Red Hat Virtualization Life Cycle
Red Hat Virtualization comprises two components:
- Red Hat Virtualization Manager (RHV), which provides the central management platform
- Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor (RHVH), which provides the hypervisor
Red Hat offers support services for five years for each major release of Red Hat Virtualization throughout two main Production Support phases: Production 1 and Production 2.
Life Cycle Dates
|Release||General Availability||End Production Phase 1||End Production Phase 2 / Product Retirement||Extended Life Phase/Extended Life Support|
|Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2||November 3rd, 2009||November 3rd, 2011||March 1st, 2013||NA|
|Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3||January 18th, 2012||March 10th, 2016||September 30th, 2017||September 30th, 20181|
|Red Hat Virtualization 4||August 23rd, 2016||August 23rd, 2019||August 23rd, 2021||August 23rd, 20231|
- Latest minor release only, please see “Extended Life Phase and Extended Life-cycle Support Add-On” section for more information.
Current Life Cycle Status
|RHV Product Version||Support Phase|
|2||End of Life|
|3||Retirement - ELP/ELS|
|4||Production Phase 1|
Red Hat Virtualization Life Cycle
Production Phase 1
During Production Phase 1 Critical and Important security advisories (RHSAs), as well as, 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 and are generally provided in minor releases. Hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes may be provided independently 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 is on resolving defects of medium or higher priority.
Production Phase 2
During Production Phase 2 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 and are generally provided in minor releases. New software functionality is not available during this phase.
Extended Life Phase and Extended Life-cycle Support Add-On
During the Extended Life Phase, a Red Hat Virtualization Manager subscription provides continued access to previously released content on the Red Hat Customer Portal, as well as other content such as documentation and the Red Hat Knowledgebase. Advice for migrating to currently supported Red Hat Virtualization versions may also be provided.
For versions of products in the Extended Life Phase, Red Hat will provide limited ongoing technical support. No bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement or root-cause analysis will be available during this phase, and support will be provided on existing installations only.
Red Hat reserves the right to terminate the ongoing support in the Extended Life Phase for a particular version of Red Hat Virtualization at any time.
Support for Extended Life Phase is provided only for the latest minor release of the product (example 3.6.x where x stands for the latest version).
Extended Life-cycle Support (ELS) is an optional Add-On Subscription for certain Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager versions with Standard or Premium Subscriptions that are available during the Extended Life Phase These ELS Add-On Subscriptions provide certain critical-impact security fixes, selected urgent priority bug fixes on an if and when available basis, and troubleshooting for the last minor release of the product.
For guidance on how to best modernize your Red Hat infrastructure with a solution that meets your business needs, contact Red Hat Consulting.
Red Hat Virtualization Manager Major Release Upgrade Policy
Red Hat will provide a supported upgrade path between major releases for Red Hat Virtualization Manager. In these cases, the upgrade process will support upgrading from the latest minor release of the previous version to the latest minor release of the new major version.
For example, upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.6 is supported but upgrading from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.5 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 4.0 or from Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4 to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.6 is not supported.
Upgrade from Beta releases to releases that are delivered under full support is not supported.
Red Hat Virtualization Manager Compatibility
Red Hat Virtualization uses the concept of Compatibility Level to describe the functionality and compatibility of the virtual environment.
Each minor version of Red Hat Virtualization delivers a new Compatibility Level based on the minor version number. Each release of Red Hat Virtualization Manager supports at least the current and previous minor release Compatibility Level.
The following table outlines the Data Center/Cluster Compatibility levels supported by Red Hat Virtualization Manager.
|Red Hat Virtualization Manager Compatibility Matrix|
|RHV Release||Release Date||RHVH 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|
|3.6||March 9th, 2016||3.6, 3.5, 3.4|
|4.0||August, 2016||4.0, 3.6|
|4.1||April 18th, 2017||4.1, 4.0, 3.6|
Red Hat Virtualization Tested Configurations
Red Hat highly recommends the use of tested configurations. The Package Manifest, accessible in the documentation section of the Red Hat customer portal, contains a list of tested packages. We highly recommend that production Red Hat Virtualization environments use tested configurations unless otherwise advised by Red Hat Support.
Red Hat Hypervisor Upgrade and Support Policy
Red Hat will provide a supported upgrade path for all hypervisors within the same major release. Upgrading hypervisors from one major release to another major release is not supported. Red Hat will attempt to provide migration paths between major releases at its discretion.
The following table outlines the compatibility levels supported by the Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor and by the corresponding Red Hat Enterprise Linux release with the appropriate management agent installed.
|Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor|
|RHEL Release||RHVH Supported Compatibility Levels|
|6.4||3.2, 3.1, 3.0|
|6.5||3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0|
|7.3||4.1, 4.0, 3.6|
|7.4||4.1, 4.0, 3.6|
NOTE: Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor does not offer Extended Update Support. See www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux-add-ons/extended-update-support/ for more information.
Delivery of Red Hat Virtualization Advisories
Software changes to Red Hat Virtualization are delivered through individual updates known as errata advisories. These advisories are delivered through the Red Hat Customer Portal or through other authorized portals. Errata advisories can be released individually on an as-needed basis or aggregated and distributed 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 Virtualization major release. For example, a Red Hat Virtualization 3 RHSA will be applied cumulatively to the latest Red Hat Virtualization 3 version and patch set.
All released errata advisories remain accessible to active subscribers for the entire Red Hat Virtualization life cycle. Within each major release of Red Hat Virtualization any errata advisory (including one released as part of a minor release) will be applied cumulatively to the latest release of Red Hat Virtualization, including any patch sets for advisories released after the version currently used by the customer.
Red Hat actively develops only the last major version’s minor release (for example a bug found in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.6 or Red Hat Virtualization 4.0 after the release of Red Hat Virtualization 4.1 could only be fixed in an errata to a 4.1.z release). Errata advisories or hotfixes for earlier releases are provided at the discretion of Red Hat to address critical impact security issues with a significant customer business impact.
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 issues or other significant issues.
Red Hat Virtualization Subscription Services
The following table details the subscription services, including support and software maintenance, performed during each phase of the Red Hat 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|
|Asynchronous Security Errata (RHSA)||Yes||Yes|
|Asynchronous Bug Fix Errata (RHBA)2||Yes||Yes|
|Refreshed Hardware Enablement3||Yes||Yes4|
- Technical support depends on the Service Level included in your Red Hat Virtualization Subscription.
- Red Hat may choose, as a temporary measure, to address critical impact issues that have a significant customer business impact with a Hotfix while the Bug Fix Advisory (RHBA) is being created.
- Native hardware enablement is provided by backporting hardware drivers, etc., to the relevant version of the Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor.
- Native hardware enablement in the Production 2 Phase is limited to hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes.