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Spok Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Support Policy

Systems Impacted 

Impact: Medium

Spōk Smart Suite 5.x

Overview

On March 31, 2017 Red Hat Linux version 5 (RHEL 5) transitioned from the Production Phase 3 into the Extended Life Phase.  Similarly to how Microsoft, and Spōk, handles the end of mainstream product support Red Hat offers the option for customers to purchase for a period of time.  Red Hat calls this Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS).

Red Hat ELS is obtained through the purchase of an annual, renewable, contract.  ELS provides the same level of support that a customer would have received during the Production Phase 3 of the product’s lifecycle.  According to Red Hat:

“The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On (ELS) is an offering that provides extended support once a product is retired and has entered the Extended Life Phase allowing customers to continue to receive critical impact security fixes and selected urgent priority bug fixes on a specific major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux from the end of its regular life cycle for an extended, defined period of time. ELS is only applicable to the last minor release of the given major release.”  Red Hat support under ELS is identical to that under Production Phase 3.  ELS for REHL 5 ends November 30, 2020.

Because Spōk recognized that they realized they put customers in a security bind by not supporting Red Hat 7 (RHEL 7) prior to RHEL 5 exiting Production Phase 3 Spōk has purchased ELS licenses for each of the active Smart Suite customers, customers who are current on their maintenance contracts.  Because the ELS licenses are annual Spōk will continue to purchase support annually through the November 2020 timeframe.

Remediation

Spōk encourages our Smart Suite customers to begin the planning process to upgrade to Care Connect version 1.9 or later in order to obtain the added security features provided by RHEL 7 (e.g. TLS 1.2 and beyond), as well as the stability of the newer product.  RHEL 7 is currently scheduled to transition to ELS in Summer 2024.