Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Life Cycle

Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization comprises two components:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager (RHEV-M), which provides the central management platform, and
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor (RHEV-H), which provides the hypervisor.

NOTE: In addition to using the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, which is provided with the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization subscription, the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager can also manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux hosts configured as hypervisors.

Red Hat offers services for each major release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization throughout two life cycle phases (Production 1 and Production 2):

  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2, offered with three years of Production Phase support, and
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3, offered with five years of Production Phase support.

Details

Software changes to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization are delivered through individual updates known as errata advisories. These advisories are delivered through the Red Hat Customer Portal or other authorized portals. 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). All errata advisories are tested and qualified against the respective, active Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization major release. (For example, a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3 RHSA will be applied cumulatively to the latest Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3 version and patch set.)

All released errata advisories remain accessible to active subscribers for the entire Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization life cycle. Within each major release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, any errata advisory (including one released as part of a minor release) will be applied cumulatively to the latest release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, including any patch sets. (For example, a bug found in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 could only be fixed in an errata to the 3.1 release.)

During the life cycle of a major release, Red Hat makes commercially reasonable efforts to maintain binary compatibility for the core runtime environment across all minor releases and errata advisories. If necessary, Red Hat may make exceptions to this compatibility goal for Critical impact security or other significant issues.

The following table details the subscription services, including support and software maintenance, performed during each phase of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization life cycle:

Life Cycle Phases
Description Production 1 Production 2
Access to previously released content through the Red Hat Customer Portal Yes Yes
Self help through the Red Hat Customer Portal Yes Yes
Technical Support1 Unlimited Unlimited
Asynchronous Security Errata (RHSA) Yes Yes
Asynchronous Bug Fix Errata (RHBA)2 Yes Yes
Minor Releases Yes No
Refreshed Hardware Enablement3 Yes Yes4
Software Enhancements Yes No
  1. Technical support depends on the Service Level included in your Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Subscription.
  2. Red Hat may choose, as a temporary measure, to address those catastrophic issues with a significant customer business impact with a Hotfix while the Bug Fix Advisory (RHBA) is being created.
  3. Native hardware enablement is provided by backporting hardware drivers, etc., to the relevant version of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor.
  4. Native hardware enablement in the Production 2 Phase is limited to hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes.

Production Phase 1

During the Production 1 phase, qualified Critical and Important Security Advisories (RHSAs) and Urgent and Selected High Priority Bug Fix Advisories (RHBAs) may be released as they become available. Other errata advisories may be delivered as appropriate.

If available, new or improved hardware enablement and select enhanced software functionality may be provided at the discretion of Red Hat, generally in minor releases. Hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes may be provided independent from minor releases at Red Hat's discretion.

Minor releases will also include available and qualified errata advisories (RHSAs, RHBAs, and RHEAs). Minor releases are cumulative and include the contents of previously released updates. The focus for minor releases during this phase lies on resolving defects of medium or higher priority.

Production Phase 2

During the Production 2 Phase, Critical impact Security Advisories (RHSAs) and selected Urgent Priority Bug Fix Advisories (RHBAs) may be released as they become available. Other errata advisories may be delivered as appropriate.

If available, hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes may be provided at the discretion of Red Hat, generally in minor releases. New software functionality is not available during this phase.

Life Cycle Dates

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2
General Availability End Production Phase 1 End of Production Phase 2 / End of Product Life Cycle
November 3rd, 2009 November 3rd, 2011 March 1st, 2013
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3
General Availability End Production Phase 1 End of Production Phase 2 / End of Product Life Cycle
January 18th, 2012 January 18th, 2015 January 18th, 2017

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager Major Release Upgrade Policy

Red Hat will provide a supported upgrade path between major releases for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager. In these cases, the upgrade process will support upgrading from the latest minor release of the previous version to the first release of the new major version.

For example, the process would support upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0, but not Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 or from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.1 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager Compatibility

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization uses the concept of “Compatibility Level” to describe the functionality and compatibility of the virtual environment.

Each minor version of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization delivers a new Compatibility Level based on the minor version number. Each release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager supports the current and previous Compatibility Level.

The following table outlines the compatibility levels supported by Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager Compatibility Matrix
Release Release Date Supported Compatibility Levels
2.1 November 3rd, 2009 2.1
2.2 June 23rd, 2010 2.2, 2.1
3.0 January 18th, 2012 3.0, 2.2
3.1 December 5th, 2012 3.1, 3.0
3.2 June 11th, 2013 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
3.3 January 21st, 2014 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
3.4 June 16th, 2014 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
3.5 Februrary 11th, 2015 3.5, 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
3.6 In Planning 3.6, 3.5, 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0

Red Hat Enterprise Hypervisor Upgrade and Support Policy

Red Hat will provide a supported upgrade path for all hypervisors within the same major release. Upgrading of hypervisors across major releases is not supported.

The following table outlines the compatibility levels supported by the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor and by the corresponding Red Hat Enterprise Linux release with the appropriate management agent installed.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor
Release Supported Compatibility Levels
5.4 2.1
5.5 2.2, 2.1
5.6 2.2
5.7 2.2
5.8 2.2
5.9 2.2
6.2 3.0
6.3 3.1, 3.0
6.4 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
6.5 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0
6.6 3.5, 3.4
7.0 3.5
7.1 3.5

NOTE: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor does not offer Extended Update Support (see www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux-add-ons/extended-update-support/ for more information). Each new minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor replaces the previous minor release.