In this 3 part blog series we take a deeper look into SUSE Manager 3.2, looking at what the product does, how it does and how it is set up.
Blog Part 1 – Discover SUSE Manager
Blog Part 2 – How SUSE Manager Works
Blog Part 3 – SUSE Manager Configuration Management
Discover SUSE Manager
SUSE Manager 3.2 is a complete environment for lifecycle management of Linux systems in large, complex, and dynamic networks. You can use SUSE Manager to deploy and administer thousands of Linux systems, including hypervisors, containers, bare metal systems, IoT devices, and third-party cloud platforms.
Your SUSE Manager server offers a single convenient user interface for managing:
- software updates
- configuration management
- system monitoring
Use SUSE Manager to administer Linux server and client systems, both virtual and hardware-based, on systems running locally, remotely, or in the cloud. SUSE Manager is tightly integrated with SUSE Enterprise Linux, and you can also use SUSE Manager to administer Red Hat, CentOS, and other RPM-based systems.
A powerful collection of automation and orchestration features make SUSE Manager an ideal solution for DevOps environments, and, even if your organization does not use DevOps techniques, you can still save money and time with the integrated collection of services available through SUSE Manager.
SUSE Manager is part of a new generation of Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI) tools. A single SDI may consist of many thousands of objects, running on any possible mix of compatible hardware and cloud platforms.
SDI tools let you manage objects on the network in a hardware- and location-independent way. All systems on the network are managed the same way, regardless of how they are deployed (hypervisors, containers, bare metal) and where (IoT devices, dedicated servers, private or public cloud platforms).
SUSE Manager lets you keep control of all your Linux servers as they grow and change, automating tasks that would otherwise take days or weeks of admin time. Use SUSE Manager for…
Easy Linux Deployment
Declare how many Linux systems you need and what you need them for. SUSE Manager does the rest.
SUSE Manager can handle local and remote deployments.
Administrators can build their own plain ISO images, as well as images for containers or virtual machines, using either AutoYaST or Kickstart. You can then install those images, on individual computers or on groups of systems, in fully unattended fashion. Integration with the Cobbler installation server allows efficient deployments via PXE (Pre-Execution Environment). In addition to SUSE Linux Enterprise, it is possible to use SUSE Manager to install Red Hat, CentOS, and other RPM-based systems.
Hassle-free Software Updates
SUSE Manager automates software updates for both whole systems and single packages. A powerful security system guarantees that every package is centrally authorized and classified before it is installed. SUSE Manager is the only tool that allows automatic, online service pack migration even if you skip a service pack (e.g., go from SP1 to SP3). Thanks to the Salt configuration management system, you can schedule and execute multiple software upgrades and other operations as one block, using one command.
You can create, dismiss, and move containers in the cloud – using the same interface you use for managing onsite resources. SUSE Manager is integrated with SUSE OpenStack Cloud to allow centralized creation and management of scalable Kubernetes clusters in hybrid clouds.
Monitoring, Reporting and Auditing
Once SUSE Manager “captures” an asset, it is never lost. SUSE Manager logs all activities, and administrators can define which parties can access information or modify the system. If a server goes offline, SUSE Manager quickly notices and reports it.
You can group and classify all managed systems (e.g., by location, rack, vendor, role, or CPU architecture) for easier visualization and more granular reporting. The SUSE Manager dashboard offers a detailed view of systems and processes running on the network, down to the patch status of each individual Linux installation.
The SUSE documentation provides complete instructions for configuring Icinga to interact with SUSE Manager. The SUSE Manager command line can also generate a Nagios-compatible configuration file to import into an Icinga server.
SUSE Manager supports automatic, system-wide configuration and vulnerability scans,using either CVE lists or the OpenSCAP protocol. You can search for CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) numbers in all patches released by SUSE, or generate custom reports of all the machines affected by a specific CVE.
SUSE Manager enforces key best practices to ensure compliance. Monitor all deployments on the network and watch for “shadow IT” – systems installed or reconfigured without central authorization.
SUSE manager creates a single inventory of all the managed Linux systems inside an organization. Once that inventory is available, SUSE Manager can report on any deviation from compliance. For example, the automated patch-management functions generate daily notifications of systems not compliant with the current patch level.
Adoption of SUSE Manager facilitates efficient allocation of human resources in IT departments, as well as optimal planning of management operations. The main administrator of a SUSE Manager installation can delegate different tasks to other users at different levels. You can subdivide the network and provide separate administrators for each subgroup. It is also possible to give different admins responsibility for different tasks, such as key activation, images, configuration, and software channels.
Look out for Part 2 – How SUSE Manger Works coming soon