Red Hat has launched an Extended Life Cycle Support service for its enterprise customers that will provide critical upgrades to the platform.
The service, launched on 19 August, will provide up to an extra three years of updates beyond the usual seven-year lifecycle.
Instead of providing new features, the opt-in service will deliver critical bug and security fixes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3 and 4, with support for version 5 planned to be implemented soon. It will also keep subscribers up to date with errata and knowledge base information for an additional three years.
The plan is available in single-year subscriptions, extending the possible support for legacy systems to 10 years. Customers will need an "existing RHEL subscription with equivalent subscription terms and support level", according to the company's announcement.
Red Hat says that offering the extended support provides customers with a viable alternative to upgrading established, mission-critical server installations and could result in lower costs and fewer disruptions to service.
While the service will provide core updates, the company website lists an extensive list of components that will not receive support as a part of the service agreement.
One of the first products to be directly affected will be Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 platform, as that product's end-of-life is scheduled for 31 October, after which customers not on the plan will no longer receive support.
In June, Red Hat introduced Cloud Foundations, a service aimed at businesses that are looking to transition some or all of their operations into the cloud by bringing together a packaged toolset of products, implementation guides, reference architectures and consulting services.