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Red Hat OpenStack Platform is being used extensively in the telecommunications industry to host virtual machine (VM)-based telco workloads for 4G in addition to IT workloads. Most of the telco operators worldwide have very large deployments of 4G VNFs on the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, serving millions of mobile voice and data subscribers. As the industry progresses from VM to containers and 4G to 5G, it is important to acknowledge that the Red Hat OpenStack Platform and VM-based 4G deployments will not be replaced or migrated overnight. In fact they will continue to coexist with containerized 5G deployments in the foreseeable future.
Streamlining the operations of Red Hat OpenStack Platform allows operation teams to focus their energies on new 5G rollouts while also maintaining quality of service for existing and revenue generating 4G customers.
Previously, upgrades and maintenance of infrastructure has been a manual and time-consuming task resulting in a delay of patching and updating. This puts the environment at risk of security threats, increased downtime and increased mean time to resolve (MTTR), thus resulting in poor customer experience. In addition, new features and benefits that come with the latest versions are also delayed which can hamper innovation and consume unnecessary resources.
Red Hat Smart Management can help streamline these processes while allowing visibility and control of your Red Hat OpenStack Platform deployments. It also allows you to maintain a disconnected and more secure network environment by only exposing your Red Hat Satellite server to the internet.
Red Hat Smart Management and Red Hat Satellite
Red Hat Smart Management helps organizations manage and optimize their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) environments across multiple datacenters. It includes Red Hat Satellite, which enables you to deploy, configure and maintain your systems across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Satellite can also manage Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage deployments.
Satellite equips you with a single, centralized tool that can be accessed via GUI, CLI or API. It also synchronizes the content from the Red Hat Customer Portal and other sources, and makes it available to your remotely-deployed systems.
What Satellite brings to Red Hat OpenStack Platform customers
While you can do many administrative tasks with the services included with your Red Hat OpenStack Platform subscription, Satellite adds several extensive lifecycle management capabilities like:
- Patching, software updates and upgrades
- Subscription management
- Configuration management
From a single console, you can manage thousands of systems, which can help increase system availability, reliability and auditability. Organizations with large and growing Red Hat OpenStack Platform environments often need these management capabilities.
Figure1: Red Hat Satellite features
Red Hat Satellite
The following diagram illustrates the Red Hat Satellite design. Satellite is typically deployed in a two-tier model. The top tier is the Satellite server, with a second Satellite Capsule Server tier.
The Satellite server resides in a centralized location and acts as the management layer. The capsules are deployed in each managed Red Hat OpenStack Platform instance at a remote location.
Only the Satellite server will have access to the Red Hat Network (RHN) and upstream container registries to download content. The remotely deployed Satellite capsules will be connected via L3 connectivity to the primary Satellite server deployed in the central location. Hence, the remote Red Hat OpenStack Platform sites need not be directly connected to the internet.
Satellite Capsule will act as container registry for Red Hat OpenStack Platform as it has containerized services and heavily relies on container registry. This capsule node will serve the purpose of a repository server.
Figure 2: Red Hat Satellite managing Red Hat OpenStack Platform
Hosts are the recipients of content from Satellite. Hosts can be either physical or virtual, and this is the typical list of managed hosts for typical Red Hat OpenStack Platform environments:
- Red Hat OpenStack Platform Controller nodes
- Red Hat OpenStack Platform Compute nodes
- Red Hat Ceph Storage nodes
- Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) nodes
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
From a library of content obtained from the RHN, Satellite uses content views to create customized repositories for the various types of managed hosts. Content views can be used to define which software versions a particular environment uses. For example, a production environment might use a content view containing older package versions, while a development environment might use a content view containing newer package versions. Content views can also be promoted along the path of lifecycle environments (e.g., Test, Production). This way, when a new software update is considered, it is first tested in the Test environment before being promoted to Production.
Sync plans allow you to create a schedule to automatically download the latest content from the Red Hat Network to the Red Hat Satellite.
Red Hat Satellite can provide you the following benefits in an OpenStack environment:
- Manage and optimize your Red Hat OpenStack Platform and RHEL subscriptions and inventory from a centralized dashboard. Satellite allows you to accurately track and manage your deployments across a wide variety of platforms and meet the demand for managing thousands of distributed clusters across multiple datacenters.
- Avoid unplanned downtime and outages by centrally monitoring the health of your infrastructure and keeping your systems updated. Get automatic patch notification and security alerts based on security and compliance policies.
- Patching report on hosts that need updates, fixes or enhancements and use automation to quickly patch multiple hosts all at once.
- Manage content. Satellite allows you to curate content as well as distribute and make it available to remote OpenStack hosts. Automatic updates and upgrades are also made available by Satellite.
- Quick and easy deployments. With Satellite, you can interact with Red Hat OpenStack Platform REST API to create cloud instances, thus allowing you to provision new hosts more efficiently.
- Supports Red Hat OpenStack Platform deployments in disconnected environments by acting as container registry
In summary, management of your Red Hat OpenStack Platform environment via Satellite can help reduce operational efforts and cost.
About the author
As a Senior Solution Architect with two decades of industry experience, Neha Anand is focused on the telco sector and digital service providers. She works on demystifying Red Hat’s Hybrid Cloud technology and marrying it with the changing landscape of telco networks, IT and Edge. She strives to convert the vision of large telco operators into reality, helping them along their transformation journey from 4G to 5G.