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Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Life Cycle Policy

Overview

Red Hat provides support and maintenance over stated time periods for the major versions of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) as indicated in the table below. The published life cycle calendars allow customers and partners to effectively plan, deploy, and support the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

The life cycle outlines the various levels of maintenance for each release of the product from the initial release—or general availability (GA)—to the end of the maintenance phase. OCP product life cycles are generally two, or three years depending on the life cycle phase. For certain OCP versions (as described below), an optional add-on Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) subscription may be purchased to extend the life cycle for additional years of support.

Software changes to OCP are delivered via individual updates known as errata advisories through the Red Hat Customer Portal or Red Hat image registry. Errata advisories can be released individually on an as-needed basis or aggregated as a minor release. Errata advisories may contain security fixes (Red Hat Security Advisories or RHSAs), bug fixes (Red Hat Bug Fix Advisories or RHBAs), or feature enhancements (Red Hat Enhancement Advisories or RHEAs).

Updates can be released individually on an as-needed basis, or aggregated as part of a errata release (e.g. version 3.1.1.6), or included in a minor release (e.g. version 3.1). Updates may contain security and/or bug fixes. Feature enhancements are generally introduced in minor and/or major releases—not as updates in RHSA or RHBA releases. Red Hat will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide compatibility with the initial major release (e.g., 3.0) as it pertains to updates. Where incompatibilities arise, they will be documented in the release notes. There may also be conditions where some errata/patches are provided that users of OCP to consume minor updates that precede them, these will also be documented in the release notes where applicable. Errata/patches will be based on and require the installation of minor updates that precede them.

OCP offers a variety of run times and application frameworks to its users as content. These can commonly be referred to as cartridges in OCP 1.x and 2.x or templates and images in version 3.x. there are 3 classifications of supported technology within OCP:

Classification Examples Life Cycle Link
RHEL Software Collections Add-Ons 6 PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, node.JS, Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/rhscl
JBoss Products Add-ons EAP, EWS/JWS, Fuse, AMQ, BRMS, Data Grid https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/jboss_notes
OpenShift Base brokers, masters, nodes, internal persistence, API services, AUtr, clients, HAProxy, jenkins https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/openshift

Each classification mentioned above within OCP maintains its own product life cycle. Please refer to the links provided in the table to find out more about a specific classification’s product life cycle. For the rest of this document, we will focus only on the OCP core product. OCP cartridges, templates, or images that are based on RHEL Software Collections(1) add-ons and JBoss products add-ons are not covered by this policy.

OCP releases include a composite of open source technologies. OCP versions are tested and qualified against specific versions of two core open source technologies known as Kubernetes and Docker. Should a critical-issue or bug be found in the current release of OCP that is directly related to Kubernetes and Docker, Red Hat will take commercially reasonable efforts to fix or resolve the issue with the current release. In some situations, such a fix might not be possible without upgrading to a later version of OCP, and in these situations updating to the current release of OpenShift is required in order to receive a fix for those underlying components. Please refer to the OCP-tested configurations matrix for further information.

Life Cycle Phases

Red Hat publishes product life cycle calendars in an effort to provide as much transparency as possible, but may make exceptions from these policies if unforeseeable conflicts arise (such as the end-of-life (EOL) of a dependent component or platform) that are outside of Red Hat’s control. The life cycle for a major release of OCP is divided into three primary phases: the Full Support Phase, the Maintenance Phase, and the Extended Life Phase.

Phase 1: Full Support

Start Date: General Availability

Full support is provided according to the published Scope of Coverage and Service Level Agreement. Likewise, Development Support is provided according to the published Scope of Coverage and Service Level Agreement. All available fix and qualified patches will be applied via periodic product updates or as required for qualified security patches, which allows a customer to remain on a minor release (X.X) of OpenShift Container Platform for a period of time and receive critical-issue patches, if requested. No lower severity patches will be available for a non-current version of OpenShift.

Phase 2: Maintenance Support

Start Date: no less than two (2) years after General Availability.

Production support is provided according to the published Scope of Coverage and Service Level Agreement. Likewise, Development Support is provided according to the published Scope of Coverage and Service Level Agreement. During the maintenance phase, qualified security patches of Critical or Important impact, as well as select mission-critical bug-fix patches, will be released.

Phase 3: Extended Life Support

As an optionally available add-on to an OCP Subscription, Red Hat offers an Extended Life Support (ELS) subscription. ELS delivers Critical impact security fixes and selected urgent-priority bug fixes, if and when available. For ELS subscribers, Red Hat will generally continue to provide the Critical impact security fixes if and when available independent of customer requests. Red Hat will generally continue to provide mission-critical fixes for product bugs only when requested by customers. ELS is generally available for 2 years following the end of Maintenance Support.

Life-Cycle Phase
Description Full Support Maintenance Support ELS
Unlimited-incident technical support1 Yes Yes Yes
Access to Product Knowledgebase Yes Yes Yes
Access to Product Downloads Yes Yes Yes
Access to Product Discussions Yes Yes Yes
Access to Support, Configuration and Troubleshooting Tools Yes Yes Yes
Asynchronous Critical Security Patches4 Yes Yes Yes5
Asynchronous Critical Bug-Fix Patches2 Yes Yes Yes (Reactively)
Minor Releases Yes No No
Software Enhancements Yes3 No No
New Certifications (JVMs, DBs, etc.) Yes No No

  1. Full details of support services are provided as part of the Subscription Agreement.
  2. Red Hat can choose to address critical or important bug fixes upon request, with significant business impact for the customer through a hot fix, as a temporary measure while the bug fix patch is being created.
  3. Major and Minor releases are the primary source for software enhancements. Roll-ups, updates, and patches are specifically reserved for bug fixes.
  4. Latest security update information available at: https://access.redhat.com/site/security/updates/.
  5. Red Hat provides Critical impact security fixes and selected urgent-priority bug fixes, if and when available.
  6. Additionally, Red Hat will generally continue to proactively provide Critical impact security fixes if and when available independent of customer requests.

Life Cycle Duration

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform life cycles are generally two, three, or four years in length with extensions available as described below under a separate subscription, scope of coverage, and SLA.

Product Life Cycle

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
Version GA End of Full Support End of Maintenance Support End of Extended Life Support (ELS)
1.X Nov, 2012 Nov, 2014 NA NA
2.X Dec, 2013 Dec, 2016 NA NA
3.X June, 2015 June, 2018 June, 2020 June, 2020 -- June, 2022