The Impact of RedHat Linux 7 Extended Life Cycle Support on Azure Guest Patching Customers

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Azure Compute Blog articles.

Introduction: RedHat announced that the Linux 7 will enter the Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) phase beginning from July 1, 2024.Initially slated for deprecation, RedHat is allowing customers to remain on RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.9 minor version with the ability to purchase an ELS Add-on for their subscriptions to receive security updates and technical support.


Impact on Organizations: Organizations that are still using RedHat Enterprise Linux or any variations of RedHat based images on major version 7 will need to upgrade to RedHat 8 or 9; or purchase an add-on for RedHat 7.9 to avoid any security or performance issues. From July 2024, RedHat will not support other versions within Linux 7 except 7.9 with the ELS Add-on for important and critical security updates. Customers that have enabled their VMs for Auto Guest Patching or leverage Azure Update Manager will see no action from Azure, as no new updates will be available to patch their machines. Customers updating their VM scale sets via Auto OS Image Upgrades will experience the same issue, as no new images will be available from RedHat after June 2024. 


Without further security updates, organizations risk exposing their systems and data to potential security threats. Additionally, without software updates, organizations may experience performance issues or compatibility issues as newer hardware or software is released. It is important for organizations to plan for this migration to avoid any disruption to their business operations. 

Potential Migration Options: Organizations have the following options for dealing with the transition of RedHat 7.9 to Extended Life Phase: 

  • Customers can purchase the ELS Add-on for their subscriptions for RedHat 7.9 
  • Customers can migrate their workloads to RedHat 8 or 9. 

Conclusion: RedHat’s extension announcement for RedHat 7.9 is an important reminder for organizations to stay current with their software solutions to avoid any security or performance issues. Organizations using RedHat 7 based images will need to plan now to purchase an add-on for RedHat 7.9 or migrate to RedHat 8 or 9 to avoid any future disruption to their patching mechanisms. Customers can continue to leverage the Auto Guest Patching or Auto OS Image Upgrade capability after moving to a supported model from RedHat. You can follow the steps in the documentation to enable the auto patching on your assets to ensure they continue to remain secure. 

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