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Red Hat Satellite OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Red Hat Satellite is the #8 ranked solution in our list of top Configuration Management tools. It is most often compared to Ansible: Red Hat Satellite vs Ansible

What is Red Hat Satellite?

Red Hat Satellite is a system management solution that makes Red Hat infrastructure easier to deploy, scale, and manage across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. This management tool helps users provision, configure, and update systems to keep them running efficiently, securely, and in compliance with various standards. By automating most system maintenance tasks, Red Hat Satellite helps organizations increase efficiency, reduce operational costs, and enable IT to better respond to strategic business needs.

Red Hat Satellite Buyer's Guide

Download the Red Hat Satellite Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Red Hat Satellite Customers

Baloise Bank SoBa, ETH Zurich, Munich Airport, ING-DiBa, Produban

Red Hat Satellite Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Red Hat Satellite pricing:
  • "The licensing depends on the number of servers."
  • "The cost for a larger enterprise is probably almost always a boon."
  • "Its price is good. They call it subscription, not license, and it is on a yearly basis. There is only one subscription, and that's it."

Red Hat Satellite Reviews

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JonathanShilling
System Analyst II at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
A good product for managing patches and updates that could be more robust and up-to-date

Pros and Cons

  • "Satellite gives administrators the ability to target deployments and only send out the updates or provision updates to certain groups."
  • "It cuts down significantly on the administrative time it takes to patch systems in a large environment."
  • "The product could have more diversity in what it is able to deploy and might do better if it was not dedicated to Red Hat products only."
  • "It has not been significantly updated in a while."

What is our primary use case?

Red Hat is an operating system. It has been out since 1995 or 1996 and went through a few iterations before it became a true enterprise solution. Basically, they changed their name and changed the version name back between about 2003 to 2005 when they came to that point.  

Satellite is a package management solution most commonly used to maintain patch levels and security updates. It is something like what SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) does on Windows servers and Windows workstations.  

What is most valuable?

Red Hat Satellite ties in with the Ansible Tower (software provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment). Ansible Tower is part of the Red Hat automation suite. Ansible is a pre-solution open-source product that allows you to automate the building and deployment of something similar to what you get with Amazon when you go to order a server. Basically it is like cloud technology. It allows the developer to order a custom server using a playbook. It could be Windows or Red Hat or a couple of other different platform distributions. The Red Hat Satellite stores all of the packages — or it is mainly Satellite which stores the packages. It is a deployment tool. It can deploy updates and various other solutions. It is scriptable using Python scripting, and Perl scripting, those being the base languages.  

Satellite can automate most of your update solutions. It also gives the administrators the ability to target deployments and only send out the updates or provision updates to certain groups. Microsoft puts out brand new patches every month and that sort of frequency needs to be managed. With Satellite, you can say you want to deploy these brand new patches to your development boxes and see if it breaks anything before you do any damage in production. If it does not break anything, then the patches or updates can go on to QA for testing. If everything works fine there, then you can group promote it and automate it out to production. Satellite helps manage these deployment processes in a logical fashion.  

What needs improvement?

I do not really notice anything in the product that is a glaring omission or that absolutely needs to be added. There is always room for improvement, no matter what software package you are using. I would say the room for improvement to me would be to include more diversity in what it can deploy. Right now, it is specifically for Red Hat products. Being able to deploy other products would be a benefit. For example, say if you have Ubuntu running in your network. Being able to deploy packages for Ubuntu with Red Hat Satellite for that product would be nice and would give you more of a single pane of glass solution. Having a centralized repository for your Windows patching would be nice. SCCM is a much more expensive solution than Satellite. You have got the licensing issues and all that wonderful stuff to go through. Satellite is a pretty robust solution in handling its responsibilities. Although I really have not gone through it enough to tell you all the little quirks, it would be nice to see its capabilities expanded.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I am not positive for exactly how long the company has been using the solution. Myself, I have used it quite a few times over the years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think that Satellite is a pretty stable product. You download your repositories, check the versions you are running, download your packages, and then deploy them to your servers. The upgrades are really not a problem and the whole system is pretty controlled and stable.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Satellite is a scalable solution. It actually makes life a lot easier on your administrators. When you have a small company that has only about 50 to 100 Red Hat servers it may not be so valuable and that will depend on your management and your team. But in an environment where you have, say, 500 to 1000 servers, it cuts down significantly on the administrative time it takes to patch all those systems. I am talking about the number of servers and not the number of users. Because you can deploy the patches straight from Satellite, allowing for more automation, it does a good job and it is an efficient and dedicated tool.  

The biggest upgrade you could talk about and the one thing I would like to see added to Red Hat Satellite is demonstrated by how Oracle Linux handles upgrades. I am not a huge fan of Oracle Linux in general, but the method they use for applying patches is one feature that Oracle does use that is really nice. It allows a case splice. Basically that creates a scenario where it allows patches and kernel upgrades to be applied to the server without forcing a reboot. If Red Hat Satellite could implement something like that it would improve the product.  

In our environment, there are maybe three or four people who are generally used to maintain the solution or deploy the updates. That accounts for the total number of Red Hat administrators.  

How are customer service and technical support?

On a scale of one to ten where ten is the best, I would say that I would give Red Hat support about an eight. The high-end of eight out of ten. Say eight-point-five or eight-point-seven. Tech support across the board with tech companies is kind of spotty. For example, I have dealt with Microsoft in the past. I have been both in discussions with Windows systems engineers and Red Hat systems engineers. My experience with Microsoft is that I actually did more in finding my own solutions that I felt I had to share with the Microsoft tech support team because they had no clue. It did not really bolster my confidence with them when I was supporting the support team. With Red Hat, you can go out to forums and user groups and find out a lot of information before you even contact tech support. When you contact tech support, they usually have an answer.  

Red Hat support is clearly better and has more knowledgeable people than Microsoft. That might not be much of an endorsement, but I am happy with the way they support their product.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for the product was pretty much straightforward. As long as you get an enterprise-level license using a proper subscription, you really do not have any problem with the installation and getting the system up and running.  

What about the implementation team?

The installation is pretty much straightforward. If you have dealt with Linux — and in particular with Red Hat — it is a pretty easy deal to do. The more difficult part of the deployment is just a matter of registering all your servers to Satellite. That can be a bit of a pain. It is not too bad. If you have already registered the servers with the Red Hat subscription service — as you would through their internet-based subscription — changing that can be daunting sometimes. If you are not really familiar with the scripting languages it is not so easy to do.  

As far as how long it took to do, I was not here when they initially set it up. I was not present for the original deployment at this company and all my experience as far as the setup is based on my prior experience and studying it by myself. I did that a while ago so some things may have changed.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Satellite is usually bundled with the Red Hat premium-level support. So you can figure — depending on the number of servers — it can be from a couple of thousand dollars per year to over $100000 per year. It is absolutely dependent on how many servers you are using.  

The effect is that there are additional costs for the support and all that stuff but the license itself comes as a single total cost. That is the license being a total cost for Red Hat servers bundled in with premium support.  

If you have more than 50 servers, I would say using Satellite would be a boon. Depending on the number of administrators you have hired and the number of servers you are using, it can be cost-effective or not. But that goes with almost any software solution that you use, across the board.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

SCCM is a package management solution most commonly used to maintain patch levels and security updates on Windows servers and Windows workstations. It is not really the same thing as Satellite but it is a similar product category piece offered by Microsoft to do a similar thing that is comparable to what Satellite does. It just does it for another platform that more people are probably familiar with.  

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Red Hat Satellite as about a seven or seven-and-a-half out of ten. It could probably be a bit more robust in some areas. They have not, to my knowledge, done a major revision update in a while. So I would say about a seven or seven-and-a-half is fair.  

Red Hat has been moving toward an Ansible solution more than the Satellite solution in recent years. That is not really a problem for me. It is just that I would like to see the Satellite server product more updated than it has been. It is a good product for what it does. It is just out-of-date.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TM
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Scalable with good integration capabilities and fair pricing

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support has been good."
  • "There needs to be some margin for improvement in terms of the way Satellite manages subscriptions. It is still very confusing when we have different contracts or different bundles of subscriptions, and we need to manage those within Satellite in a way that's very user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We use Satellite to distribute updates to all our Linux apartments. It's our content management platform for Linux Operating Systems. We use this to orchestrate our entire network and also to validate the configurations.

What is most valuable?

The integration with Ansible and the orchestration itself is a highly valuable aspect of the solution. It's basically the core function of the product, the way to handle orchestration and management patching in our Linux environment is great.

Technical support has been good.

The solution can scale. 

The stability is good.

We've found the pricing to be fair.

What needs improvement?

One of the challenges we have at the moment is managing the subscriptions for Red Hat. Apart from managing the patching for the Linux systems, we also use Satellite to manage the subscriptions that are associated to reach operating systems. There needs to be some margin for improvement in terms of the way Satellite manages subscriptions. It is still very confusing when we have different contracts or different bundles of subscriptions, and we need to manage those within Satellite in a way that's very user-friendly.

There is still some margin for improvement in terms of integration with the Ansible. Perhaps, it would be nice to be able to extend the usage of Satellite to other operating systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been dealing with the solution for about six or so years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There is no reason for complaints in terms of scalability. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been a good experience so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, we have a team of 7 administrators which is relatively small. We use it on a daily basis. 

It's been easy to scale. It is based on a distributed architecture. We have some essential nodes, however, then we can have multiple proxies for different geographies and different talents. Therefore, it's flexible and scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a technical account manager from Red Hat. We have weekly meetings to discuss many different topics. Satellite is also a subject on the table, trying to find some ways to improve our usage of the product. They have been pretty good. They are insightful and knowledgeable. We have no complaints about the level of service we receive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was relatively complex. Six years ago, we didn't have much experience. We did the first deployment with some external help from a partner. Since then, we have been improving our expertise on prototypes, and we are much more autonomous now. Therefore, I'd say that it does get easier to implement with time and experience. 

For maintenance, we do need to keep the products up to date, It is something we do every six months at least. It hasn't been a big effort.

What about the implementation team?

When we first deployed the solution, we did get help from our partner.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing was reviewed about three years ago. We like the pricing setup as it scales up and down easily, as we are charged by the number of med notes. The pricing is fair. We simply have to pay for the subscription to get access to the software and the support system and don't have any costs above that. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user.

We are a vendor that works with Open Source Solutions, mostly Linux-based. It was recently - maybe two years ago - acquired by IBM, so it's not part of the IBM group. We work a lot with the branded products from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Satellite to Automation Solutions.

We are working with the latest version of Satellite, as we've recently upgraded it about three months ago.

I'd recommend it to anyone who manages significantly sized Linux environments.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Red Hat Satellite. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
LM
Analyste principal - AIX et Linux at a hospitality company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good for patch management and license management, but should have a complete slew of system management and monitoring tools

Pros and Cons

  • "Patch management is, for sure, most valuable. For license management and patch management, I would rate it a 10 out of 10."
  • "It should basically include a complete slew of system management and monitoring tools such as Nagios. It should be a single pane of glass that gives us a complete solution. It is a good solution, but it is missing a few important things. We're using Capsule for DMVs on other secured zones. Capsule is a part of Satellite to be a proxy of sorts."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for patch management and license management. We also use it for insights, which is their recommendation engine to say what's wrong and what's right.

What is most valuable?

Patch management is, for sure, most valuable. For license management and patch management, I would rate it a 10 out of 10.

What needs improvement?

It should basically include a complete slew of system management and monitoring tools such as Nagios. It should be a single pane of glass that gives us a complete solution. It is a good solution, but it is missing a few important things. We're using Capsule for DMVs on other secured zones. Capsule is a part of Satellite to be a proxy of sorts.

For how long have I used the solution?

It has been at least six years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its stability is very good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

If you run into issues, you get very good support, which helps a lot because sometimes, there are issues like certificates expiring. We've had that. It is stuff that you ought to know, but you don't, and Red Hat is always there. That's the good thing about it. At least, you don't feel as if you're stranded. You feel as if you've just found a new way to use your support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use any other solution. It is not a full management tool. It is more of a Linux System Management tool that does not even go a full tilt. I wouldn't really say that you have much of a choice because you're paying Red Hat licenses, and that's the only place where you can basically shop them in. So, you're captive. You either don't have it or you go elsewhere.

How was the initial setup?

It is less complex now. Previously, you would bleed before you would get anywhere, but now, it is not so bad.

What other advice do I have?

You do have to plan for having the skills to use and maintain it onsite. That's pretty much it, and then you can leverage it. 

It doesn't do everything. It just does what it is supposed to be doing, and they're pretty clear about it, which is not so bad. It isn't a full system management system. It, for sure, is not a monitoring tool. It does a great job for what it is doing, but it does very low in comparison to what I would think it should be doing. I would like to have a pane of glass. They already have 90% of the solution. Why don't they just take it to the next little step?

I would rate it a seven out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MA
Project & Software Manager at a consultancy with self employed
Real User
Top 5
Makes it easier to manage the software and comes with excellent support

Pros and Cons

  • "Fixing is the most valuable. When you deal with a lot of hardware and software and you have a lot of packages, fixing is a bit difficult. You need to track and pull up all such things, but Satellite makes this task easy. We have branches in other locations, and I can manage other branches by using Satellite Capsule, which is a great feature."
  • "It wasn't easy in the beginning, and some effort was required to work it out. I already had the product documentation, but it was not well organized. It wasn't easy to follow. There were a lot of documents here and there."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it mainly for managing the software and taking care of licensing periods, fixes and enhancements, features, and all similar things for the software.

What is most valuable?

Fixing is the most valuable. When you deal with a lot of hardware and software and you have a lot of packages, fixing is a bit difficult. You need to track and pull up all such things, but Satellite makes this task easy.

We have branches in other locations, and I can manage other branches by using Satellite Capsule, which is a great feature.

What needs improvement?

It wasn't easy in the beginning, and some effort was required to work it out. I already had the product documentation, but it was not well organized. It wasn't easy to follow. There were a lot of documents here and there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Red Hat Satellite for about nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. I can control different locations by using Satellite Capsule.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

Red Hat's technical support is excellent.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment took a couple of days. It took me some time to figure it out initially, but after that, it took just a couple of hours, and it was up and running.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it in my company. We also maintain it ourselves. We upgrade it and work it out. We are Red Hat business partners, so we do everything.

We have hardware engineers who are implementing HPE, IBM, and Cisco solutions. They are not users of Satellite, but they are benefiting from Satellite. There are two or three engineers who are working on Satellite, and they are more than enough because you just need someone who has worked with Satellite to follow up on things. At a location, you just need one engineer. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its price is good. They call it subscription, not license, and it is on a yearly basis. There is only one subscription, and that's it.

What other advice do I have?

We chose this product because we are a Red Hat business partner, and we know that Red Hat has excellent products. It was our first choice.

I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone who wants to manage the software. I would rate Red Hat Satellite an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner