Red Hat Virtualization Life Cycle

Overview

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
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2 November 3rd, 2009 November 3rd, 2011 March 1st, 2013
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3 January 18th, 2012 March 10th, 2016 September 30th, 2017
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 4 August 23rd, 2016 August 23rd, 2019 August 23rd, 2021

Current Life Cycle Status

RHV Product Version Support Phase
2 End of Life
3 Production Phase 2
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.

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
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
6.7 3.5
6.8 3.5
6.9 3.5
7.0 3.6, 3.5
7.1 3.6, 3.5
7.2 4.0, 3.6
7.3 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
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 Virtualization Subscription.
  2. 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.
  3. Native hardware enablement is provided by backporting hardware drivers, etc., to the relevant version of the Red Hat Virtualization Hypervisor.
  4. Native hardware enablement in the Production 2 Phase is limited to hardware enablement that does not require substantial software changes.