-defined probes

After the probes gather the desired data, you can use your web browser to view the results. For example, Figure 2. Results of a CPU load probe shows the results of a CPU load probe.

Results of a CPU load probe
Figure 2. Results of a CPU load probe

While the creation of individual probes is helpful, it isn't a process that scales well when you need to monitor hundreds or thousands of systems. That's where probe suites come into play. With probe suites, you can group probes into suites and deploy these suites all at once to systems. For example, you may have 19 different probes you want to use on all your web servers. You create a probe suite with these probes in it as shown in Figure 3. Web server probe suite, configured them, and then select your group of web servers. With just a few clicks you have started gathering information from hundreds or thousands of probes.

Web server probe suite
Figure 3. Web server probe suite

This scalability, combined with the simplicity of using the Red Hat Network interface and a price much lower than other monitoring solutions, makes the Monitoring Module an easy choice to lower your TCO for managing the performance of your infrastructure.

Monitoring can also be a powerful tool when combined with the Provisioning Module. For example, when using the Monitoring Module, an administrator would be alerted when demand on their application servers is rising. They then use Provisioning to redeploy under-utilized systems as additional application servers to balance out the load.

Like other Red Hat Network modules, the Monitoring Module is sold on a per system, subscription basis. To use Monitoring, you must have a Red Hat Network Satellite server as well as Management Modules for the systems you want to monitor.

Solaris Management

With the new release, Red Hat Network will add support for the management of Sun® Solaris® systems. Customers will be able to manage Solaris alongside Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems through a single interface.

Solaris Management is a new feature within the existing Red Hat Network Management Module. You can purchase Management Modules and use them for either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Solaris. Because of this flexibility, it is easy to migrate Management Module entitlements within Red Hat Network when you migrate Solaris systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Solaris Management has essentially the same features as Linux version of Management. Customers can group systems together and send content to those groups, including Solaris packages, patches, and patch sets. To distribute this content, you just need to download it from your source for Solaris content then add it into a Red Hat Network Satellite using the tools provided. You can also manage your Solaris configuration files within Red Hat Network and distribute them centrally, improving consistency.

Solaris support is especially helpful for customers who have decided to migrate their Solaris machines to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They can start taking advantage of the capabilities of Red Hat Network while they prepare to move the systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. During the migration, they can use Red Hat Network to streamline systems management of the Solaris environment, with a unified systems management solution. And they can perform the actual migration of x86 systems from Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux using the PXE boot provisioning capabilities, which are part of Red Hat Network.

Summary

With the addition of these new features, Red Hat Network further demonstrates its ability to manage the complete system life cycle in a way that improves productivity while reducing administrative costs. To learn more about Red Hat Network, including the new features in this latest release, check out the following resources:

About the author

Scott Gilbertson is the Product Marketing Manager for Red Hat Network.