Thursday, March 26, 2015

Host Collections and Bulk Actions within Katello

This is a continuation of the previous post (Creating Products and Repositories within Katello). This post will show some of the power that Katello provides.The following steps will demonstrate how to create a Host Collection. Host Collections provide the ability to group multiple Content Hosts together based on needs or criteria such as function or environment. Once a Host Collection is created and Content Hosts are pulled in you are able to run bulk actions against the entire host collection or a selected few. The actions include: Package install, remove and update ; Errata install ; changing Lifecycle or content view (don’t see a whole lot of advantage of the 3rd one, yet).

**Before you can take advantage of the Bulk actions, you must install the katello-agent on each content host. The agent will run as goferd service. You will actually need both the pulp and the katello repositories to install it successfully and possibly software collections. I added the Katello and Pulp repos into my product to make life easier and in the event I need to update the agent.

See the following links for more information on installing the repos based on your OS.

Then do a yum install: yum install –y katello-agent

You will see agent install and goferd start. You will then be able to utilize Bulk Actions with Host Collections!

Creating Host Collection

1. Within your desired Organization and Location, create a new Host Collection.
Hosts > Host Collections > + New Host Collection

2. Add Content Hosts to the New Host Collection. You should see your Content Host you registered in the previous Demo here.
Hosts > Host Collections >Select your Host Collection > Content Hosts > Add > check desired hosts > Add Selected

3. Once you have added your desired Content Hosts to the Host Collection you can now run Collection Actions against the Host Collection. Will demo a package install.
Hosts > Host Collections >Select your Host Collection >Collection Actions >Package Installation, Removal, and Update


                NOTE: you can select certain content hosts within the host collection if needed.

4. Uncheck content hosts that you want to bypass if any, type the name of the package and then click Install, Update or Remove. You will be notified when completes.

Its that easy! I think this is an extremely powerful and quick way to handle package management across your infrastructure. Although we have things like Puppet or Ansible that also has the abilities to do this in bulk as well, I think that this is still a nice feature to take advantage of. Please note that once you create a new host collection you can now automate the process of adding content hosts to host collections. Go back into your Activation Key you used from the previous tutorial and add the Host Collection to that Activation Key. We will start to dive into automating and provisioning in the upcoming tutorials and piece all of this together so you can have complete automated control over your infrastructure with Foreman, Puppet and Katello.

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