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On behalf of the Logging team, I am proud to announce that Red Hat OpenShift Logging 5.0 was made generally available last week. This is our first independent release from the OpenShift Container Platform release cycle and opens up new possibilities for our customers.

What Is Red Hat OpenShift Logging?

Red Hat Openshift Logging is no different from the Cluster Logging solution that you all know already. It continues to provide the same set of capabilities as a layered component, and it continues to be available via OperatorHub as a day-two-installed component.

The goal for Red Hat OpenShift Logging remains the same as the Cluster Logging goal was. It provides functionalities to collect and forward, store, and provide a user interface into log data for debugging, event corroboration, and similar purposes. To achieve those goals, we bundle the following technologies into our solution:

  • Fluentd - provides collecting and forwarding capabilities
  • Elasticsearch - provides storage capabilities keeping logs for a specific period of time
  • Kibana - provides exploration capabilities to search for specific logs

As you can see, Red Hat OpenShift Logging is just Cluster Logging under a new brand. 

What Is changing If Not the Solution?

With Red Hat OpenShift Logging v5.0, we now start a distinct release cycle from the OpenShift Container Platform. Therefore, v5.0 is mostly a repackaging exercise on our side so that we are able to provide 1) more choice to how you want to consume Logging and 2) faster, more focused releases.

With that being said, we do not plan to introduce a separate SKU or changes to the support process. The Logging solution remains included with the OpenShift subscription. 

Let us dive into more detail on the two objectives for this new packaging and independent release cycle.

More Choice for How You Want to Consume Logging

With v5.0, you will see more channels available when looking at the Logging Operator and Elasticsearch Operator inside OperatorHub. These additional channels will provide a bit more flexibility on how/what can be consumed.

The channels that are available will ultimately include (in v5.0, you may only see a subset):

  • stable - provides all stable GA releases and patches. Example of versions: 5.1.0, 5.1.1, 5.2.0, 6.0.0.
  • X.Y - provides stable Z-stream patches for release X.Y. Example: channel 5.1 provides versions: 5.1.0, 5.1.1, 5.1.2… The X.Y channels are subsets of the stable channel, containing only the X.Y stable versions.
  • tech-preview - provides technology previews for customers wanting early access. Example: 5.1.0-preview.1, 5.1.0-preview.2, 5.1.0.

With this model, we are also able to support multiple OpenShift Container Platform versions for a single Red Hat OpenShift Logging version. In the past, you were only able to consume a newer version of Logging by also upgrading your OpenShift Container Platform cluster.

Faster, More Focused Releases

As we move into our own release cycle, we will have much more flexibility into how much and how often we release new versions. For every release, we carefully review the most critical demands from our business and customers, as well as any critical timelines related to those demands. Based on that information, we draft a value-added release that can be brought to you as quickly as possible. This way, we are going away from doing time-based releases (a fixed timeline, such as every three months) and focusing on feature-based releases. 

How Do I Get That New Version?

Since there are not a lot of differences to our previous version, you only need to choose the “5.0” channel to upgrade from the Cluster Logging 4.6 release to the 5.0 OpenShift Logging release. It is important to note that you need to upgrade to the Cluster Logging 4.6 release first before you can upgrade to OpenShift Logging 5.0.

What Does the Future Look Like?

With the Logging 5.0 release, we set ourselves up for a bright future. Our backlog is full of great new additions such as preserving JSON structure in log records to enable users to query particular fields inside a JSON document; mechanisms to exclude certain “noisy” containers from log collection; and a native OpenShift Console UI to explore logs. In 2021, we will also work hard on the overall quality of our product by, for example, improving the collection and storage aspects of our technology stack, and we will significantly invest into our documentation at the same time.

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