Spacewalk vs. Katello
When managing alot of systems (virtual or physical) it makes sense to centralize the package management. It also saves you alot of time.
Spacewalk does exactly that for RPM-based systems like CentOS, Fedora or SLE. Its the community and open-source version of the RedHat Network Satellite Products (RHN). It brings you alot of nice features like
- Systems inventory with hardware and software info (DMI)
- Centralized package management. Installing / Updating software on systems (single/grouped/batch)
- Errata overview for systems (security/bugfixes/enhancements)
- Kickstart / Provision systems
- basic config file distribution (better do this with puppet/chef)
- basic monitoring (better do this with munin/graphite/ganglia..)
Spacewalk started in 2008 and is now at version 2.0 and really stable and mature.
Meanwhile RedHat announced the next generation called CloudForms. The community equivalent to it is Katello. Its a complete rewrite compared to Spacewalk. For instance it uses Foreman for provisioning and Pulp for package management.
So I had a look at Katello to see whether it could replace Spacewalk already or in the future. However I was disappointed. Its still in an early development state at version 1.3. I am missing several key features that hopefully will come soon in the futue:
- No errata for CentOS repositories. Only for repositories that contain errata themselves like EPEL.
- You cant see in detail which package updates are available for which systems
As a conclusion I can say that Katello is the future. Provisioning with Foreman, Multiple customizable environments (dev/staging/production etc) and promoting package changesets thru them. To just name a few improvements. However at the moment it still lacks some features that Spacewalk has and you dont wanna miss.