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Red Hat's lifecycles are carefully planned to give our customers a stable platform for building, deploying and maintaining their applications while also delivering innovation at a steady pace. Red Hat understands that undertaking planned migrations during this crisis is more challenging than usual, and we want to help take pressure off organizations while they are focused on near-term operations. We have reviewed our product portfolio and are making a number of changes to help ease migration and upgrade pressures in the coming months. 

Our priority is to provide extensions to our products that would have had an end of maintenance (EOM) phase in the near future so our customers are not forced to perform upgrades or migrations while reeling from the impact of COVID-19. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

We are extending the life cycle of several specific RHEL releases by six months. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 optional Extended Update Support (EUS) Add-On (also part of the RHEL Premium Subscription) offering will receive a six month extension to May 31, 2021. 

Two of the "alt" versions of RHEL will be extended for six months to help our customers who may not be ready to migrate to RHEL 8. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Z 7.6 with Linux kernel version 4.14, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for POWER LE (POWER9) 7.6 with Linux kernel version 4.14 are extended to May 31, 2021. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 moves out of maintenance phase 2 on Nov. 30, 2020. Customers unable to migrate to RHEL 7 or RHEL 8 from RHEL 6 can use the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Extended Lifetime Support (ELS) Add-On subscription on Dec. 1, 2020. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will have expanded security coverage with the severity rating of Important

Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 and OpenShift Container Storage 3.11

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3 was initially released in June 2015, and helped many organizations adopt Kubernetes and Linux containers at scale. Full support for OpenShift 3.11 was planned through June 2020, but has now been extended an entire year to give customers ample time to migrate to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4. 

Along with OpenShift Container Platform 3.11, we have extended full support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage through June 2021.  Maintenance support will continue as scheduled until June 2022, followed by Extended Life Phase (ELP) support until June 2024.  See the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Life Cycle page for more information.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 3.3 

Update November 18, 2020: The end of life date we published for Ceph Storage 3 in April has been extended from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 as a customer courtesy. This will allow an additional period for you to prepare and carry out your upgrade to Red Hat Ceph Storage 4, which is to be supported through the end of January 2023. See our post from November 18th with the changes.

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Red Hat Runtimes - Thorntail 

Red Hat is providing an extension within Red Hat Runtimes. In particular, extending the Red Hat build of Thorntail 2.x, through May 31, 2021. Thorntail enables the creation of small, stand-alone microservice-based applications implementing the MicroProfile specification. 

Training and Certification extensions

As previously announced, Red Hat Global Training + Certification services have also worked to expand virtual training offerings and extend training units, certification exam windows, and more in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

We have expanded flexibility on cancelling or rescheduling scheduled classes or exams to take into account health and safety of customers, partners and our fellow Red Hatters. The exam period for certification exams has been extended by three months from March 30th. 

Red Hat Training Units purchased from March 30 through June 30, 2020, will have a 15 month validity period rather than the standard 12 month validity period. We have also extended expiration for certifications that were set to expire between March 17, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2020, and plan to revisit the extension date if necessary. 

For more details, see Ken Goetz's blog from March 30th on the Red Hat Services Speak blog.

Red Hat is here to help

Red Hat succeeds when we help our customers accomplish their goals. We believe the current crisis calls for flexibility and responsiveness to our customers needs, and providing stability while there's so much uncertainty. We hope that providing additional time to maintain mission critical platforms will allow our customers to focus on more immediate and pressing concerns for their organizations. 

We'll continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our customers to deliver the best support we can while we navigate the changes before us. We have confidence that we will weather this together. We're here to help.

About the author

Marco Bill-Peter is the senior vice president of Customer Experience and Engagement (CEE) at Red Hat. CEE is responsible for increasing the value customers and partners receive from their relationship with Red Hat. In addition to technical support delivery and strategic customer engagement, Bill-Peter's organization is responsible for the award-winning Red Hat Customer Portal, quality engineering, DevOps, product certifications, product security, product documentation, and translation services.

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