I just got an email with the subject “Opportunity for Red Hat Certified Professionals to test new Red Hat software”.
Quoting the email:
" The new subscription management tools provide a very different user experience than today’s Red Hat Network (RHN). We would like to get your feedback on the software so that we can improve the tooling before RHEL 6.1 is released. As part of this Beta Program, we will be offering you a beta version Red Hat Enterprise Linux Personal Subscription. This subscription will allow you to access the tooling that will be provided as part of the RHEL 6.1 minor release."
In the same email Red Hat offers the audience to have up to 10 systems registered for free:
"Under the Personal Subscription provided via the Beta Program, users are able to deploy the software on up to 10 personal systems. The Red Hat Personal Subscriptions entitle you to access software and software updates"
That are actually great news for us as Red Hat certified professionals. But it also opens new questions about the future of RHN, the RHN Satellite and the subscription model of Red Hat in general.
According to the documentation (You need to be at least RHCE and provide your RHCE number to get access to it), with RHEL6.1 registering systems to the RHN will completely change. No more rhn-register it is now the CLI command subscription-manager.
The most important thing that changed is that the username and password of RHN needs to be transmitted just once, afterwards you will get identified by a X509 client certificate.
The only drawback I’ve found was that the command to register a consumer needs to provide the password in clear text on the command line.
And for Satellite users?
As far as I can see, nothing changes, Satellite users can still provision the systems with activation keys, it is still channel based, not product based.
For enterprise users nothing is changing in the next time, the new entitlement and subscription method does only apply to does users NOT using a Satellite server, at least for now and for RHEL6.1.
The Readme also mentions RHN Satellte 5.5 which is not (yet) released. It is quite unclear what is expecting us with Satellite 5.5.
Reading some bugzilla entries, it is clear that there is still some time until RHN Satellite 5.5. will hit the road.
Please: A public Beta for RHN Satellite 5.5
Please Red Hat, provide a public, or at least a semi-public beta (like for RHEL6.1) release, to give your enterprise customers a chance to do the Q&A which was missing on the release of RHN Satellite 5.4.
Having fun? I do actually not care about RHN Network, I’m a Satellite user. Personally I’m having fun with my 10 personal RHEL6.1 subscriptions for free, it allows me to do lots of tests before putting RHEL6.1 into production.