The cloud runs on Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a great choice for running your workloads and applications across clouds, whether public, private or hybrid. This allows you to enjoy all of the manageability and value of a RHEL subscription on any supported physical or virtual platform. Whether you're new to RHEL or just new to RHEL in the cloud, here are 9 tips to help you be successful.
1. Unparalleled support
RHEL is more than just Linux. Along with RHEL comes the vast network of services and support included with a RHEL subscription. Simply by running RHEL, you have access to additional features, like Red Hat Insights, that make your systems easier to manage and help you potentially identify an issue before it becomes a problem. The first thing you need to access these additional features is a Red Hat login. This login lets you connect your cloud systems to Red Hat's services in the same way it does when you're running on-premises RHEL.
To create a login, head on over to the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console and register for an account (it's free).
A RHEL subscription gives you access to critical software updates. Normally, you purchase a RHEL subscription from Red Hat, but in the cloud you might be paying for RHEL on a consumption, or pay as you go, basis. If that's the case, you get access to updates and software normally included with your subscription through your cloud provider.
3. Red Hat Knowledge Base
Another valuable tool at your disposal as a RHEL user is the Red Hat Knowledge base (KB). Every time Red Hat support engineers encounter a problem, the solution gets written up as a KB entry. We've been supporting Linux for a long time, which means that there's a wealth of knowledge available in our KB. You get access to this vast amount of troubleshooting solutions through your RHEL subscription, even when you're going through a cloud provider. You can access this knowledge base through the Red Hat Customer Portal, using your Red Hat login.
The customer portal is also where you find security bulletins, product documentation and software downloads.
4. Interactive labs
If you'd like to get hands-on in a lab to learn more about the features of RHEL, check out our Interactive Labs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux! These labs let you try out new features or learn about existing ones completely free of charge.
5. Red Hat Insights Advisor
Red Hat Insights analyzes your systems, and alerts you of a potential issue before it becomes an outage. Insights even gives you the ability to remediate an issue using a playbook, and also links you to a relevant KB article to help you decide how you want to fix the issue yourself. This can be anything from performance tweaks that might help your systems perform better, to a major misconfiguration that might have you headed for an extended outage. Insights Advisor helps you find and fix problems before they wake you up at 2 AM.
So let's get started. While managing Linux through the command-line interface (CLI) can be intimidating, the RHEL Web Console gives you a graphical way to manage your system.
In order to take advantage of Insights, you'll need to connect your new RHEL instances to Red Hat. The remote host configuration tool provides an easy-to-use option to get this done via the
rhc command (Note that you can also configure auto-registration of your RHEL instances, and you can find more information on that here.)
First, you need to be sure that the rhc command is installed, and then connect:
$ dnf install rhc $ rhc connect
The connection procedure asks you for your Red Hat login credentials. This process can also be streamlined with the use of an activation key if you want to automate the process for future deployments. You can find more information about the rhc tool in this knowledge base article.
And that's it! Your system reports statistics to Insights, and then almost immediately you see the host in your inventory in the Hybrid Cloud Console.
6. Control your cloud spending
Worried about big cloud bills? That's a common concern, so on supported cloud providers you can use the Insights Resource Optimization Service to help you determine whether you chose the right instance type for your new system. This helps you avoid over or under-provisioning your cloud instances so you're not spending too much, or too little, on cloud resources.
7. Vulnerability and compliance
RHEL provides a platform with greater stability and reliability for your applications, but nothing's immune to vulnerabilities. With RHEL, we provide updated packages to remediate vulnerabilities as part of your subscription. Additionally, when possible, we offer mitigation actions that can help protect your vulnerable systems while an updated package is being developed. The Insights Vulnerability service can identify what vulnerable packages are present on your systems, and then gives you options for remediation, as well as all of the information you need to help organize an informed response.
The Compliance service helps you prepare for a security audit by comparing your systems to a variety of public compliance policies and standards. You can even create compliance exceptions, including your justifications, and generate reports detailing the state of your RHEL systems.
8. Installing software
Installing, updating, and removing software on RHEL is easy with the
Search for a package:
$ dnf search <insert your search term here>
After searching for an application name or relevant term, you get a list of available packages. To install a package:
$ dnf install <package name>
To remove a package:
$ dnf remove <package name>
To update a package:
$ dnf update <package name>
You can also update the entire system in one go:
$ dnf update
9. Build your own custom RHEL image with Image Builder
Sometimes, your unique requirements may require a customized RHEL deployment or you simply want your base RHEL image to be standardized from cloud to cloud and server to server. The RHEL Insights image builder service on the Hybrid Cloud Console makes deploying a custom image to AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMWare or even bare metal into an easier, more uniform process. You can run Image Builder locally on any supported RHEL 8 or 9 system, or build either version of the tool into your automation toolchains using API calls, Ansible, or command-line automation. You can find more information about the self-hosted Image Builder tool in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux documentation, and more information regarding the Red Hat Insights Image Builder tool.
Thanks again for choosing Red Hat Enterprise Linux as your trusted platform in the cloud. I hope you've found this collection of information useful. If you want to learn more about RHEL, check out the Red Hat Enterprise Linux YouTube channel for weekly live streams showcasing features of RHEL with "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Presents", and hands-on examples with "Into the Terminal".
About the author
Nate has been using Linux since Red Hat 5.0. He has taken his passion for communities, technology and open source from a hobby to a career over the past 20+ years. Evolving from hobbyist to system administrator, to Technical Account Manager, Nate is now a Sr. Technical Marketing Manager at Red Hat, and a content creator. From blogs, to live streams, to Podcasts, Nate has a passion for sharing his love of Linux and technology.