December 6, 2023 By Ajay Alexander 3 min read

Overview:

Enterprises are under attack from hackers, and administrators need to deploy operating systems in configurations that minimize attack vectors and apply security patches to maintain the latest code. It is a common best practice to take inventory of operating systems to see the status of support from vendors. Software is not supported forever, and it is prudent to migrate off a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server version well before it goes End of Life/Support. Enterprises should minimize disruptions, whether by applying patches or migrating to a new version of RHEL Server. Patches also fix identified bugs in the previous version and improve stability and performance. All of these reasons lead to one common thread: system administrators need to keep software up to date with patches/supported versions and mitigate disruptions to production networks.

RHEL 7 version will be completing almost 10 years since its launch and its maintenance support phase will come to an end on 30 June 2024. This means RHEL 7-based products listed in the table below will transition to End of Support on IBM Cloud®.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Virtual Data Center (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Power Systems (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Z Systems (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Applications (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Server for SAP Solutions
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for HPC (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation (all SLAs and variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Distributed Computing (all SLAs and variants)

IBM Cloud products End-of-Life Policy

IBM lifecycle policy is designed to support customers as they deploy hardware and software. The goal is to provide resources that can be supported through new features/functionality, bug fixes and security patches as available through the respective vendors. IBM cannot support a software that is not supported by the supplying vendor. We notify customers when a software will no longer be supported by the vendor and IBM, in parallel, follows their policy.

IBM’s lifecycle policy provides guidelines for all IBM Cloud portfolio products (compute, storage, software, bandwidth and so on) slated for End of Marketing (EOM) or End of Support (EOS). Products slated for EOS will be announced 90 days before EOS date using the IBM Cloud product lifecycle site in the documentation for IBM Cloud. See this page for more details.

The IBM Cloud product lifecycle consists of four key dates:

  • General availability: The effective date a product is available to users (when version and release are published on the lifecycle website).
  • End of marketing: The effective date the product ceases to be active on the standard price list and can no longer be ordered or purchased.
  • End-of-support announcement: The date IBM Cloud announces the end of support for a product currently offered—normally 90 days before the actual EOS date.
  • End of support: The last date IBM Cloud will deliver standard support, imaging or reload services for a given version or release of a product.

What is the lifecycle policy for IBM Cloud products?

The policy provides guidelines for all IBM Cloud portfolio products (compute, storage, software, bandwidth and so forth) slated for EOM or EOS. Products slated for EOS will be announced 90 days before EOS using the IBM Cloud product lifecycle site in documentation for IBM Cloud.

See the End-of-Life EOL documentation for Classic software →

See the End-of-Life EOL documentation for VPC software →

IBM has published the date of RHEL 7 End of Support. This notice to announce that customers will not be able to provision new services with RHEL 7.X and support will end as described.

For versions of products in the Extended Life Phase, IBM and Red Hat will only provide limited ongoing technical support. No bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement or root-cause analysis will be available during this phase, and limited support will be provided on existing installations only.

Recommendation:

  1. Migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 or 9, which contains compelling new features and enablement for modern hardware platforms and ISV applications by taking the full advantage of your subscription services. Red Hat provide Leapp utility to perform the same.
  2. Environments that are running their own BYOL RHEL 7 image, which is not provided by IBM, may opt for Red Hat Extended Life Cycle or Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-on by contacting Red Hat directly.
  3. Customers can contact any partner of their choice to help them in the migration or can connect with IBM partner through https://wanclouds.net/ibm-request.

Summary

In summary, the server end of life is a critical phase in the technology lifecycle, necessitating the replacement of outdated and inefficient software with newer, more capable solutions to maintain performance, security and efficiency.

Managing the end of life of an operating system requires careful planning. A well-executed migration strategy ensures a smooth transition, minimizes disruptions and maintains the security and reliability of cloud services.

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