Exploring Red Hat Satellite Server 6


Red Hat developed an application called Katello [7] that expands Foreman, adding life cycle management features. Katello actually wraps itself round Puppet and Foreman as a management framework and adds a cornucopia of meaningful features.

Content management is an example of a feature that works well with Katello. In the Katello workflow, content means either Puppet modules or RPM packages. Satellite offers the ability to store specific RPMs on local systems. By creating repositories, admins ensure that clients pick up RPM packages from the Satellite server and not from the Internet. If you have local (i.e., self-built) RPM packages, you can create the repositories in Katello and dump them on your managed servers. In the background, Katello uses Pulp [8], which takes care of the entire infrastructure for Yum repositories.


Capsules are another striking example of Katello's feature scope: the Capsule server, which is part of Katello (Figure 4), creates a prebuilt package with DHCP, Bind, Puppet, and other services, which you can then install in a virtual Katello environment at the press of a button. Many Capsule servers can belong to a single Satellite instance, and they can run on different hardware. If you rely on this kind of structure, the individual Puppet servers draw on Capsule, which in turn gets its configuration directly from Satellite.

Figure 4: Red Hat has a sense of humor: Although the Capsule server listens on port 9090, if you try to talk to it, all you get for the trouble is a miniature how-to.

At the same time, Katello can easily manage several virtual environments. Red Hat acknowledges that heterogeneous environments do exist. If you operate various configurations at your data center, you can manage them meaningfully as different environments in Katello. Katello draws on Pulp to make sure local mirrors of the most frequently used repositories for RPM packages are created in a Satellite installation.

Cloud Support

Satellite 6 lets you launch virtual machines in cloud environments, including OpenStack and Amazon's EC2. At the press of a button, Satellite 6 will provision virtual servers that run either in a public cloud or on a local server.

Practically all of Red Hat's appliances are based on RHEL, so you can configure them and use them from within Satellite. For example, if you operate a matching Red Hat product in an OpenStack cloud, you can manage it on your Satellite server.

On the Satellite dashboard (Figure 5), you can define additional operating systems in the operating system section. Katello supports distribution-specific details, such as pre-seed configurations for systems that are installed by the Debian installer or Kickstart settings for features that are RHEL compatible (Figure 6).

Figure 5: In the Operating System section of the dashboard, you can create a variety of operating systems – including Debian.
Figure 6: Satellite shows you how many hosts belong to each operating system.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Security Lessons: Admin Automation

    Combining Puppet, Foreman, Pulp, Candlepin, and Katello lets you deploy software and servers automatically and securely.

  • Red Hat Satellite 5.3 Gets New Functionality

    The new version of the Red Hat Satellite server expands functionality, including in the areas of client management and the API.

  • Gpredict

    Predict and track satellite orbits and control amateur radio equipment with Gpredict satellite tracking software.

  • Puppet Labs Announces Puppet Enterprise


    Puppet Labs, provider of open source systems management solutions, announced the release of Puppet Enterprise, the first commercially supported version of Puppet.

  • Software Distribution Tools

    Keeping all the Linux clients in an enterprise environment up to date can be a major logistical challenge. Many harassed administrators appreciate a good software distribution system, especially if it is a free tool that doesn’t stress the IT budget.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More