Well, it certainly feels strange to be blogging about this after being unable to talk publicly about the design work I’ve done for Satellite as I was working on it since it was closed-source for so long. Despite this strange feeling, I want to blog about some of the stuff I worked on this week for Spacewalk. (Spacewalk, for viewers just tuning in, is the free & open source community project that is now the upstream of the Red Hat Network Satellite product.)
Anyhow, in RHN Satellite 5.1 we introduced a new feature called multiple organization support (PDF whitepaper behind the link). This feature allows you to partition your Satellite/Spacewalk server into separate ‘organizations’, each with its own set of systems, content, and entitlements that are inaccessible to the other organizations. There are a few reasons you might want to do this: protect people in one department from messing up the systems in another department, protect the software licenses and subscriptions of one department from being used by other departments, make unstable content unavailable to production users and systems, and limit the availability of sensitive content, just to name a few.
We considered the Satellite 5.1 implementation of the feature a first cut and consciously decided to grow the rather large feature over multiple releases based on customer feedback to make sure we got it right. We ran a survey about various aspects of the feature to figure out what our priorities were for the next cut. In the past couple of weeks we have really been digging into analyzing the results of that survey, and Shannon Hughes put a rough cut of the requirements for the next phase of multiorg in Spacewalk up on the Spacewalk wiki:
To accompany the requirements (and to hash out some of the details in them), I’ve spent the past few days putting together some mockups of the different parts of multiorg phase II. First of all, out of all of the requests for moving forward with the feature, by far the two that were the most-requested were allowing the sharing of custom software channels between organizations, and allowing the migration of systems between organizations. The mockups I have so far focus on the custom software channel sharing, and setting up relationships between organizations to enable the sharing (what we are calling the ‘trusted relationships’ feature.)
If you are interested in partitioning systems and content between organizations on Satellite (or Spacewalk), I’d love to hear your feedback on both the Spacewalk Multiple Organization Support Phase II Requirements and the pages of mockups linked to above. I’ll also have you know that the mockups were produced using the GIMP and Inkscape and that the sources for each mockup are in the attachments section of the corresponding wiki page. So if you’d like to try your hand at modifying some of them, please feel free!c=”