Satellite on OpenStack 1-2-3: Systems Management in the Cloud

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Overview

In this article we will explore an important part of day 2 operations in OpenStack or any IaaS, systems management. There are two ways to maintain applications: immutable or lifecyle. Satellite is a product from Red Hat that focuses on lifecycle management. Specifically the deployment, updating, patching and configuration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as well as the applications running on top throughout entire lifecycle. We will discuss the value Satellite brings to OpenStack and why systems management is a key part of day 2 cloud operations. Investigate the Satellite architecture and how it applies to OpenStack. Finally we will go through hands-on deploy of Satellite on OpenStack, even deploying an instance and automatically connecting the instance to Satellite, all using Ansible.

The Value of Satellite in OpenStack

Satellite is the second product Red Hat created after RHEL. It has been around for over 10 years and recently gone through a major re-architecture from ground up to address cloud. Red Hat customers have used Satellite to create a standard operating environment (SOE) for RHEL and the applications that run on RHEL for 10+ years. Satellite provides the ability to create various content views and bring them together in a composite content view (a group of content views). This allows us to group content (RPMs, configuration management, Tar files, whatever else) and most importantly version it. Once we can group software and version it we can start thinking about release management across a lifecyle environment. A lifecycle environment is typically something similar the holy trinity: development, test and production. The versions of software for our OS and applications of course vary, you don’t want to update software in production without testing in development or test right?

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Ansible Tower and Satellite: End to End Automation for the Enterprise

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Overview

In this article we will look at how Ansible Tower and Red Hat Satellite 6 integrate with one another, providing end-to-end automation for the enterprise. Satellite is a systems management tool that combines several popular opensource projects: Foreman (provisioning), Katello (content repository), Pulp (database), Candlepin (subscription management) and Puppet (configuration management). While puppet is directly integrated into Satellite, many organizations would rather use Ansible because of its power, simplicity and ease-of-use.

Ansible Tower integrates with Satellite, allowing organizations to run playbooks against the hierarchy and groups of servers defined in Satellite. Additionally, Ansible Tower can dynamically update its inventories with hosts and their updated facts from Satellite at anytime. Hosts show up in Ansible Tower under the groups defined by Satellite. This allows organizations to use Satellite to define their infrastructure, provision hosts, provide patch management while leveraging Ansible to deploy and manage software configuration. It also allows other teams the ability to run playbooks and automation against the infrastructure defined by Satellite. Personally I am a huge fan of this loose coupling and find this solution much more advantageous than a direct coupling of Ansible in Satellite.

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Cloud Systems Management: Satellite 6.1 Getting Started Guide

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Overview

Satellite is responsible for system and configuration management. Satellite 6 offers a new architecture based off best-of-breed opensource projects: Foreman (provisioning), Katello (content management), Pulp (content management), Puppet (configuration management) and Candlepin (subscription management). Satellite 6 provides ITIL equivalent of media library for RPMs, ISOs, Puppet modules and container images. It allows you to build a standard operating environment (SOE) that defines how systems and applications are provisioned as well as maintained. Satellite 6 allows an organization the ability to manage all content through defined life-cycles. Control through RBAC can be defined so that different groups can control various aspects of a SOE. In this article we will focus on how to install and configure Satellite 6.1.
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