Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Spacewalk?
- How long has Spacewalk been around?
- Why release Spacewalk now?
- What's the difference between Satellite and Spacewalk?
- Is Spacewalk supported?
- Can I use Spacewalk to sync my entitlements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other Red Hat software products?
- Now that Spacewalk is available, does this affect Satellite pricing?
- How long will it take for a Spacewalk feature to become a part of the Satellite product?
- How can I contribute to the Satellite roadmap?
- What does the Spacewalk release consist of?
Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project for Red Hat Network Satellite. Its capabilities include:
- Inventory your systems (hardware and software information)
- Install and update software on your systems
- Collect and distribute your custom software packages into manageable groups
- Provision (kickstart) your systems
- Manage and deploy configuration files to your systems
- Monitor your systems
- Provision virtual guests
- Start/stop/configure virtual guests
- Distribute content across multiple geographical sites in an efficient manner
Red Hat Network (RHN) first started in 2001 as a hosted service. RHN later spawned a stand-alone product called Red Hat Network Satellite. Spacewalk as a project officially became an open source, community driven project in June 2008 -- it is the upstream for the Red Hat Network Satellite & Proxy products.
Red Hat's continued commitment to open source technology and the open source development model drove the release of Spacewalk. With the release of its RHN Satellite code base, Red Hat has enhanced its ability to incorporate new open source management projects into the future roadmap for its products and solutions.
Examples of free & and open source management products that may be able to integrate with Spacewalk and Satellite in the future include projects like Cobbler (for provisioning management) and Puppet (a configuration management project.) In addition, projects like Cobbler and Puppet have already been adopted by a number of Red Hat customers. We believe that the participation within the community is a critical success factor for any open source initiative. The interest expressed by customers and community participants in working with Satellite in an open source project is strong and we are ready to go now!
Spacewalk is a project where you can make use of the latest free & open source management technologies. Changes will occur frequenty in the Spacewalk project to fulfill this mission of having the latest technology. However, if your needs require stability and support over access to the latest management technology, you may decide that a Satellite subscription is right for you. Please refer to the table below for some direct comparisons:
|Primary Benefits||Stable and supported.||The latest technology released early and often. Support for PostgreSQL as DB backend.|
|Feature selection and Integration||Red Hat||Red Hat and developer community|
|Development Model||Open source||Open source|
|Architectures||i386, x86_64 & s390x||i386, x86_64|
|Managed Systems||Red Hat Enterprise Linux||Fedora, CentOS, SLE and Debian|
|Red Hat Support Options||Many, including 24x7 premium with unlimited incidents||None (community supported)|
|Content Stream||Direct via Red Hat Network||Manual Import|
|Release Interval||6-9 months||1-3 months|
|Maintenance and updates||Available via Red Hat Network||Community-driven|
|Where to Buy||Red Hat (1-866-273-3428), www.redhat.com, and partners||Free download|
|Price||Annual subscription, multiple offerings||Free download|
The true value of a Red Hat Network Satellite subscription is similar to the value of any Red Hat subscription: advocacy for your needs and requirements in the open source community, access to updates and bug fixes, advocacy for free & open source software, as well as worldwide 24/7 technical support under guaranteed Service Level Agreements. In addition, a subscription to Satellite will give you access to a certified stream of Red Hat software content including Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases and updates directly to the center of your Linux software distribution process - your Satellite server.
When you pay for a Red Hat subscription, you gain:
- Access to a rigorously tested, signed, certified, indemnified and assured stream of Red Hat software for distribution to your systems from your Satellite.
- A security service level agreement (SLA) for these RPMs with the best track record in the IT industry.
- A very strong bugfix SLA, with an excellent track record of timely support.
- Enablement for new hardware through minor releases, developed through engineering partnerships with hardware vendors. Providing rapid support for customers that need to exploit new hardware features ASAP.
- High quality implementations of software features based on customer requirements.
- The promise to work such features in the upstream communities on their behalf. This insures that the customer gains the full benefit of the Open Source model and is not locked into features and fixes that can only be supported by one vendor.
- Engineering that insures rock solid stability with every major and minor release, backwards compatibility with previous releases and the ability to back port features to earlier releases if needed.
- Constant contribution to the Open Source innovation and development of future technologies.
Spacewalk is supported within an open community via IRC, mailing lists and bug reports, similar to the Fedora community. There is no pay-for support for Spacewalk, nor is it supported by the Red Hat Global Support Services.
Can I use Spacewalk to sync my entitlements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other Red Hat software products?
Basing the Satellite product on a free & open source project will not affect the product's pricing. However, we are currently considering alternative ways of packaging the product based on studies we have done on the usage of the product as well as feedback from our valued customers. These considerations are unrelated to the product becoming free & open source, though. If you have feedback on this please contact your Red Hat sales representative or if applicable your Technical Account Manager.
In many cases, new Spacewalk features may become available in Satellite. There are various reasons why a feature in Spacewalk may or may not become a part of Satellite. For example, a Spacewalk feature will not be accepted into Satellite if it does not meet Red Hat quality standards or if it does not comply with the vision and goals that Red Hat has set for the Satellite product.
When a given feature is accepted in Spacewalk and has been approved to be included in the Satellite product, it will likely be made available in the next major release of Satellite, depending on timing (it may be too late to make the next release, but it might make the following release.)
Simple. If you are a current Red Hat Network Satellite Customer then either open a Bugzilla or Issue Tracker ticket with your product feature request, or simply contact your Technical Account Manager. Otherwise, get involved in the Spacewalk community and champion your ideas, engage in discussions, or even contribute code.
If you're a programmer, you can contribute directly by writing code and submitting a patch.
The Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite server, including the web interface and back-end, as well as RHN Proxy Server and all clients that connect to Satellite are now open source. Satellite at this time do depend on Oracle, which is not free & open source software. Spacewalk can run on Oracle or PostgreSQL, which is completly open source.