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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Enriched system visibility in the SUSE Customer Center

This document describes what SUSEConnect is and how the SUSE Customer Center (SCC) and Repository Mirroring Tool (RMT) use it to gather updated information about active systems and their hardware environment.

Publication Date: January 26, 2023

1 What is SUSEConnect?

SUSEConnect is a tool to register SLE-based operating systems with SCC or RMT. Registered systems receive updates to installed packages, for example, to increase security of the operating system. With SUSEConnect, you can additionally register extensions and modules that extend the base system functionality.

Tip
Tip

This document does not cover general usage of SUSEConnect. To find more basic information about how to register your system, modules and extensions with SUSEConnect, refer to https://documentation.suse.com/sles/html/SLES-all/cha-register-sle.html.

SUSE is committed to helping provide better insights into the consumption of SUSE subscriptions, regardless of where they are running or how they are managed; physical or virtual, on-prem or in the cloud, connected to SCC or RMT, or managed by SUSE Manager. To help you identify or filter out systems in SCC that are decommissioned or no longer running, SUSEConnect now features a daily 'ping,' which will update system information automatically. Each registered host contacts SCC or RMT and sends the unique identification of the host and the description of its hardware environment.

2 Requirements

To use the extended SUSEConnect functionality, you need to:

  • Run a supported and registered SLE-based host with all update patches applied.

  • Verify that the host system includes the SUSEConnect command version 0.3.33 or higher.

3 How enhanced system visibility works

We extended SUSEConnect with the new option --keepalive. The command SUSEConnect --keepalive updates the last time that a host contacted SCC or RMT and updates the host's hardware information.

The SUSEConnect package ships with two systemd units:

suseconnect-keepalive.service

A service which runs the command SUSEConnect --keepalive on demand.

suseconnect-keepalive.timer

A timer which runs the service suseconnect-keepalive.service once a day at random time to prevent SCC congestion.

These units are responsible for keeping the system information up to date with the SCC or RMT, and for providing accurate data about subscription usage.

Note
Note: The timer is enabled automatically

When the SUSEConnect package is installed or updated, and its version is equal to or greater than the one described above, the keep-alive timer will be enabled automatically.

3.1 Disabling the keep-alive timer

If you prefer to not have the SUSEConnect keep-alive timer running on your system, you can disable it with systemctl:

> sudo systemctl disable --now suse-connect-keepalive.timer

Once the timer is disabled, subsequent updates to the SUSEConnect package will not re-enable it.

Tip
Tip: Re-enabling the keep-alive timer

If you decide to re-enable the disabled keep-alive timer, run the following command:

> sudo systemctl enable --now suse-connect-keepalive.timer

4 Identifying inactive systems

When SUSEConnect reports details about active hosts daily, SCC or RMT collect this information and let you filter out registered inactive hosts. If your hosts are registered against RMT or SUSE Manager, these registration servers forward the received information to SCC.

4.1 Identifying inactive systems with SCC

In the SCC Web user interface, you can limit the list of systems to see only inactive hosts.

  1. Log in to SCC at https://scc.suse.com and select your organization in the left pane.

  2. Select Systems from the top menu to list all registered hosts by default.

  3. Select Inactive from the upper-left drop-down list.

    Drop-down list with a filter for inactive hosts
    Figure 1: Drop-down list with a filter for inactive hosts
  4. If you have sufficient privileges and your inactive host is registered directly with SCC, you can deregister it by clicking the three dots on its right and selecting De-register.

4.2 Identifying inactive systems with RMT

By using the rmt-cli systems purge command, you can view and remove hosts that have not contacted the RMT server since a given date in the past. For more details, refer to https://documentation.suse.com/sles/html/SLES-all/cha-rmt-tools.html#sec-rmt-tools-rmt-cli-systems

5 System data gathered by SCC

When a system is registered directly via SCC, or its registration information is forwarded by RMT or SUSE Manager, SCC collects the following information:

Table 1: System attributes collected by SCC
System Attribute Type Example value
Host Name string virtual.domain.net
CPUs int 1
Sockets int 2
Architecture string x86_64
UUID uuid 6A5072A0-311B-430E-8EDE-A8770788B92D
Hypervisor string KVM or VMware etc.
Cloud Provider string Amazon, Google, or Azure
Last Seen Date date 2021-05-05 (the last time that the system contacted SCC or RMT)

6 Benefits

The new functionality of SUSEConnect brings the following benefits to the customer:

  • Ability to identify all types of deployments of systems, no matter if they are derived from a custom image or are clones of an already registered virtual machine.

  • By contacting SCC or RMT regularly, you can obtain the number of actually running registered systems. This provides a better insight into the consumption of SUSE subscriptions.

  • Updates to registration tools provide a clearer picture of your workloads. You can filter out the systems that are no longer running or decommissioned.

  • By collecting regular registration and hardware information, we will continue to improve our products to reflect your needs and let you manage system subscriptions more easily.