• Support a Candlepin deployment where Owners can be top-level, importing their own data from an authoritative Candlepin instance.
  • Each top-level owner can create sub-owners.
  • Top-level owner can split their subscriptions assigning separate quantities to their sub-owners for use.
  • One on-site Candlepin may be hosting multiple disjoint top-level owners, each with their own subscriptions in an upstream hosted Candlepin instance.


  • Implement a simple owner hierarchy where an owner can have an optional link to a parent owner. (Owner.getParentOwner())
  • Implement a simple pool hierarchy to be used when delegating entitlements to sub-owners. (Pool.getParentPool())
    • Top level owner admins would have the ability to split their pools and create a sub-pool in the other owners.
    • Parent pool’s quantity would be reduced accordingly.
    • In many ways this is just focusing on what we want, we have a pool in the top level org, we want to split it and create a related pool in the sub-org.
    • Refresh pools will be the most challenging aspect of this.
      • When refreshing a pool from a subscription, we cannot just blindly copy the quantity onto the associated pool because that pool could have reduced its quantity and allocated some to a sub-pool.
      • If that quantity were reduced we have a messy situation and need to determine not just how to clean up outstanding entitlements, but also to clean up outstanding sub-pools (possibly multiple levels deep) and their entitlements as well.
      • We have not yet solved reduced quantity in Candlepin anywhere, we just let the pool go out of compliance and plan a batch job to determine what to do. (it just now will be a little more complex)
    • When a subscription disappears, we currently delete the pool and thus all related entitlements. This process will continue, only now deletion of a pool will cascade to all sub-pools in sub-owners.


  • Our security settings are going to throw a fit. We automatically filter out objects in queries and block CRUD operations across owners. These will either need to be modified to allow if within an owner hierarchy, or will have to be thrown out entirely.

Other (less awesome) Ideas

Re-use Import Export

This was the first option to come to mind but I think it quickly begins to look infeasible and messy. For one, much of the data in an export is already there (products / consumer types / rules), only the Entitlement importer would be re-usable. If so, then the process would become an upstream subscription becomes an upstream pool, an on-site Candlepin is deployed and registered as an upstream consumer, who then binds and obtains entitlments with a quantity. The export is generated and then imported on-site, those entitlements now translate into a new subscription and then a pool on-site.

If we were to continue with this, the whole process would be repeated for each sub-org leading to a proliferation of subscriptions and pools, all of which need to be kept in sync. This seems like a recipe for problems when considering the worst case scenario where a subscription is reduced. It’s also arguably a mis-use of the Subscription, at this point it isn’t really a Subscription, and perhaps we should only be dealing with pools during this process.

Re-use Sub-pools

These are the pools which have a source entitlement link, intended for things like developer licenses a person consumes and then starts using a sub-pool for their systems.

To re-use this, sub-owners would require a consumer in the top level org. If this were in place, they could bind and create entitlements with a quantity, and then a sub-pool would be created in the sub-org which links to the parent entitlement.

I consider this a promising possibility, but still more complicated than it needs to be. All we really want is a sub-owner with a sub-pool, requiring that sub-owner to be represented by a consumer and bind (generating entitlement certificates) complicates the process and adds more moving parts to keep track of, particularly when time comes to sync up with the upstream subscription. IMO the simpler the better, given the complexity we’re headed for.

Last modified on 17 May 2024