Using RHN Satellite with ManageIQ ECM

Many organizations use Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite to manage their Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. RHN Satellite has a long and successful history of providing update, configuration, and subscription management for RHEL in the physical and virtualized datacenter. As these organizations move to a cloud model, they require other functions in addition to systems management. Capabilities such as discovery, chargeback, compliance, monitoring, and policy enforcement are important aspects of cloud models. ManageIQ’s Enterprise Cloud Management, recently acquired by Red Hat, provides these capabilities to customers.

One of the benefits of an Open Hybrid Cloud is that organizations can leverage their existing investments and gain the benefits of cloud across them. How then, could organizations gain the benefits of cloud computing while leveraging their existing investment in systems management? In this post, I’ll examine how Red Hat Network Satellite can be utilized with ManageIQ ECM to demonstrate the evolutionary approach that an Open Hybrid Cloud provides.

Here is an overview of the workflow.

RHN Satellite and ManageIQ ECM Workflow

RHN Satellite and ManageIQ ECM Workflow

  1. The operations user needs to transfer the kickstart files into customization templates in ManageIQ ECM. This is literally copying and pasting the kickstart files. It’s important to change the “reboot” option to “poweroff” in the kickstart file. If this is isn’t done, the VM will be rebooted and continually loop into an installation via PXE. Also, in the %post section of the kickstart you need to include “wget –no-check-certificate <%= evm[:callback_url_on_post_install] %>”. This will allow ECM to understand that the system has finished building and boot the VM after it has shutoff.
  2. The user requests virtual machine(s) from ECM.
  3. ECM creates an entry in the PXE environment and creates a new virtual machine from the template selected by the user.
  4. The virtual machine boots from the network and the PXE server loads the appropriate kickstart file.
  5. The virtual machine’s operating system is installed from the content in RHN Satellite.
  6. The virtual machine is registered to RHN Satellite for ongoing management.
  7. The user (or operations users) can now manage the operating system via RHN Satellite.

Here is a screencast of this workflow in action.

There are a lot of areas that can be improved upon.

  1. Utilize the RHN Satellite XMLRPC API to delete the system from RHN Satellite.
  2. Allow for automatic discovery of kickstarts in RHN Satellite from ECM.
  3. Unify the hostnames deployed to RHEVM with their matching DNS entries, so they appear the same in RHN Satellite.

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