It’s time to prepare for the end of maintenance support and to plan the upgrade of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) systems.
It’s been almost ten years since the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, and its maintenance support phase will come to an end in June 2024.
When maintenance support ends, the Extended Life Phase will begin. During this period, Red Hat will provide limited ongoing technical support. No bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement, or root cause analysis will be available, and support will only be supplied on existing installations.
Now that maintenance support is ending, it’s imperative that the existing RHEL 7 implementations be upgraded to RHEL 8 or RHEL 9.
To upgrade Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 to either RHEL 8 or RHEL 9, users have several options available. Firstly, they can opt for an in-place upgrade, where the existing RHEL 7 system is upgraded directly to the desired version. This method retains the system's configurations, data, and installed software, making it a convenient choice. Alternatively, a fresh installation of the desired RHEL version can be performed, followed by data migration and application reinstallation. While this requires more effort, it ensures a clean slate and may be preferred for complex systems or those requiring significant changes. Additionally, Red Hat offers tools such as the Red Hat Upgrade Tool (for upgrading to RHEL 8) and Red Hat Insights (for assessing system compatibility) to facilitate the upgrade process. Whichever method is chosen, thorough planning, backup, and testing are crucial to ensure a smooth transition and minimize downtime.
Leapp is the supported tool used to perform in-place system upgrades from one major version of Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® to another. With Leapp, you can upgrade with confidence and benefit from the new features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux without having to reinstall your systems.
Upgrading your servers could be a challenging task, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux ships with Leapp as the supported upgrade management tool which delivers a single path to upgrading to the next major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Leapp allows customers to retain the original subscription (that is attached to the system), system configurations, and custom repositories and 3rd party applications.
Leapp is included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, allowing you to upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.9 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. It can also be used to upgrade from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.
Understanding how Leapp works will improve your ability to perform a successful upgrade. Using Leapp is a two-phase process which consists of an upgradability analysis and the actual upgrade. Post-upgrade reboots are required, and it is important that this is accounted for when planning your upgrade.
For a single host using Leapp, the upgradability analysis is based on upgrade considerations, which are downloaded as metadata from cloud.redhat.com.
For hosts connected to Red Hat Satellite, the metadata needs to be distributed by Satellite to the servers using Leapp. The upgradability analysis can then be performed at scale using the Leapp plugin for Red Hat Satellite.
On June 30, 2024, all Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7-based products will transition from the Maintenance Phase to the Extended Life Phase.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 systems will continue to be subscribed to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 channels via Subscription Manager, continue to require a Red Hat Enterprise Linux entitlement, and continue to have access to:
Please also note that new bug fix, security, or product enhancements advisories (RHBAs, RHSAs, and RHEAs) will no longer be provided for High Availability and Resilient Storage Add-Ons after June 30, 2024.
If you require software maintenance and full technical support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat strongly recommends that you purchase the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On subscription. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 ELS Add-On complements your Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription and provides software maintenance services not otherwise available in the Extended Life Phase.
Customers who purchase the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 ELS Add-On subscription receive the following RHEL 7 maintenance and support:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 ELS is available through June 30, 2028. We are providing a 4 year maintenance period for RHEL 7 only. RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 will have a 3 year ELS maintenance period.
The RHEL 7 ELS requires an existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription with equivalent subscription terms and support level. Example: One RHEL Server subscription + One RHEL ELS (physical or virtual nodes) subscription; One RHEL for Virtual Data Centers (unlimited guests) subscription + One RHEL ELS (unlimited guests) subscription. ELS is only available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server subscriptions, and is only available for the last RHEL 7 minor release; RHEL 7.9. ELS is not applicable to all RHEL versions covered by Extended Life Phase.