RHEL4 End of Life on February 29, 2012 - What's your migration strategy?

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As anticipated Red Hat recently announced Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 4 will be end-of-life in about one year from now. See the official announcement at <https://rhn.redhat.com/rhn/errata/details/Details.do?eid=10950>.


While the 7 year life span of RHEL releases was known in February of 2005 when RHEL4 was first released, I'm sure this announcement was a wakeup call for many customers. If you're running RHEL4 now, what is your migration strategy over the next year? Will you be moving those applications to RHEL5 or RHEL6? Or, do you plan on purchasing Extended Life Cycle Support to delay the need to migrate? Is there anything Red Hat can do to make the transition easier?


I think this is a great opportunity to share your plans and strategies and to learn what other customers are doing. I look forward to hearing your plans, strategies, and questions!





Right now, We are looking at several options - 1st option is to use a kick start server over the network  2nd option is to upgrade the servers individually by reimaging the drives and shipping drives to the site locations and 3rd option is to create a DVD and ship the DVD and manually upgrade the servers.


We haven't decided at this point which option we will use, but we are interested in hearing any other ideas people have.






The situation is still unclear and one of the biggest unknowns is Oracle. 


Since Oracle is missing RHEL6 in certification matrix (and nearly everyone is waiting for the annoucement), we are postponing the decision for migration RHEL4 as late as possible.


SAP already announced their support of RHEL6. Thus it makes sense to skip RHEL5 for long-term projects and go for version 6 from version 4. It could be even cheaper to buy one year of extended support for RHEL4 and pay only one major migration between RHEL4 and RHEL6 instead of doing two migration steps.


For small or temporary projects it could be easier to do two steps or if the application stack is not going to be supported in the near future.


Stability may be an issue in some cases (with RHEL6 and apps running on top of it), but 3 years more of OS support really counts. You will also get some performance benefits (especially in virtual environment). RHEL6 would be the preferred option.