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Red Hat Cranks Linux Support to 10

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is changing the length of time that it supports its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system platform. Red Hat will now provide standard support of 10 years for RHEL 5 and 6.

Red Hat had previously offered seven years of standard support with an optional Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) program, first introduced for RHEL 4 that could provide an additional three years of support, or 10 in total.

Jim Totton, GM and VP, platform business unit at Red Hat, explained to InternetNews.com that with the previous ELS model of 7+3, there were three phases of support for RHEL. The first phase is the very active development phase where new features are added, as well hardware support. In the second phase, Red Hat gets more conservative and doesn't make as many feature or hardware changes. In the third and final phase of the seven year cycle, the focus is on security and critical bug fixes, only. ELS provided an additional three years of support, just for the security and critical bug fixes.

"What's different today is that we're now stretching the middle to provide a full 10 years of support," Totton said. "What that means is that there will be additional new hardware support enablement."

As such with the RHEL 5.x platform, the plan is to now have a RHEL 5.9, 5.10 and 5.11 release. Currently, the most recent RHEL release in progress is RHEL 5.8, which is now in its testing phase. The initial RHEL 5.0 release debuted in 2007.

Both RHEL 5 and RHEL 6 will benefit from the new 10 year life span for standard support. RHEL 4 is another story.

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
Red Hat Extends Linux Support

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist