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A few common questions which we hear from Red Hat Satellite users are "do I have adequate hardware?" and "Is my Satellite environment tuned as per my environment needs?" Let's take a look at some options to tune Satellite and how to choose the right profile for your environment.

There is no one size fits all for Satellite tuning because the usage differs a lot among customers. If you don't have enough hardware or if proper tunings are not applied, you may see performance degradation of the Satellite server. 

The Satellite tuning guide is a great resource to identify and tune specific Satellite components. Over the years working with several large customer installations, we learned that we can standardize some common tunings based on the environment size. In this post we'll review the Satellite predefined tuning profiles of Satellite 6.7 which help you automatically apply Satellite tuning based on your environment size.

Last year, Satellite 6.6 introduced pre-defined tuning profiles which provided Satellite customers with ready to use custom-hiera.yaml tunings that can be applied in their deployments. Now, with Satellite 6.7 these tuning profiles are integrated into the satellite-installer for ease of use.

Available tuning profiles

There are 5 different tuning options which you can choose to scale up your Satellite environment:

  • default (Installer default)

  • medium

  • large

  • extra-large

  • extra-extra-large

Note that these tuning profiles are applicable only to Satellite Server and not Capsules.

How to choose a tuning profile?

It may be difficult to find the exact tuning profile for a specific Satellite environment on the first attempt because it depends on various factors like the number of managed hosts, the features used at scale (e.g., Remote Execution), the bulk actions on hosts, the total amount of content, amount of host traffic to Satellite, etc. Use the Tuning Profile table to determine the profile that might best accommodate the needs of your environment.

Note:  Use the information in this table as guidance. Monitor the Satellite environment regularly and tune up as required.

Tuning Profile

Number of Managed Hosts

Minimum Recommended RAM

Minimum Recommended CPU Cores

Installer default

Up to 5k

20G

4

medium

5k-10k

32G

8

large

10k-20k

64G

16

extra-large

20k-60k

128G

32

extra-extra-large

60k+

256G+

48+

 

Tuning profiles usage

To use the tuning profiles, you simply specify the tuning profile with the satellite-installer command. The available profiles are default, medium, large, extra-large, extra-extra-large. For example, to choose the medium profile:

satellite-installer --tuning medium

To identify the current tuning level in your environment:

satellite-installer --help | grep tuning
    --tuning INSTALLATION_SIZE Tune for an installation size. Choices: default, medium, large, extra-large,    extra-extra-large (default: "medium")

The output of the help command will list your current tuning profile as the default.  In the example above the medium tuning profile is currently being used.

Hardware validation is built into the installer to prevent user errors. The following example shows the error message when there is not adequate hardware to apply a medium profile.

satellite-installer --tuning medium
     Insufficient memory for tuning size
     Tuning profile 'medium' requires at least 32 GB of memory and 8 CPU cores

What happens behind the scenes

When a user executes the command satellite-installer --tuning medium the following actions happen automatically in the given order:

  1. /usr/share/foreman-installer/config/foreman.hiera/tuning/common.yaml is applied.

  2. /usr/share/foreman-installer/config/foreman.hiera/tuning/sizes/medium.yaml is applied.

  3. (optional) /etc/foreman-installer/custom-hiera.yaml (if present) is applied.

If you used custom-hiera.yaml before Satellite 6.7

Choose a tuning profile based on the number of hosts (e.g., medium)

  • Review /usr/share/foreman-installer/config/foreman.hiera/tuning/common.yaml

  • Review /usr/share/foreman-installer/config/foreman.hiera/tuning/sizes/medium.yaml

  • Remove the duplicated / unwanted configuration entries from /etc/foreman-installer/custom-hiera.yaml

  • Run satellite-installer --tuning medium

Troubleshooting Info

  • Run the installer in test mode to review what changes will be applied:

    • satellite-installer --tuning medium --noop

  • The tuning profile definitions are available at the following location:

    • # ls  /usr/share/foreman-installer/config/foreman.hiera/tuning/sizes/ extra-extra-large.yaml  extra-large.yaml  large.yaml  medium.yaml

Next Steps:

Hopefully this post has given you confidence on the use of the Satellite tuning profiles.  We encourage you to evaluate the size of your Satellite environment, and if you have 5,000 or more hosts attached to Satellite go ahead and start looking at using some of these tuning settings.

Further reading:

Satellite 6.7 documentation, Foreman upstream documentation


About the author

Sureshkumar Thirugnanasambandan is a Principal Quality Engineer working on Red Hat Satellite.

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