AHagen
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RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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I recently stumbled across a Dell PowerEdge R730 running RHEL 7.3 Workstation at work. My question is:

Can anyone tell me the actual differences and limitations of Workstation vs. Server?

I Googled around and most questions seem to be Workstation vs. Client, as answered here: https://access.redhat.com/articles/911363, but I need to know what the ramifications of Workstation vs Server are on a multi-user server to know how quickly I need to plan to reload this server.

Thanks!

Edit: It looks like I can't reply to anything after I've marked a solution... I just wanted to thank everyone that contributed. It seems that the consensus is that the difference is the 2 CPU socket, 1 guest VM limits, and licensing/support. I'll be updating the server to keep system homogeneity as suggested by @Scott. I found this comment on a post that seems like it'll let me update from Workstation to Server without reloading the box.

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Scott
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Re: RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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@AHagen

The article you linked describes the supportability of the Workstation version.  The functionality of it may exceed whats listed in the article (for example, the # of sockets), however those are support (e.g. Red Hat Support you call into or file cases against) limits rather than technological ones.  So if this machine was a 4 socket system, you'd be afoul of the supportability of the system and Red Hat technical support may not respond to cases opened against this system.  That's also a sales and entitlement limit as well, again, if this box was 4 socket, then Red Hat may say that you are violating the subscription terms (as Workstation is a lower cost entitlement than Server, but is also targeted at an audience that requires less technical support).  Lastly, on the topic of support, generally there is a lower SLA on Workstation entitled boxes than on Server ones, but that would be determined largely by how you purchase and the contracts through which you purchase RHEL.

Software wise, @oldbenko makes the point that there are package repository differences between the Workstation version and Server version.  Though generally you can get the RHEL packages eliminated through additional, supplementary channels in Subscription Manager.  In Server, there's a channel called Workstation Supplementary that provides a bunch of GUI application stuff.  Likewise in Workstation there's a Server Supplementary that gives you more service/daemon RPMs.

As far as migrating it to Server, that's a choice you, as the administrator, will have to make.  If you're within the 2 CPU socket, 1 guest VM limits on the Workstation product, and are willing to operate with support cases on that system at a lower SLA (if applicable to you), then you could leave it as Workstation and be fine.  If it were me, as long as I had a free Server entitlement available, I'd go ahead and move it so that it matched the rest of my server population.  That way I wouldn't have to keep track of this one, singular machine in my population and treat it as special or have to track down a package or repo to put on it if I needed.  Homogeneity, amongst my own server population, is highly desirable.

-STM

 

--
Principle Technical Marketing Manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Certified Engineer (100-000-264)

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oldbenko
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Re: RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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Hey @AHagen,

I believe this document will put the desktop support limits into perspective:

https://access.redhat.com/articles/rhel-limits

There is no limit as to the number of concurrent users as there is no such thing as a user - there are just processes owned by certain user IDs.

In short though, some package repositories will be unavailable for the desktop variant of RHEL, and since it is a system that is primarily designed for interactive use and not for running services, some default settings may be different.

Additionally, I believe the RHEL Workstation subscription leaves you with access to only updates, but no real support in case you need it in production.

So, if it was a production server, I'd migrate it to RHEL Server as soon as possible.

Cheers,

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[don't forget to kudo a helpful post or mark it as a solution!]
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Scott
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Re: RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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@AHagen

The article you linked describes the supportability of the Workstation version.  The functionality of it may exceed whats listed in the article (for example, the # of sockets), however those are support (e.g. Red Hat Support you call into or file cases against) limits rather than technological ones.  So if this machine was a 4 socket system, you'd be afoul of the supportability of the system and Red Hat technical support may not respond to cases opened against this system.  That's also a sales and entitlement limit as well, again, if this box was 4 socket, then Red Hat may say that you are violating the subscription terms (as Workstation is a lower cost entitlement than Server, but is also targeted at an audience that requires less technical support).  Lastly, on the topic of support, generally there is a lower SLA on Workstation entitled boxes than on Server ones, but that would be determined largely by how you purchase and the contracts through which you purchase RHEL.

Software wise, @oldbenko makes the point that there are package repository differences between the Workstation version and Server version.  Though generally you can get the RHEL packages eliminated through additional, supplementary channels in Subscription Manager.  In Server, there's a channel called Workstation Supplementary that provides a bunch of GUI application stuff.  Likewise in Workstation there's a Server Supplementary that gives you more service/daemon RPMs.

As far as migrating it to Server, that's a choice you, as the administrator, will have to make.  If you're within the 2 CPU socket, 1 guest VM limits on the Workstation product, and are willing to operate with support cases on that system at a lower SLA (if applicable to you), then you could leave it as Workstation and be fine.  If it were me, as long as I had a free Server entitlement available, I'd go ahead and move it so that it matched the rest of my server population.  That way I wouldn't have to keep track of this one, singular machine in my population and treat it as special or have to track down a package or repo to put on it if I needed.  Homogeneity, amongst my own server population, is highly desirable.

-STM

 

--
Principle Technical Marketing Manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Certified Engineer (100-000-264)

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oldbenko
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Re: RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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Though generally you can get the RHEL packages eliminated through additional, supplementary channels in Subscription Manager.  In Server, there's a channel called Workstation Supplementary that provides a bunch of GUI application stuff.  Likewise in Workstation there's a Server Supplementary that gives you more service/daemon RPMs. 

Hey, @Scott, just a quick one.

Do you happen to know what the names of those channels would be these days?

I was looking for the server supplementary packages specifically, as I often use RHEL workstation for testing things I was going to do on a server, but I can't seem to find anything.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Grega

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Sillihkram
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Re: RHEL Workstation vs. Server

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@AHagen The difference is support and software channels from RHSN. You can install RHEL Server applications on RHEL workstation but Red Hat cannot support it.

Install RHEL Server if you expect to be able to get support using this machine as a server.  To ensure you have the proper entitlements for RHEL server software channels run this command:

subscription-manager list --available --matches "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server"
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