CLOUDERA PLATFORM SUPPORT POLICY

This document describes Cloudera’s platform support and communication policy.

The Cloudera Platform Support Policy aims to provide customers, partners, users, as well as Cloudera-internal stakeholders clear guidance on what platforms we support and what our policies are for adding, deprecating, and dropping support.

In this document we cover the support policies for Operating Systems (OS), Java Development Kits (JDK), Databases (DB), Cloud platforms, and File formats.


Definitions

In this document supported platforms refer to the OSs, JDKs, Databases, File formats and Cloud platforms which you can install, deploy, use and run CDH and CM with and for which Cloudera provides production support.

CDH stands for Cloudera’s Distribution including Apache Hadoop, and refers to all the projects (e.g. Hue, Hive, MapReduce, Search, Impala, etc) integrated into our distribution, as well as related supported projects through the partner innovation program, such as Spark.

CM stands for Cloudera Manager, and includes for simplicity Cloudera Navigator and BDR in this context.

A major Cloudera release refers to CDH/CM 4.0, CDH/CM 5.0, CDH/CM 6.0, and so on. While the a Cloudera release lifecycle refers to CDH/CM 4.x, CDH/CM 5.x, CDH/CM 6.x, and so on.

A minor Cloudera release refers to CDH 4.2 / CM 4.5, CDH 5.1 / CM 5.1, and so on.

To provide a sustainable and clear support model supported OS release are divided into TIERs. The TIERs reflect the uptake among our customers and the market in general. There are currently three TIERs:

  • TIER 1: RHEL, OEL, and CentOS

  • TIER 2: SuSE and Ubuntu (LTS only)

  • TIER 3: Other Linux (Scientific, …) and Debian, also RHEL and CentOS in SE Linux configured to ‘enforced’ mode

A major JDK release refers to JDK 1.6, JDK 1.7, etc.

A minor JDK release refers to JDK 1.6_23, JDK 1.7_11, etc.


We define a major database release as the branch or branches that are actively developed and added features to:

  • Oracle DB major releases are defined on the major release number: e.g. 10_0 vs 11_0

  • MySQL DB major releases are defined on the minor release number: e.g. 5.1 vs 5.5 vs 5.6

  • Postgres DB major releases are defined on the minor release number: 9.1 vs 9.2

A minor database release is followingly the “dot” or “double dot” release of the major release.


OS PLATFORM SUPPORT

Information on what OS releases are supported for a CDH/CM release can be found in the supported platforms documentation at any point in time.


When do we add support for new major OS release?

We add support for new major OS release when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers.

Support for new major OS release can be added to major or minor Cloudera releases.We only add support for a new OS release if there are no security vulnerabilities or other significant production issues known or found in our testing. If issues are known or discovered, we will wait with adding support until necessary patches addressing the issue are provided by the OS vendor.


How many concurrent major OS releases do we support?

For every Cloudera major release and release lifecycle we will at minimum support 2 major OS releases for TIER 1 and at least one major OS release for TIER 2 and TIER 3.


When do we drop support for major OS releases?

Support for major OS releases can only be dropped in a Cloudera major release.

For a supported major OS release there will be a deprecation announcement at least 6 months ahead of support being dropped.

We can suspend support for a major OS release at any point in time if a security vulnerability or significant production issue is discovered in the OS. We will enable support for that OS release again once patches addressing the issue are provided by the OS vendor.


When do we add support for new minor OS releases?

We add support for new minor OS releases when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers.

Support for new minor OS releases can be added to Cloudera major or minor releases.

We only add support for a new OS release if there are no security vulnerabilities or other significant production issues known. If there are known issues, we will wait with adding support until necessary patches addressing the issue have been provided by the OS vendor.


When do we drop support for minor OS releases?

A supported minor OS release will remain supported throughout a Cloudera major release lifecycle.

Support for minor OS releases can only be dropped in a Cloudera major release.

We can suspend support for a minor OS release at any point in time if a security vulnerability or significant production issue is discovered in the OS release. We will enable support for that OS release again once patches addressing the issue are provided by the OS vendor.


Can customers have multiple OS releases deployed for the same Cloudera cluster?

All CDH nodes that makes up a logical cluster needs to run on the same major OS release to be covered by Cloudera Support.

CM needs to run on the same OS release as one of the CDH clusters it manages, to be covered by Cloudera Support.

The risk for issues from running different minor OS releases are assessed as lesser than the risk of running different major OS releases. But our recommendation is to run the same minor release cross-cluster as it simplifies issue tracking, supportability, etc.


When do we add support for a new OS distribution?

We add support for new OS distribution when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers.

The policy is the same as for adding support for a new major OS release.


JAVA PLATFORM SUPPORT

Information on what JDK releases are supported for a Cloudera release can be found in the supported platforms documentation at any point in time.


When do we add support for new major JDK releases?

We add support for deploying a Cloudera release with a new major JDK release when it is supported on the TIER 1 and TIER 2 supported OS releases, and when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers.

We only add support for a new major JDK release if there are no security vulnerabilities or other known significant production issues. If there are known issues, we will wait with adding support until necessary patches addressing the issue have been provided by the JDK vendor.


When do we add support for new major Java releases?

Adding support for new major Java language spec release follows the support policy of adding support for new major JDK releases, i.e. when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers to utilize new Java spec functionality.

If custom applications on Cloudera’s platform depends on new Java specification functionality or on JDK internal optimizations for such, the custom application needs to be compiled with the JDK release supporting the newer functionality, and Cloudera’s platform should also be deployed with the same JDK version.

Hence, once Cloudera’s platform supports the new major JDK release, running applications compiled with the same new major JDK releases are supported.

Exceptions of new spec functionality supported will be listed in the Release Notes under Known Issues, if any.


When do we drop support for JDK major releases?

We can only drop support for major JDK versions in major Cloudera releases.

Prior to dropping support of a major JDK release, we support it in a deprecated state for a Cloudera release lifecycle. An announcement around deprecation will be delivered at the time of deprecation. It will also be stated in Cloudera release documentation and supported platform documentation.


When do we add support for minor JDK releases?

For every minor Cloudera release, we will evaluate adding support for the latest available minor JDK release (for non-deprecated JDK releases). There is no commitment to add support for minor releases as they become available, but the aim is to continuously move forward and add support for selected and stable newer minor JDK releases, as they become supported on supported OS releases and pass internal testing.

The supported minor JDK releases will be listed in our Cloudera release documentation and supported platforms documentation.


When do we drop support for JDK minor release versions?

A supported minor JDK release will remain supported throughout a Cloudera major release lifecycle, from the time of support addition forward.

Support for minor JDK releases can only be dropped in a Cloudera major release.

We can suspend support for a JDK release at any point in time if a security vulnerability or significant production issue is discovered in the JDK release. We will enable support for a subsequent minor release, once patches addressing the issue are provided by the JDK vendor.


What about security patches?

We support the latest JDK releases with security patches that affect CDH or CM upon Oracle’s release..


Note: most Java security patches released by Oracle only affect the client side Java. Hence, they are therefore not deemed as a significant production issue for Cloudera releases. No special patching and certification will be required in those cases for Cloudera server side deployments.


Can customers have different JDK releases deployed for the same Cloudera cluster?

Running CDH nodes within the same cluster on different JDK releases is a non-supported configuration. For supportability, the JDK release across a cluster needs to match to the patch level.

CM needs to run on the same JDK release as one of the CDH clusters it manages, to be covered by Cloudera Support.


When does CM switch preferred JDK to install and deploy on?

We change preferred deployment JDK only in major Cloudera releases and when the major JDK release has been supported for at least 6 months, to enable customers a safe and timely upgrade window.

We do not switch preferred JDK in minor Cloudera releases. However, we can add support in CM in minor Cloudera releases for optionally deploying CDH with a newer major JDK release.


When do we add support for a new JDK?

We add support for new JDK when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers.

The policy is the same as for adding support for a new major JDK release.


DB PLATFORM SUPPORT

Information on what DB releases are supported for a Cloudera release can be found in the supported platforms documentation at any point in time. What DB support in this context means is the DBs we support for the components in CDH that depends on a DB installed, e.g. Cloudera Manager, Hive, Hue, etc. We do not refer to DB support as external data sources to the Data Hub.


When do we add a major DB release?

We add support for a major DB release when there is significant demand in the market and among our customers, and only when the release is supported by the Cloudera supported TIER 1 and TIER 2 OS releases.

We only add support for a new major DB release if there are no security vulnerabilities or other known significant production issues. If there are known issues, we will wait with adding support until necessary patches addressing the issue have been provided by the DB vendor.


When do we drop support for a major DB version?

We can only drop support for major DB releases in major Cloudera releases.

Prior to dropping support of a major DB release, we support it in a deprecated state for a Cloudera release lifecycle. An announcement around deprecation will be delivered at the time of deprecation. It will also be stated in Cloudera release documentation and supported platform documentation.

We cannot drop support for a major DB version, if it is the only remaining supported version for a still Cloudera-supported OS.


When do we add support for a minor DB release?

For every minor Cloudera release, we will evaluate adding support for the latest available minor DB release (for non-deprecated DB releases). There is no commitment to add support for minor releases as they become available, but the aim is to continuously move forward and add support for selected and stable newer minor DB releases, as they become supported on supported OS releases and pass internal testing.

The supported minor DB releases will be listed in our Cloudera release documentation and supported platforms documentation.


NOTE: In general, and in our experience, there is very little risk between minor releases of the open source databases. Meaning, for a supported major Postgres or MySQL version, it would be expected that all minor releases, e.g. 8.4.x or 5.5.x, would work just fine.


Can customers have different DB releases or DBs from different vendors deployed for the same Cloudera cluster?

We strongly recommend homogeneous DB deployment across the cluster, for simplicity and supportability.


NOTE: Having different vendors should in principle be fine. However, deploying the same vendor DB, but different versions, might cause complication as it would mean loading different versions of the JDBC driver in the same process space, in some cases. If this deployment is absolutely necessary, the drivers need to be backwards compatible.


When do we add support for a new DB vendor?

If there is significant demand in the market and among our customers we will add support for a new DB.

The policy is the same as for adding a new major DB release.


FILE FORMAT SUPPORT

Information on what file format releases are supported for a Cloudera release can be found in the supported platforms documentation at any point in time.


When do we add support for a new file format?

If there is significant demand in the market and among our customers, or if new innovations require optimized new file formats, we will add support for new file formats to our product roadmap.


When do we drop support for a new file format?

There is currently not any foreseeable need or reason to ever drop support for a file format. We have never dropped support for a file format so far.

In the very unlikely event of dropping support we would only do it in a major Cloudera release and announced deprecation for at least two entire major Cloudera release lifecycle.

Deprecation will be separately announced at the time of deprecation. Tools and guidelines will be provided in such case for how to best migrate and convert.


When do we upgrade file format versions?

We do on occasion move forward with newer versions of file formats as they become available, e.g. Avro, Parquet, etc.

We do not move forward with file format upgrades in minor releases, we only allow minimal bug fixes.

All upgrades need to be backwards compatible, even in major Cloudera releases.