Monday, October 12, 2020

Some Differences Between Red Hat Satellite & SUSE Manager

Red Hat SatelliteSUSE Manager
Upstream VersionIn Red Hat Satellite (version 6 on-wards) there are multiple open-source upstream projects involved such as Foreman, Katello, Pulp, Candlepin etc,. In earlier version which is Satellite version 5, spacewalk was being used.Uyuni (a fork of Spacewalk, based on SaltStack) is the upstream for SUSE Manager 4 and later releases. "Spacewalk" was used earlier.
Current Version*Red Hat Satellite 6.7SUSE Manager 4.1
Simple Reference Architecture*
- Picture from Red Hat Portal

- Picture from SUSE portal 
Managing Virtual Guest SystemsThis is done using "virt-who" in case of Satellite for managing the virtual systems.The "virt-host-gatherer" is being used in SUSE Manager for the same purpose.
Configuration Management, Remote Execution & Orchestration ToolPuppet is used in case of Satellite (also possible with Ansible and its usage is more after Ansible acquisition by Red Hat).
"Salt Open" is used in case of SUSE Manager.
Architectural Core Components*
- Satellite Server & Capsule Server : The Satellite server along with Capsule (integrated or separate) would form the heart of the eco-system along with many open-source projects as described below: - Foreman & Foreman Proxy : Foreman is a complete life-cycle management tool for physical and virtual servers. - Katello : Katello brings the full power of content management alongside the provisioning and configuration capabilities of Foreman. - Puppet : Puppet is an open source software configuration management and deployment tool. - Candlepin : Candlepin is a collection of tools which allow companies to manage software subscriptions. - Pulp : Pulp is a platform for managing repositories of software packages. It is an open-source Red Hat Community Project. - Hammer : The command line interface to the Satellite eco-system is managed using "hammer CLI".

- qpid : Apache Qpid™ makes messaging tools that speak AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol) and support many languages and platforms. AMQP is an open internet protocol for reliably sending and receiving messages.
- SUSE Manager Server (Salt Master) : The Salt Master is a daemon that runs on the SUSE Manager Server. This is the configuration management server for all the Salt Minions. Inside the Salt Master there is a chunk of code known as mgr_events.

- Tomcat : Tomcat reacts to Salt Events that are the results of Salt Minions executing commands issued from the Salt Master. The SUMA Web UI is also implemented in Tomcat.

- Salt API : The Salt Application Programming Interface (API) serves as a connector between Tomcat and the Salt Master and between the Taskomatic process and the Salt Master.

- Salt Minion : Client agent, works on commands from Salt Master.

- ZeroMQ(0MQ) : An Open-Source messaging library designed to connect disparate parts of any distributed systems.

- Cobbler : Used for bare metal deployment of client OS.

- Kiwi : Kiwi is a command line tool written in Perl that is used to build Linux OS images in any number of supported formats.
Default/Integrated DatabaseRed Hat Satellite 6 includes an embedded PostgreSQL database and an embedded MongoDB database.SUSE Manger comes with default PostgreSQL which can be either internal for small network and could be external for larger network (ideally more than 1000 clients network).
Command Line Interface (CLI) ToolThe "hammer CLI" is the tool.The "spacecmd" command is used in case of SUSE Manager
Installation/Setup Procedure/Process
Installation requires a pre-installed RHEL host. There is no add-on available while installing base host (RHEL).Either install SUSE Manager as an extension at the time of installation of SLES, otherwise install required packages after system installation.
Both do offer the option of using an ISO image that contains all the required packages, which could be downloaded and used offline to setup the components.

The system could be a physical/virtual or a cloud instance as well, both offers the same.
Officially Supported ClientsThe following client operating systems are supported by latest Red Hat Satellite 6.7*:

- RHEL 8(ppc_64, s390x*, x86_64)
- RHEL 7(ppc_64, s390x*, x86_64)
- RHEL 6/5(IA-32, PPC, s390x*, x86_64) (RHEL 6.4+ clients only) (RHEL 5.7+ clients only)
SUSE Manager* (version 4.1) supports the below list of client operating systems:

- SLES 15/12/11 (both traditional & salt clients)
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server-ES 7/6 (x86_64)
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP (x86_64, POWER)
- RHEL 8/7/6
- Oracle Linux 8 (only salt clients)
- Oracle Linux 7/6
- CentOS 8(only salt clients)
- CentOS 6/7
- openSUSE Leap 15
- Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04 (only salt clients)
Live PatchingStarting with RHEL 8.1, RHEL 7.7; RHEL-7.6, starting with kernel-3.10.0-957.35.1.el7 -- live kernel patches will be available on the Red Hat Content Delivery Network(CDN) and can be installed via the yum command. Managed by kpatch command.In SUSE it is supported on clients running with SLES15 SP1 or later version & SLES12 SP1 or later. This is managed by Using Kernel Live Patching (KLP) in SLES15 and kgraft in SLES12.
Hardware/Software Requirements for Production Server Setup
Minimum hardware requirements to install Red Hat Satellite server 6.7* for a production ready environment:

- Latest RHEL7 release with XFS file system
- 4-core 2.0 GHz CPU
- 20 GB RAM
- Active/current Red Hat Satellite subscription (Smart Management)
- A properly resolvable FQDN
- Disk space requirements:
/var/cache/pulp/ = 20GB
/var/lib/pulp/ = 300GB
/var/log/ = 10GB
Minimum hardware requirements to install SUSE Manager 4.1* for a production ready environment:

- SLES15 SP2 host operating system
- SUSE Manager subscription
- 4 64-bit Cpu cores
- 32 GB RAM
- Disk space = /(root) -- 24GB, /var/lib/pgsql -- 50GB, /var/spacewalk -- 50 GB per SUSE product and 360 GB per Red Hat product, /var/cache -- 10GB, Swap space -- 4GB
- A properly resolvable FQDN.
**The disk space requirements are based on expected use case scenarios and can vary according to individual environments.
Content Caching/FederationThis is done by Red Hat Capsule Server in case of Satellite.In SUSE, it is handled by SUSE Manager Proxy server.
Subscription Cost*Red Hat Enterprise Linux Smart Management Add-On (1 Year) :

- with Limited Guests(RH00031) = US$350
- with Un-limited Guests(RH00032) = US$1225

This could also be purchased along with Server subscription. For more details please vist the Red Hat Stores site (
SUSE Manager Server, x86-64, 1 Instance for 1-50 Managed Linux Instances:
- Priority Subscription, 1 Year = $5,000
- Priority Subscription, 3 Years = $13500

SUSE Manager Server, x86-64, 1 Instance for Unlimited Managed Linux Instances:
- Priority Subscription, 1 Year = $10,000
- Priority Subscription, 3 Years = $27000

This is also available for Power & z-System Processor architectures. Please refer SUSE portal for more details (
Automated System Deployment or Installation.

"Kickstart" is the key feature for the auto installation of systems in case of Red Hat.

"AutoYast" being used in case deploying SLES systems.

Yomi (yet one more installer) is a Salt-based installer for SUSE and openSUSE operating systems. In SUSE Manager 4.1, Yomi can be used as part of provisioning new clients, as an alternative to AutoYaST.
These comparisons are based on Server Enterprise versions of Red Hat Satellite & SUSE Manager.
*as of now data, at the time of writing this blog page. This could change down the line.


Anonymous said...

Excellent comparison.

Anonymous said...


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