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Configuration Management Using Red Hat Satellite (and Demonstration)

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Overview
DifficultyIntermediate
Duration50m
Students99
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Description

Red Hat Satellite is a scalable platform used to manage your Red Hat infrastructure. This course examines the four main use cases of Satellite, with demonstrations to apply real-world examples to the concepts covered in the lectures.

The course begins with the basics of patching and software management and then moves on to subscription management, provisioning, configuration management, and finally, you will learn how to integrate Satellite with Ansible and Insights.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the fundamentals of Red Hat Satellite
  • Learn how to carry out patching and software management, subscription management, provisioning, configuration management using Red Hat Satellite
  • Understand how Red Hat Satellite can be integrated with Ansible and Insights

Intended Audience

  • System operators and administrators

Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should be familiar with basic Red Hat terminology and also have some experience with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

Transcript

So in this video, we will cover the basics of Configuration Management with Red Hat Satellite. System configuration in Satellite enables users to define the desired state of systems. You tell Satellite the desired end state and Satellite figures out the best way to get there. This means that administrators don’t have to write scripts for each action. Satellite understands which tools to use based on the IT environment. It can also be used to manage and make changes and create new desired states.

Once that desired state is defined you want it to stay that way mainly for security reasons. In the event that the desired state changes, admins need a way to figure out what changed and how to remediate the drift. If differences are detected, Satellite will remediate and return that system to the desired state. 

Types of change that can be different might include the contents of a config file or a previously running service that has stopped. Not only does Satellite help set and maintain the desired state, it keeps reports of when and what changes are made. Every check in for every system is kept. Most of the time they’re boring and empty. However if a change was made, it’s documented and provides a very clear audit trail of changes. 

In the demo, we’ll setup our host to use Ansible roles and we’ll use Ansible to install the Red Hat Insights client. Configuration management is not just a Satellite feature but the use of a configuration tool, like Ansible or Puppet, along with Satellite. Ansible and Puppet are our two primary configuration management providers in Satellite. 

During this demo I’ll show you how Ansible can be used for configuration management starting with Satellite 6.4. We’re here in the dashboard and I want to explicitly point out the Red Hat Risk Summary and Red Hat Insights Actions graphs. They’re both empty. That’s because there are no inventory members currently present. We go to Insights > Inventory. We’ll see that there are no hosts.

As part of this demo, we will select Ansible roles and add them to host groups. And at the end of the demo, all the hosts will have the Insights clients installed and registered. We do have, in this environment, we’re up to nine different hosts. We’ve added a few more. I’m at my Satellite CLI and I just want to point out that we have enabled the Red Hat Ansible Engine repo. This is where we get our system roles from. Since this is enabled on the Satellite environment I’ll be able to see it inside of the Satellite UI. I will go to Configure > Ansible Roles. No roles have currently been imported.

So I’ll select from sat.example.com and here’s a list of all of the Ansible roles that I have available to me. I will select them all and click Update. Now that we have the Ansible roles added, we’re going to add them into our host group. Configure > Host groups. And I’m going to use my RHEL7 host group. If I click on the Ansible Roles tab, I can select a couple of these roles. So I’ll do the insights-client as well as timesync. And I’ll submit.

So now my host group contains those Ansible roles. Let’s apply these to the hosts. Hosts > All Hosts. Now I’ll select all of my hosts, Select Action, and at the bottom Play Ansible Roles. And when this is completed, we play the Ansible roles which will have added the Insights client as well as synced the time on all nine of these hosts. 

We can check this by going to Monitor > Tasks and we can see the remote action that was run by Ansible on each one of these hosts. To further confirm, we’ll go to the Insights then Inventory page and all hosts are now listed. And you can see that there are actions available. Risks that were detected for each of the hosts. One last check, I’ll go back to my Monitor, to the dashboard. And we can see that info has been populated on the dashboard graphs for Insights. So we have nine systems with risks, now critical risks, and a total of 15 different actions that we can take against these hosts that Insights has detected.

So in this video, we took hosts, we set up Ansible roles. And we applied those Ansible roles against the hosts, installing the Insights client and synchronizing the time. In the future, if the client gets uninstalled for some reason or if the time goes out of sync, Insights will automatically replay those roles and will make sure that everything is in sync. That concludes this video. We’ll see you in the next one.

 

About the Author
Students41581
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Jeremy is the DevOps Content Lead at Cloud Academy where he specializes in developing technical training documentation for DevOps.

He has a strong background in software engineering, and has been coding with various languages, frameworks, and systems for the past 20+ years. In recent times, Jeremy has been focused on DevOps, Cloud, Security, and Machine Learning.

Jeremy holds professional certifications for both the AWS and GCP cloud platforms.
 

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