Red Hat has announced that it’s adding four-year Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) because several IT organizations need more time to upgrade. It said this is a one-off occurrence and encourages customers to upgrade as soon as possible.
Red Hat blamed the pandemic and the rapid rise in the number of people working from home. RHEL 7 came out in 2014 when fewer than 10% of American employees worked from home. Following the pandemic, 58% of Americans work remotely at least once a week.
As a result, organizations are having to support more tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, enterprise social networks and more. The use of unvetted computers by employees also means IT teams spend more time finding and fixing security vulnerabilities.
All of this has meant organizations have less time to do operating system upgrades and Red Hat has now decided to give them another four years to catch up. ELS previously gave two more years of life to existing installations, but with RHEL 7, things have changed slightly due to circumstances.
ELS for RHEL 7 will be available for four years from July 1, 2024. Organizations must be on RHEL 7.9 and then ELS will let you get security fixes for important CVEs. It will also include maintenance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions and Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability and Resilient Storage add-ons.
Organizations that want to use ELS will need to purchase a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 ELS Add-On subscription. If you have questions about ELS, your first port of call should be a comprehensive FAQ that Red Hat has compiled.
In the FAQ, the company recommends that organizations take full advantage of their subscription services and upgrade to RHEL 8 or 9 which brings new features and supports newer hardware.
If you don’t upgrade or purchase an ELS subscription, you can continue to use RHEL 7 and access your subscription services but you won’t receive software maintenance and only limited tech support is available.