FAQs

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Interoperability and customization

Does RHN Satellite work with other management products, like HP OpenView, IBM Tivoli, or BMC PATROL?

You can use the API in RHN Satellite to script commands inside RHN Satellite and to exchange information with other management products. Customers have used the API in RHN Satellite to integrate it with other management tools from vendors like HP and IBM.

Does RHN Satellite have an application programming interface (API) access layer?

The RHN Satellite API is based on eXtensible Markup Language - Remote Procedure Call (XML-RPC), which lets distinct pieces of software on disparate systems make remote procedure calls using XML over HTTP.

Security implications

My environment won#39;t let me have a network connection from my RHN Satellite back to Red Hat Network. What other options do I have?

RHN Satellite is capable of being run in a disconnected/secure mode where content updates are loaded using physical media. Channel content ISOs can be downloaded from Red Hat Network Hosted and are required to keep certified content up-to-date. Many organizations that have very tight security requirements use the disconnected RHN Satellite configuration.

How is security implemented between RHN Satellite server and its managed nodes?

From a features perspective, RHN Satellite offers administrators the ability to implement a full audit trail of all activities taken through RHN Satellite and assign policies and permissions for simple role-based administration.

From the network side, RHN Satellite ensures secure communications. The communication method between client and server is always client-initiated. Communications between RHN Satellite and clients use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) encryption.

Installation and architecture

What type of hardware do I need to run RHN Satellite server?

A basic guideline:

  • Intel multicore processor, 2.4GHz dual processor, 512K cache, or equivalent

  • Minimum of 2GB of memory (8GB recommended)

  • Minimum of 50GB of storage/disk space for the base Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation, database, and RHN channel repository

Learn more

What kind of database is required to run RHN Satellite server in my environment?

RHN Satellite server uses an embedded Oracle database. You may use your own Oracle database instance, or you can use the embedded database that's available with the subscription (at no additional charge).

If you plan on scaling your environment to greater than 5,000 systems—or if you intend to run a high-availability RHN Satellite—Red Hat recommends that you run your own independent Oracle instance. For non-embedded deployments, please see the RHN Satellite Installation Guide for a list of supported Oracle databases.

What is the scalability of the RHN Satellite?

RHN Satellite currently scales to over 10,000 managed systems. This is achieved using an RHN Satellite server and RHN Proxy server at each remote location and for every 2,000 managed systems. Red Hat continues to make changes that greatly enhance the scalability of the RHN solution.

Does RHN Satellite require an agent for managing machines?

Yes. Managed machines need the Red Hat Update Agent installed to connect to the RHN Satellite or Proxy server. The Update Agent is provided by default with each Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation.

Are there installation and consulting services available for RHN Satellite server?

Yes. Red Hat Global Professional Services has a 1-week package specifically for RHN Satellite customers. Please contact Red Hat Sales for more information via web form or phone at 866-273-3428 x45104.

Are there any high-availability options for RHN Satellite?

For RHN Satellite servers using a standalone database, you can create a redundant RHN Satellite that can be operated as active or on standby. For RHN Satellite servers with an embedded database, there's a cloning option to create an offline spare but no true high-availability option. RHN Satellite clients can also be configured for high availability and will contact a backup RHN Satellite server if necessary.

Version history

What's new in RHN Satellite 5.4 (released November 2010)?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 support

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 offers many new capabilities:

  • Improved reliability
  • Enhanced performance
  • Increased scalability
  • Large RPM support

Due to some changes in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, like using SHA256 for checksums, we made several architectural changes in RHN Satellite to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 clients. To deploy and manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 clients via RHN Satellite, you'll need to upgrade to RHN Satellite 5.4.

Compliance improvements

RHN Satellite makes it easier and faster for your IT organization to comply with regulations, such as PCI-DSS, FISMA, and HIPAA. To meet compliance initiatives, it's critical that your organization is able to perform audits on your systems. RHN Satellite 5.4 offers 2 key compliance improvements:

  • SELinux context deployment
  • Reporting

More flexible content management

One of RHN Satellite's most powerful capabilities has been its ability to scale up to manage thousands of systems. And RHN Satellite's management capabilities extend beyond managing just Red Hat content; it can also manage applications, both third-party and customer, as well as firmware updates. This lets your organization deploy content from Red Hat and third-party sources, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) using the same process in RHN Satellite.

With RHN Satellite 5.4, you can now synchronize your RHN Satellite server with third-party external repositories as well as Red Hat Network. You can also now stage content updates to complete within a scheduled maintenance window.

Improved subscription management

A key RHN Satellite capability is managing and tracking all your Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions. RHN Satellite 5.4 introduces capabilities that make this process easier and more thorough:

  • FlexGuest entitlement support
  • Subscription reporting

The focus of RHN Satellite is to provide the best systems management experience for all Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers. RHN Satellite 5.4 continues to deliver on this mission and builds on previous releases by offering improved capabilities around:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 support
  • Compliance
  • Content management
  • Subscription management

Learn more

What's new in RHN Satellite 5.3 (released September 2009)?

A lot. The new RHN Satellite 5.3 features are grouped around 3 key themes:

Expanded virtualization support

With RHN Satellite, you only need one console to update, provision, and monitor both your physical and virtual Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. RHN Satellite includes virtual platform management capabilities that let you create and entitle Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, with the ability to install the same systems profiles physically and virtually in a repeatable, centrally managed way.

RHN Satellite 5.3 supports both Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and Xen virtualization technologies. The best part? It abstracts virtualization technology from you so you have more time to focus on higher value-add projects.

More flexibility and faster provisioning

With the incorporation of the mature open source Cobbler technology in the product's underlying provisioning architecture, Red Hat provides increased flexibility and faster provisioning setups for RHN Satellite customers.

Using great functionally specific technologies, like Cobbler, gives you powerful, feature-rich tools that now plug in to a comprehensive common systems management framework. This enhances the value of any Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployment, delivering the rich features of the community development model plus the commercial support to run mission-critical applications in the enterprise.

Easier management of larger, more complex environments

You can manage larger deployments with comparable performance to smaller deployments because of:

  • Many performance improvements under the hood, including code optimization for faster execution when managing a larger number of systems.
  • Expanded multiple-organizations capabilities (multitenancy), such as content sharing between different organizations.
  • Inter-Satellite synchronization that allows content to be shared between multiple RHN Satellite servers.
  • Expanded automation capabilities. RHN Satellite's API has been expanded so that practically any command you can accomplish via the web interface you can now do via the API.

You can manage larger deployments with comparable performance to smaller deployments because of:

  • Many performance improvements under the hood, including code optimization for faster execution when managing a larger number of systems.
  • Expanded multiple-organizations capabilities (multitenancy), such as content sharing between different organizations.
  • Inter-Satellite synchronization that allows content to be shared between multiple RHN Satellite servers.
  • Expanded automation capabilities. RHN Satellite's API has been expanded so that practically any command you can accomplish via the web interface you can now do via the API.

Key new features

  • A significant update to the multiple-organizations capabilities lets administrators view, create, and manage multiple organizations across the Satellite.
    • Support for trust relationships between organizations lets RHN Satellite administrators establish mutual connections between 2 or more organizations.
    • Organizations within a trust can share their custom content channels with each other.
    • Organization administrators can migrate systems from one trusted organization to another.
  • Get support for automated system installation via the Cobbler installation server.
  • New and updated search features expand search across errata, system information, and documentation.
  • An expanded RHN Satellite API now features several new calls, including for the multiple-organizations feature, Cobbler installation server, and system and errata search.
  • SELinux support added to RHN Satellite configuration management lets users set SELinux context on configuration files within the RHN Satellite web user interface, easing deployment of Satellite-managed configuration files on an SELinux-deployed client system.

Virtualization support

Can I run RHN Satellite as a virtual instance on Xen? On VMware?

RHN Satellite and RHN Proxy are currently supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests hosted by supported hypervisors, such as Xen, KVM, and VMware hypervisors.

Can RHN Satellite manage virtual instances of Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

RHN Satellite can manage any system running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on any supported hypervisor, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and VMware, as well as IFLs on the mainframe. To do this, each Red Hat enterprise system managed by RHN Satellite must have the necessary Smart Management entitlement.

Smart Management and Monitoring modules for use by RHN Satellite are available for every type of Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, including:

  • Physical
  • Up to 4 virtual guests
  • Unlimited guests per socket

Learn more

Miscellaneous

Why should I use RHN Satellite when I already get updates from my Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription?

RHN Satellite and RHN Proxy server are designed to be an extension of the hosted version of Red Hat Network. While you can do basic administrative tasks with the hosted version of Red Hat Network, RHN Satellite adds the ability to perform complete lifecycle management of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. Complete lifecycle management includes:

  • Patch management

  • Provisioning

  • Configuration management

  • Monitoring

This administrative functionality is often needed by organizations with large or complex Linux environments.

What options do I have to try RHN Satellite in my environment?

We currently have a 30-day trial evaluation available. Please contact your Red Hat sales representative for details.

What level of service is included with RHN?

For RHN service entitlements (Smart Management and Monitoring), you get the same service-level agreement (SLA) as you currently subscribe to for the operating system. For RHN Proxy and RHN Satellite servers, these offerings include a subscription to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Premium, which ensures that you receive Red Hat Premium support.

What#39;s included in the purchase of Proxy or RHN Satellite server?

The purchase of the RHN Proxy server includes:

  • RHN Proxy entitlement.

  • All necessary installation and usage documents.

  • A Red Hat Enterprise Linux premium subscription.

  • Premium-level support.

  • Installation support.

  • Updates and upgrades, as available.

The purchase of the RHN Satellite server includes:

  • RHN Satellite ISO for installation and entitlement.

  • All necessary installation and usage documents.

  • A Red Hat Enterprise Linux premium subscription.

  • Premium-level support.

  • Installation support.

  • Updates and upgrades, as available.

  • Embedded Oracle database (optional).

Note: All hardware must be supplied by the customer, and no physical media is provided. All ISOs and documentation are electronically provided.

Does Red Hat Network (Hosted) come with every Red Hat subscription purchase?

Yes. Every Red Hat subscription offering includes access to the hosted version of Red Hat Network, which is focused on managing your subscription with certified content updates.

The hosted version of Red Hat Network provides access to Red Hat subscription content (product bits) and subscription management information. To perform complete systems lifecycle management—such as provisioning, configuration management, and monitoring—you need subscriptions to RHN Satellite and Smart Management.

How much do RHN Satellite modules cost?

The following prices are for single system entitlements. Additional options are also available for other types of Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions, including up to 4 guests, unlimited guests, and mainframe:

  • RHN Smart Management entitlements (includes RHN Management and Provisioning modules): $192USD per system annually

  • RHN Monitoring entitlements: $96USD per system annually

Volume discounts do apply. Contact your sales representative or call Red Hat Sales directly at 866-273-3428 x45014.

How does RHN Proxy server help me manage my Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers?

RHN Proxy server is focused on providing a local repository of certified content for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. RHN Proxy server extends Red Hat Network Hosted or RHN Satellite server to deliver updates, errata, and software in a highly scalable manner while minimizing use of network bandwidth.

How can I purchase RHN Satellite or Proxy server?

To purchase RHN Satellite or Proxy servers, contact your Red Hat sales representative. List price for RHN Satellite server is $10,000USD annually. Proxy server is $2,500USD annually.

Do I have to buy the Smart Management add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux to get the Monitoring module? Or vice versa?

The RHN Smart Management Add-On (which includes both the RHN Management and Provisioning modules) is required to use the RHN Monitoring module. Systems must be registered with the Smart Management Add-On before they are capable of being monitored.

Where can I find detailed technical information about RHN Satellite?

For detailed technical information, please refer to the Red Hat Network Satellite product documentation.