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Version Revision History

  • March 19th, 2020: 4.1.0 Beta 2 release

  • February 27th, 2020: 4.1.0 Beta 1 release

  • January 30th, 2020: 4.1.0 Alpha 2 release

  • December 5th, 2019: 4.1.0 Alpha 1 release

About SUSE Manager 4.1

Now based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 2 and the Uyuni project, SUSE Manager 4.1 further delivers a best-in-class open source infrastructure management solution that lowers costs, enhances availability and reduces complexity.

As a key component of a software-defined infrastructure, SUSE Manager 4.1 allows our customers to:

Lower costs and simplify management

  • Simplify management and reduce operational expenditure with enhanced package staging through a new Content Lifecycle Management user interface and improved APIs for managing packages, patches, and configurations. Moving packages across multiple stages, like development, QA and production is now a simple UI-based task.

  • Ease virtual machine management with new Salt-based virtual machine management that allows near real-time management of hundreds of servers. This allows managing virtual machines not just through a UI, with start/stop buttons, but also by defining Salt states. For example, you can create a Salt state that always ensures that the same three virtual machines are created and running on all your branch servers.

Increase availability and visibility with expanded monitoring and alerting capabilities

Gain better infrastructure insights and reduce downtime, with the ability to provision, configure, and automate a reliable and easy to use monitoring and alerting infrastructure built on the next generation Prometheus based monitoring stack. With a single tool, you can now deploy, configure and manage your Linux infrastructure, and also monitor the health of that infrastructure. Monitoring is a paid-for add-on subscription per managed system.

Reduce complexity and regain control

  • SUSE Manager 4.1 can be deployed from the unified SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2 installer.

  • “Formulas with Forms” capabilities for SAP allow the easy set-up of SAP HANA nodes and HA cluster configuration according to best practices.

  • Advanced Content Lifecycle Management features to match your landscapes

Keep Informed

You can stay up-to-date regarding information about SUSE Manager and SUSE products:

Installation

Beta code request

In order to install SUSE Manager 4.1, a beta registration code is required.

A beta code can be requested by sending an e-mail to beta-programs@lists.suse.com.

Requirements

SUSE Manager Server 4.1 is provided through SUSE Customer Center and can be installed with the unified installer for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 2. It is available for x86-64, POWER (ppc64le), or IBM Z (s390x). No separate SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription is required.

With the adoption of a unified installer in SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, system roles are used to customize the installation for each product. The unified installer provides an easier way to install the operating system and the SUSE Manager Server application together with specific pre-configured system settings. This addresses the need for enterprise deployments to standardize on the base operating system as well as on specific storage setups.

PostgreSQL is the only supported database. Using a remote PostgreSQL database is not supported.

Update from previous versions of SUSE Manager Server

In-place updates from SUSE Manager 4.0 Server is supported.

For SUSE Manager 3.2 Server users, the supported upgrade method is to migrate the data from your SUSE Manager Server 3.2 installation to SUSE Manager Server 4.1 and perform a clean installation. If your SUSE Manager Server 3.2 uses an older version of PostgreSQL, you will need to upgrade to PostgreSQL 10 before performing the migration!

All connected clients will continue to run and remain unchanged.

For detailed upgrading instructions, see the Upgrade Guide on https://documentation.suse.com/suma/4.1/.

Migrating from Red Hat Satellite

Migrating from Red Hat Satellite 5.x or Spacewalk 2.x to SUSE Manager Server 4.1 is conditionally supported. To perform this migration, we strongly recommend you get in contact with a SUSE sales engineer or consultant before starting the migration.

Scaling SUSE Manager

The default configuration of SUSE Manager will scale around one thousand clients, when deployed according to the instructions in the Installation Guide on https://documentation.suse.com/suma/4.1/. Scaling beyond that number needs special consideration.

For more information and instructions on large-scale deployments, see https://documentation.suse.com/external-tree/en-us/suma/4.1/suse-manager/salt/large-scale-tuning.html.

Before you begin, you should always get advice from a SUSE partner, sales engineer, or consultant.

Channels with a large number of packages

Some channels, like SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Expanded Support or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, come with a very large number of packages that may cause taskomatic to run out of memory. If this occurs, we recommended that you increase the maximum amount of memory allowed for taskomatic by editing /etc/rhn/rhn.conf and adding this line:

taskomatic.java.maxmemory=8192

You will need to restart taskomatic after this change.

This grants taskomatic up to 8 GB of memory (up from the default of 4 GB). If taskomatic continues to run out of memory, you can increase the number further. However, keep in mind that this will affect the total memory required by SUSE Manager Server.

Major changes since SUSE Manager Server 4.1 GA

Features and changes

Major changes since SUSE Manager Server 4.0

New products enabled

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 12 SP5

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2 family

  • MicroFocus Open Enterprise Server 2018 SP2 (product GA in Q2 2020)

  • CentOS 6, 7 and 8

CentOS

Starting with SUSE Manager 4.1, CentOS is supported as a client.

Salt 2019.2.3

Salt has been upgraded to the 2019.2.3 release for the SUSE Manager Server, Proxy and Client Tools.

We intend to regularly upgrade Salt to more recent versions.

For more detail about changes in your manually-created Salt states, see the Salt upstream release notes 2019.2.3

Yomi (Technology Preview)

Yomi (yet one more installer) is a Salt-based installer for SUSE and openSUSE operating systems.

In SUSE Manager, Yomi can be used as part of provisioning new clients, as an alternative to AutoYaST. Yomi consists of two components:

  • The Yomi formula, which contains the Salt states and modules required to perform the installation.

  • The operating system image, which includes the pre-configured salt-minion service.

Detailed information on how to use Yomi is available from the Salt Guide.

Yomi is work in progress and more operating systems and features will be added in coming releases.

SUSE Manager Hub XML-RPC API (Technology Preview)

The SUSE Manager Hub is a new multi-server architecture we are introducing as a technology preview in SUSE Manager 4.1 Beta 1.

Multiple SUSE Manager Servers can be managed from a single Hub node. The Hub is a Salt master itself and the managed SUSE Manager Server servers are both a minion (to the hub) and a master (to their own minions).

SUSE Manager Hub Architecture

The Hub covers a number of use cases, such as:

  • Scalability: when a single SUSE Manager Server will no longer be enough

  • Intermittently connected and bandwidth-limited sites, which can now be managed with their own schedule thanks to the Hub

  • Multi-tenancy with individual SUSE Manager Servers. While SUSE Manager is multi-organization itself, in some scenarios, an even stronger separation is required. The Hub provides a way to manage and aggregate back information for all those SUSE Manager Server servers.

The Hub comprises a number of components that we will be releasing and enhancing during the SUSE Manager 4.1 lifecycle. The first component of the Hub we are now introducing as a Technology Preview is the Hub XML-RPC API, which provides an extended version of the SUSE Manager Server XML-RPC API, targeted for the multi-server case.

Installation and usage

Install SUSE Manager Server and then install the hub-xmlrpc-api package. That SUSE Manager Server is now the Hub Server.

Configuration of hub-xmlrpc-api is specified in a JSON file like the following:

{
   "type": "json",
    "hub": {
       "manager_api_url": "http://localhost/rpc/api"
   },
    "connect_timeout": 10,
    "read_write_timeout": 10,
   }

Set the HUB_CONFIG_FILE environment variable to point to the configuration file. hub-xmlrpc-api is a daemon, currently to be launched from the command line.

Once running, you can connect to the hub-xmlrpc-api at port 8888 via any XMLRPC compliant client libraries (see examples below).

API endpoints, namespaces and examples

Details about usage with Python script examples are available at the Uyuni project site: https://github.com/uyuni-project/hub-xmlrpc-api

Recurring highstate scheduling

You can schedule automated recurring highstate actions for Salt clients.

Recurring highstate actions apply the highstate to clients on a specified schedule. You can apply recurring action to individual clients, to all clients in a system group, or to an entire organization. The Recurring Actions section in the Administration Guide contains all the details for this feature.

More improvements in regards to automation will be coming in subsequent releases of SUSE Manager: maintenance windows and patch automation.

Content Lifecycle Filters for AppStreams

RHEL, SLES ES, CentOS and OEL 8 appstreams can now be mixed and converted to flat repositories using a new type of CLM filter.

Automatic generation of bootstrap repositories

A bootstrap repository contains packages for installing Salt on clients, as well as the required packages for registering Salt or traditional clients during bootstrapping.

In SUSE Manager 4.0 and earlier, bootstrap repository creation was a manual step, by using the mgr-create-bootstrap-repo tool.

In SUSE Manager 4.1, bootstrap repositories are automatically created and regenerated on the SUSE Manager Server after a product is synchronized (i. e. all mandatory channels are fully mirrored).

More details, including how to revert to manual invokation, are available from the Client Configuration Guide.

spacewalk-utils

In SUSE Manager 4.0 and earlier, the spacewalk-utils package contained a mix of L3 and L1 supported tools, which sometimes confused customers.

In SUSE Manager 4.1, we have split spacewalk-utils in two packages, with clear support levels each:

  • spacewalk-utils contains only fully-supported (i. e. L3) tools:

    • spacewalk-common-channels: add channels not provided by SCC

    • spacewalk-hostname-rename: change server hostname

    • spacewalk-clone-by-date: clone channels by a specific date

    • spacewalk-sync-setup: set up ISS master/slave organization mappings

    • spacewalk-manage-channel-lifecycle: manage channels lifecycle

  • spacewalk-utils-extras contains the tools for which SUSE only provides limited (i. e. L1) support:

    • apply_errata: apply errata to systems

    • delete-old-systems-interactive: remove idle systems

    • migrate-system-profile: migrate systems between organizations

    • spacewalk-api: alternative to spacecmd api

    • spacewalk-export: export Spacewalk 2.x and Red Hat Satellite 5 data

    • spacewalk-export-channels: export Spacewalk 2.x and Red Hat Satellite 5 channels

    • spacewalk-final-archive: archive information from a running Spacewalk 2.x and Red Hat Satellite 5 server prior to a final shutdown

    • spacewalk-manage-snapshots: report on and purge snapshot entries by age

    • sw-ldap-user-sync: creates new SUSE Manager accounts for users in a specific LDAP group and removes SUSE Manager accounts after deleting users from a specific LDAP group

    • sw-system-snapshot: list or delete system snapshots from the management server

    • taskotop: displays a summary of Taskomatic activities in progress

Tools in spacewalk-utils-extras are valuable but they are so specific, or require additional customization for each customer, that it is not possible for SUSE to fully support them. If you were using these scripts in spacewalk-utils in SUSE Manager 4.0 or earlier, you will need to install spacewalk-utils-extras in SUSE Manager 4.1.

L1 support is limited to problem determination, which means technical support designed to provide compatibility information, usage support, on-going maintenance, information gathering and basic troubleshooting using available documentation. Should you need more advanced help or customization with a tool from spacewalk-utils-extras, please contact SUSE Consulting.

EFI HTTP booting

The dhcp formula, branch network formula and pxe formula have been updated to support booting EFI terminals (systems) via HTTP in addition to TFTP.

Warn if subscription unavailable

SUSE Manager requires an active subscription to connect to the SUSE Customer Center and download content and data.

We have now a added a check in the Products page that will show a warning when the subscription is not available for one of these reasons:

  • Subscription was not added

  • Subscription was disabled

  • Subscription expired

Subscription matching enhancements

On public cloud providers, the subscription matcher will identify pay-as-you-go instances, whose subscription is provided by the Cloud Service Provider, and will not ask for additional subscriptions.

Also, stackable subscriptions with the same parameters will be aggregated.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

SUSE Manager supports Single Sign-On authentication by implementing the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2 protocol. This feature, introduced in 4.0 as a Technology Preview, is now declared stable and fully supported.

SUSE Manager must be reconfigured to use the IdP as the source of authentication and post-login mapped users must be already created before enabling SSO.

For more on configuring SSO, see the Authentication Methods chapter in the Administration guide.

Single Page Application UI (SPA)

In an effort to provide our web UI users with a smoother navigation, we have implemented large parts of the user interface as a single page application.

This enhancement was started in SUSE Manager 4.0 as an opt-in feature and now becomes the default in SUSE Manager 4.1.

Base system upgrade

The base system was upgraded to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2.

Upgrading with SUSE Manager Proxy

SUSE Manager Server 4.1 works with SUSE Manager Proxy 4.0. When upgrading, upgrade the Server first, followed by the Proxies.

For instructions on upgrading with Proxies, see the Upgrade Guide on https://documentation.suse.com/suma/4.1/.

Upgrading with inter-server synchronization

When upgrading, upgrade the ISS master first, followed by the ISS slaves.

Support

Supportconfig confidentiality disclaimer

When handling Service Requests, supporters and engineers may ask for the output of the supportconfig tool from SUSE Manager Server or clients.

This disclaimer applies:

Detailed system information and logs are collected and organized in a
manner that helps reduce service request resolution times.
Private system information can be disclosed when using this tool.

If this is a concern, please prune private data from the log files.

Several startup options are available to exclude more sensitive
information. Supportconfig data is used only for diagnostic purposes
and is considered confidential information.

When you run supportconfig on the SUSE Manager Server, the output will contain information about your clients as well as about the Server. In particular, debug data for the subscription matching feature contains a list of registered clients, their installed products, and some minimal hardware information (such as the CPU socket count). It also contains a copy of the subscription data available from the SUSE Customer Center.

If this is a concern, please prune data in the subscription-matcher directory in the spacewalk-debug tarball before sending it to SUSE.

Supportability of embedded software components

All software components embedded into SUSE Manager, like Cobbler for PXE booting, are only supported in the context of SUSE Manager. Stand-alone usage (e. g. Cobbler command-line) is not supported.

Support for older products

The SUSE Manager engineering team provides 'best effort' support for products past their end-of-life date. For more information about product support, see Product Support Lifecycle.

Support for products that are considered past their end-of-life is limited to assisting you to bring production systems to a supported state. This could be either by migrating to a supported service pack or by upgrading to a supported product version.

Support for Ubuntu Clients

SUSE Manager supports Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS clients using Salt. Traditional clients are not supported.

Support for Ubuntu is limited to a growing list of specific features. For a detailed list of supported features, check the Client Configuration Guide.

Support for Debian and Oracle Linux clients

For Debian clients, SUSE Manager only offers a subset of its functionality, mostly aligned with Ubuntu. Client tools are not available yet from SCC but the Debian client tools from Uyuni can be enabled using spacewalk-common-channels.

For Oracle Linux clients, SUSE Manager offers the same set of functionality available for RHEL or SLES ES clients. The RHEL and SLES ES client tools can be used with Oracle Linux.

Debian and Oracle Linux are only supported at L1 level support. L1 support is limited to problem determination, which means technical support designed to provide compatibility information, usage support, on-going maintenance, information gathering and basic troubleshooting using available documentation. At this moment, any problems or bugs specific to Oracle Linux or Debian will only be fixed in a best-effort mode.

Please contact your Sales Engineer or SUSE Consulting if you need additional support or features for these operating systems.

Browser support

Microsoft Internet Explorer fails to render some parts of the SUSE Manager Web UI and is therefore not a supported browser, in any version.

Please refer to the General Requirements for a list of supported browsers.

SUSE Manager installation

The SUSE Unified Installer is the only supported mechanism to install SUSE Manager. Namely, installating SUSE Manager 4.1 on top of an existing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2 is known to generate an incomplete installation.

If you require such a setup, please contact SUSE Consulting.

Known issues

CentOS

When mirroring CentOS AppStreams, only the most up-to-date packages can be synchronized. If a package was previously synchronized it will remain available but old versions cannot be synchronized if they never were earlier.

This will be fixed in SUSE Manager 4.1 beta 3.

Retail terminal deployment

Downloading updated images on already deployed retail terminals may fail due to a pipe writing conflict. As a workaround, predownloading images on the terminal can be used (see documentation https://documentation.suse.com/external-tree/en-us/suma/4.0/suse-manager/retail/retail-offline.html#_cached_terminal_updates).

This will be fixed in SUSE Manager 4.1 beta 3.

SLE 11 SP4 highstate failure

On SLE 11 SP4 Salt minions, applying the highstate will fail with

          ID: null
    Function: product.installed
        Name: mgr_install_products
      Result: false
     Comment: State 'product.all_installed' was not found in SLS 'packages'
Reason: 'product.all_installed' is not available.

     Started: null
    Duration: 0.0
         SLS: null
     Changed: {}

This will be fixed in SUSE Manager 4.1 beta 3.

Providing feedback

If you encounter a bug in any SUSE product, please report it through your support contact or in the SUSE Forums:

During the beta phase, feedback can also be provided using the public manager-beta mailing list:

Resources

Latest product documentation: https://documentation.suse.com/suma/4.1/.

Technical product information for SUSE Manager: https://www.suse.com/products/suse-manager/

These release notes are available online: https://www.suse.com/releasenotes/

Further information about SUSE Manager is available on the Wiki: https://wiki.microfocus.com/index.php/SUSE_Manager

Visit https://www.suse.com for the latest Linux product news from SUSE.

Visit https://www.suse.com/download-linux/source-code.html for additional information on the source code of SUSE Linux Enterprise products.

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