This article describes how administrators can use Spacewalk to manage the lifecycle of Oracle Linux systems. It explains core concepts and common best practices for a Spacewalk deployment. The article also highlights how Spacewalk can perform initial Oracle Linux provisioning with Kickstart and then automate subsequent software maintenance operations through system lifecycles such as Development, Test, Acceptance, and Production (DTAP).
IT administrators face a tough challenge in provisioning systems and keeping them up to date with the latest patches and operating system updates. If errata are deemed critical from a security perspective, it’s especially urgent to conduct testing and apply patches to reduce the risk of systems compromise or data exposure. As data centers expand and administrators are tasked to manage greater numbers of physical servers and virtual machines, it’s clear that automation is a necessity for efficient and cost-effective systems management. Spacewalk is open source software that helps to automate Linux systems management, allowing administrators to control the system software lifecycle—from initial Linux installation through maintenance, software configuration, and upgrades.
Getting Started with Spacewalk
Spacewalk simplifies a number of management tasks: installations of systems and virtual guests, applying patches and software updates, software configuration, and system auditing using OpenSCAP profiles (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Spacewalk automates frequently performed Linux system management tasks across the full system lifecycle.
Spacewalk is the upstream project for Red Hat Satellite and SUSE Manager (see the Fedora project page). It relies on a database (either PostgreSQL or Oracle Database) to store software packages, configuration files, and system state information.
Oracle Linux Premier Support and Oracle Linux Basic Support contracts include support for Spacewalk implementations deployed with Oracle Database (and include a limited-use license for Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition for use with Spacewalk). Documentation for installing and configuring Spacewalk with Oracle Database on Oracle Linux 6 is available in the Oracle Linux 6 documentation repository. Such a Spacewalk implementation can automate management for Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6 (i386 and x86_64) systems as well as Oracle Linux 7 (x86_64) systems. When deployed on Oracle Linux, Spacewalk can also manage other Linux releases such as Fedora, CentOS, SLES, and Debian although Spacewalk management of these systems is unsupported.
Spacewalk provides automated management capabilities at no additional cost. Oracle support for this open source project is especially valuable for administrators transitioning to Oracle Linux who are already familiar with Red Hat Satellite or SUSE Manager. Some IT organizations might prefer to implement Oracle Enterprise Manager because it provides a comprehensive management solution that extends beyond Linux systems management. The Oracle Enterprise Manager product family supports management of the entire Oracle software stack including hardware, hypervisors, operating systems and Oracle Database, Oracle middleware, and even Oracle software applications.
by Avi Miller and Ginny Henningsen
Source: oracle.com – Linux documents