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For anyone not familiar, the Satellite AMAs are an ask me anything-style event where we invite Red Hat customers to bring all of their questions about Red Hat Satellite, drop them in the chat, and members of the Satellite product team will answer as many of them live as we can during the AMA and we then follow up with a blog post detailing the questions and answers.

The ground rules of the AMA are:

  • In the interest of making everyone feel like they can truly ask any question, the Satellite AMA sessions are not recorded.

  • The Satellite AMA is not the appropriate place to ask questions about specific support cases or specific sales issues. While we may be able to give generic feedback about certain areas we cannot use this time to troubleshoot or dig into logs. For your support cases please continue to work with Red Hat support, and for any sales issues please work with your Red Hat or Partner sales rep.

  • The AMA is presented using Blue Jeans Prime. All questions are asked via the Q&A panel which allows other attendees to vote on questions that are asked. Questions are read by an event moderator based on the popularity of the questions and answered live and in real time.

As we kicked off the March Satellite AMA we pointed out a few important items happening in the Satellite area:

  • Red Hat Satellite 5.7 and earlier end of life (EOL) was on January 31, 2019. Content for these versions stopped on March 14th as part of the Red Hat Network (RHN) shutdown. To continue to receive content on your Satellite environment you need to upgrade to Satellite 5.8, if you have not yet done so.

  • Satellite 5.8 EOL is scheduled for May 31, 2020. At that point all Satellite 5 versions will be EOL and you will need to transition to Satellite 6.

  • Satellite 6.2 will go EOL on May 31 2019.

  • More Satellite customers are on Satellite 6.4 than any other version.

  • For more information about Satellite check out the latest version of the Satellite Frequently Asked Questions.

The next Red Hat Satellite Ask Me Anything will be Thursday, June 13th 2019 at 11am EDT (GMT -5).

Here are questions and answers (lightly edited for readability, grammar, spelling, etc.) from the April 24, 2019 Red Hat Satellite Ask Me Anything.

Event Date: Wednesday, 24 April, 2019 - 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Question: Can Satellite 6 be packaged with Modularity Streams for RHEL 8? i.e., satellite:6.5/server satellite:6.5/clients satellite:6.5/capsule

Answer: This is a packaging option that we haven't discussed yet. Red Hat Satellite 6.5 will not be able to be installed on RHEL 8. Satellite 6.5 must be installed on RHEL 7 but will be able to manage RHEL 8 clients. Satellite 6.6 is planned to be installable on RHEL 8. We will look at the packaging options at that time.

Question: What is the best practice in creating content views that support EUS (catch all content view, one view per version)? I also am looking for the most seamless way of migrating systems of non-EUS to EUS content view (i.e. 7.5 to 7.5 EUS) one issue I see so far is the difference in repo names

Answer: Lets first unpack what a content view is. A content view is a group of repositories on a single lifecycle. As such, it makes sense to NOT put EUS and non-EUS content in the same view.

As far as migrating systems between content views, this can be done with a bulk action in the UI, or with hammer and the API.

This is a group of content that is used as a single unit, single lifecycle views. This should help identify how to organize your content. EUS content is not always done on the same timing. We would recommend that these be separate content view.

QuestionWhat is the most seamless ways to migrate systems?

Answer: You can select a host and change their content view. Then repeat the workflow and change the repository set.

Question: When can I split the various components of Satellite (Foreman, Puppet, Katello, etc.) onto their own servers? Desperately needed for scaling large customer sites, but work seems stalled.

Answer:  A decent portion of this is available with the load balanced capsules that was introduced in Satellite 6.4. With this you can scale out the capsules. You can also break out the databases into their own host which was introduced as well in Satellite 6.4. We will consider breaking out other components where it makes sense, but we need a balance between this flexibility and our ability to support and test Satellite.

Question: Can you speak to any upcoming Ansible / Satellite integrations?

Answer: Satellite 6.3 supported Ansible Tower integrations for post provisioning and Ansible Tower can see Satellite inventory inside of Tower as a dynamic inventory.

Satellite 6.4 included Ansible capability built into Satellite itself, so you can do Find it fix it with Insights operations and run RHEL system roles.

We are looking at future integrations as well.

Question: Is there an ETA on the move to Pulp3 which doesn't use MongoDB?  The dual databases is a significant resource consumption.

Answer: The move to Pulp 3 is a few releases out. Remember that we are on a 6 month release cadence. We cannot assign this to a specific release at this time. We are taking our time and making sure that we are doing this the right way to make sure that we make this seamless and get this right.

Question: Is there a roadmap to get rid of all of the DeprecationWarning, MongoDB fork warnings, and Tomcat thread leaking warnings? Seeing everything scrolling by in /var/log/messages makes it hard to see the wood for the trees.

I've logged BZs for some of the above before, but in most cases they've never been updated, or simply answered as "not a priority" or "in a release down the line." Nothing all that concrete.

Answer:  If there are specific bugs then check on the bug # for a status. Otherwise please open a support case.

Question: When will Satellite 6 support Puppet management of Modularity Streams?  Upstream Puppet has no existing support for modularity.

Answer:  Satellite will support this in the release where Puppet supports it upstream. We update regularly to the latest version of Puppet, so Puppet needs that in their upstream. Modularity is also a key component with RHEL 8. We have been working with Puppet to help them understand the value of this capability.

Question: Please bring back ElasticSearch searches rather than scoped searches in the UI.

Answer: Please submit a RFE and help us understand the use cases.

Question: When will Satellite Capsule be supported in Azure (Global and China)?

Answer:  With regard to support for Satellite on Cloud providers we expanded the supportability of Satellite to support the 5 major cloud providers with the release of Satellite 6.5. The 5 major providers being referred to are: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, Alibaba Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

Question: Is there any plan to add the Cockpit plugin to Satellite 6?

Answer:  Yes - there are future plans to add the cockpit plugin to Satellite 6 which will enable you to have a seamless sign on from Satellite to cockpit.

Question: RHEL 8 will include an image builder feature. Any plans to have a front end or something else that integrates this into Satellite?

Answer: Yes - RHEL 8 has the image builder feature which enables you to point a system at a number of repositories and enable it to build systems. We are working to integrate that tool with Satellite in a future release.

Question: Can you discuss integration of Red Hat Insights and Satellite?

Answer: Insights was integrated in Satellite 6.1 as a means to help Administrators help understand misconfigurations on their systems. This could be performance, availability, security, or stability.

Insights was originally an advisory feature and Satellite would direct you to a KCS article that hold you how to fix.

In Satellite 6.4 we integrated the Ansible capability to execute playbooks generated by Insights. We have an example of this in a video preview of Satellite 6.4, Insights, and Ansible

Question: Any chance for a container that can run the Remote Execute and BMC proxy?

Answer: We currently have no plans today for a container to support those particular functionality. Please open an RFE if this is an important use case.

Question: When trying to register a RHEL 5 host with the script I get the error:

FATAL Error - urlopen() got an unexpected keyword argument 'timeout'

it appears to be a known bug:

Question: When will katello-client-bootstrap-1.7.0 be released?

Answer: The newest version of bootstrap was released as part of Satellite 6.5.

If you are having this issue in a production environment that is using a version of Satellite prior to Satellite 6.5, please upgrade to 6.5 to resolve the issue.

Question: Are there plans to release Satellite 6.4.3?  If so, will that be a requirement for Satellite 6.5 GA?

Answer: There are plans for Satellite 6.4.3 release in the near future. Note: Satellite 6.4.3 has been posted since the AMA occurred. Check the Satellite 6.4.3 release blog for more details. Any .Z version of 6.4 can upgrade to 6.5, there's no requirement to go to 6.4.3.

Question: Will the "docker" provider be extended to support podman or made generic as "containers"?

Answer: We have plans to make it generic to containers similar to how we need to do the same for RPM (which are referred to as type yum).

Question: Are there any plans to add the foreman-monitoring plugin to Satellite 6?

Answer: Not at this time - we do have a good Monitoring Red Hat Satellite guide that was written for Satellite 6.4, tying Satellite into Performance Co-Pilot.

Question: For content views I have RHEL 7 and RHEL 7 with High Availability. would this be a case of a compost view for the RHEL 7 HA to include RHEL 7 and add in the high availability?

Answer: When dealing with a RHEL add-on like HA, does that make sense to add into a CV?

I would not create a CCV for RHEL HA since it doesn't iterate any faster than RHEL.

We would suggest adding the RHEL HA repos in the same CV as RHEL which gives you one CV to manage.

Question: Based on the comment of different life cycles, and Puppet integration, should we always use composite views to separate Puppet?

Answer: This would be a different class of problem and that would certainly be something to consider. Puppet content generally iterates faster than RPM content. Putting Puppet content in its own CV and add into a composite content view (CCV) with RHEL content would generally be recommended.

Maxim Burgerhout wrote a post on best practices for managing Puppet content with Satellite 6 and CCVs that may be of help.

Question: What subscription, if any, is needed for Insights?  

Answer: Insights is included with your Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription and is compatible with RHEL 6.10 and above.

Question: Are there any enhancements planned around the container registry functionality in Satellite 6.5 and beyond?

Answer: Yes. One of the big things that we have been working on is the container admin feature that makes it easy for people using containers to mirror content and disseminate content using tooling that is familiar to a container admin. Also improvements on how to handle containers for disconnected customers. Coming to Satellite 6.5 and beyond.

Question: I am very interested to understand why an enterprise environment needs Ansible tower.

Answer: Ansible Tower is important for enterprise level automation and works great with Satellite. As automation grows it sprawls. Tower adds governance, credentials management, connect to external inventories, RBAC, roles, logging, and the things an enterprise needs. Who ran what automation where. Making sure devs have access to dev environment but not prod environment. Integration between Tower and Satellite adds additional capabilities.

Question: How is ansible tower different than running a remote execute job to run Ansible?

Answer: This depends on the use case. We use the same technologies different ways in multiple products. Satellite is great at managing the standard operating environment (SOE) of systems and running tasks against the systems as part of that. Running a singular remote execution job is something that both Satellite and Tower can do. Tower would probably be overkill for just this use case.

Tower is an enterprise automation tool. This includes the capability to do automation against non-RHEL things like networking devices, Windows, etc. Orchestration is a big part of Tower and often requires different use cases. Tower is an automation platform designed for everyone.

Question: Is there a plan to have nested organizations?

Answer: Not at this time. Nested orgs require subscription sharing which is something that has not yet been resolved.

Question: Are there plans for integration with IPAM (Solarwinds) for provisioning workflow?

Answer: We currently do not have pans to integrate with Solarwinds IPAM. We released integration with Infoblox IPAM in Satellite 6.5. If you have the need for SolarWinds please enter a RFE.

Question: Is there a plan to merge the Tower workflow into Satellite via a plugin?

Answer: We are currently exploring what that integration would look like.

Question: Can there be some more detailed documentation on how to use and integrate OpenSCAP?

Answer: If you haven't opened a bug please do so and include what specific information you are looking for. We cover today how to setup an existing policy that you have or is included as part of RHEL. We don't cover how to create a net new policy. So please open a request and provide detail so we can help.

Question: Are there plans for Containerized Satellite?

Answer: Eventually yes, but we want to take on this work when and in a way that makes sense. We want to be sure that we are solving the right problem and not creating new ones.

The May Red Hat Satellite Ask Me Anything is scheduled for Thursday, June 13th 2019…... Please join us and bring any questions about Satellite that you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the author

John Spinks is a Senior Principal Technical Marketing Manager for Red Hat. He acts as a subject matter expert for Red Hat Management products including Satellite and Insights. Previous experience includes almost 10 years as a Technical Marketing Engineer for NetApp in RTP, NC.

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