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In this article, we explore what Red Hat Insights and Red Hat Satellite have to offer individually, and then we will look at how you can have a heightened experience of the two products with the use of Cloud Connector. We then evaluate both offerings by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of the tools for a better understanding of how they compare.

Insights and Satellite are frequently used by customers for a myriad of use cases — some similar and some vastly different — including managing their IT estate. Ultimately, customers are able to proactively streamline the security posture of their IT estate with both or either of these products.

Red Hat Insights and Red Hat Satellite overview

Insights is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, available through the Hybrid Cloud Console with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Satellite subscription. Insights continuously analyzes platforms and applications to predict risk and recommend actions. This aids in the more effective management of your hybrid cloud environments overall.

Figure 1: Insights dashboard on Hybrid Cloud ConsoleFigure 1: Insights dashboard on Hybrid Cloud Console

Insights gathers configuration and utilization data on an ongoing basis, then analyzes and provides insights from that data via the web UI, API or integrations through notifications or webhooks. Insights gives you a Red Hat view of how you should prioritize taking action, when and where needed, based on our unique experience in supporting Red Hat products.

With a holistic view of your IT estate in mind, how does an organization manage its IT environment? It is important for customers to have a systematic way to manage their infrastructure. Without standard processes, their organization could at best have inefficiencies, and at worst be open to all kinds of security breaches, compliance issues and audit difficulties.

In relation to scalability, Satellite automates workflow and streamlines content management. This can make administrators much more efficient, giving them more time to work on strategic initiatives rather than spending all day on tedious, manual and error-prone tasks. Other advantages of Satellite include that it provides lifecycle management across your Red Hat infrastructure, that it streamlines your content management and that it is able to scale.

Introducing Cloud Connector

Satellite can work with Insights for the advanced remediation of issues through the use of Cloud Connector. Cloud Connector ties the technologies together so that you can find issues with Insights and fix them with Satellite at scale.

Figure 2: Insights and Satellite (with Cloud Connector) enables push-button remediation of issues identified by InsightsFigure 2: Insights and Satellite (with Cloud Connector) enables push-button remediation of issues identified by Insights

The connected experience between Insights and Satellite is illustrated in Figure 2. All of the data collected on Insights is automatically proxied through Satellite without you having to do any manual configuration. Configuring Cloud Connector enables the "Execute Remediation" button inside of the Insights Remediations service.

Figure 3: Remediations service on Insights console

Figure 3: Remediations service on Insights console

It really is as simple as clicking a button and running the playbook and having the issue fixed in a matter of minutes. 

Our goal at Red Hat is to do what we can to help you solve your business needs and keep your organization performing at its best. With this in mind, Insights is able to help detect and address IT security issues beyond patching, compliance, performance and availability as well as consistency issues; all of these can result in reduced efficiency and increased costs.

Satellite will help detect and address problems such as the remediation of issues, lifecycle and content management, provisioning and patching at scale across your entire environment.

Feature comparison

Here's a comparison of Insights and Satellite features. This is not an all-encompassing list, but provides key functionality comparisons in different focus areas.

Focus area: Vulnerability

 

Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Satellite

Dashboard

Displays only CVEs with errata. If there is no CVE resolution, Insights won’t show it.

All vulnerabilities with an errata are shown. By default, you can only see a vulnerability that affects your environment.

Risk scoring

Uses standard common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS). Can score business risk and change status for CVE.

Uses standard common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS).

Reporting

PDF or CSV

CSV

Focus area: Compliance

 

Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Satellite

Configuration

Better known for compliance; knows the compatibility matrix, avoiding false positives.

Does not know the compatibility matrix.

OpenSCAP

Manual installation required, but can be simplified using Red Hat Connector.

Manual installation. Required to then automate the process.

Policy customisation

Can edit as needed within the compliance service. Cannot tailor value of a rule, but can tailor to include/exclude policies.

Can edit policy within OpenSCAP Workbench (UI) and can tailor the value of a rule.

Additional configuration

Each host will need OpenSCAP and RHEL security packages installed. Assign host to a policy.

Enable OpenSCAP on a capsule, assign an OpenSCAP capsule.

SCAP Import

Does not support any import/export functionality as of today.

SCAP content must be imported into Satellite Server before being applied in a policy.

Focus area: Patching

 

Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Satellite

Usage

Centralized view of impact of your entire state registered to Insights.

Robust content management and lifecycle management — not offered as part of Insights. Satellite would likely not be used to manage the same set of systems.

Capability

High-level; using subscription manager or yum, providing access to all appropriate packages on the Red Hat CDN.

Robust content and lifecycle management and is purpose-built for patching (and provisioning etc.) of RHEL. Content views to filter and curate available packages in Red Hat, third party and custom repos.

Focus area: Remediations

 

Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Satellite

Execution

Manual; download playbook and transfer to system with an Ansible setup. Can connect Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform or Tower to Insights, or use Red Hat Connector with RHEL 8.4+ to seamlessly interact directly with hosts; execute playbook button enabled.

Satellite configured with Red Hat Connector has  a remediate playbook button, and Satellite server can run the playbook at the click of a button on connected hosts.

Cloud connector required

No

Required to create connection between Satellite servers and Insights to remediate playbooks. Multiple satellites can be connected.

GUI access to Insights services

Available on Hybrid Cloud Console. Access to all Insights services.

Satellite GUI only displays Advisor service.

 

To summarize, Red Hat Insights and Red Hat  Satellite can help you to achieve your organization’s overall security goals. Combining Insights and Satellite through the use of Cloud Connector allows you to unlock a connected experience when managing your environment.

Learn more


About the author

Ally Kouao is a Portfolio Solution Architect based in the UK, who joined Red Hat in 2019. Her areas of interest and expertise encompass all things to do with security and automation.

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