Incident and operations management

This documentation details the Red Hat responsibilities for the OpenShift Dedicated managed service.

Platform monitoring

A Red Hat Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) maintains a centralized monitoring and alerting system for all OpenShift Dedicated cluster components, SRE services, and underlying cloud provider accounts. Platform audit logs are securely forwarded to a centralized SIEM (Security Information and Event Monitoring) system, where they might trigger configured alerts to the SRE team and are also subject to manual review. Audit logs are retained in the SIEM for one year. Audit logs for a given cluster are not deleted at the time the cluster is deleted.

Incident management

An incident is an event that results in a degradation or outage of one or more Red Hat services. An incident can be raised by a customer or Customer Experience and Engagement (CEE) member through a support case, directly by the centralized monitoring and alerting system, or directly by a member of the SRE team.

Depending on the impact on the service and customer, the incident is categorized in terms of severity.

The general workflow of how a new incident is managed by Red Hat:

  1. An SRE first responder is alerted to a new incident, and begins an initial investigation.

  2. After the initial investigation, the incident is assigned an incident lead, who coordinates the recovery efforts.

  3. The incident lead manages all communication and coordination around recovery, including any relevant notifications or support case updates.

  4. The incident is recovered.

  5. The incident is documented and a root cause analysis is performed within 3 business days of the incident.

  6. A root cause analysis (RCA) draft document is shared with the customer within 7 business days of the incident.


Platform notifications are configured using email. Any customer notification is also sent to the corresponding Red Hat account team and if applicable, the Red Hat Technical Account Manager.

The following activities can trigger notifications:

  • Platform incident

  • Performance degradation

  • Cluster capacity warnings

  • Critical vulnerabilities and resolution

  • Upgrade scheduling

Backup and recovery

All OpenShift Dedicated clusters are backed up using cloud provider snapshots. Notably, this does not include customer data stored on persistent volumes. All snapshots are taken using the appropriate cloud provider snapshot APIs and are uploaded to a secure object storage bucket (S3 in AWS, and GCS in Google Cloud) in the same account as the cluster.

Component Snapshot frequency Retention Notes

Full object store backup, all SRE-managed cluster persistent volumes (PVs)


7 days

This is a full backup of all Kubernetes objects like etcd, as well as all SRE-managed PVs in the cluster.


30 days

Full object store backup


24 hour

This is a full backup of all Kubernetes objects like etcd. No PVs are backed up in this backup schedule.

Node root volume



Nodes are considered to be short-term. Nothing critical should be stored on a node’s root volume.

  • Red Hat SRE rehearses recovery processes quarterly.

  • Red Hat does not commit to any Recovery Point Objective (RPO) or Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

  • Customers should take regular backups of their data.

  • Backups performed by SRE are taken as a precautionary measure only. They are stored in the same region as the cluster.

  • Customers can access SRE backup data on request by opening a support case.

  • Red Hat highly encourages customers to deploy multi-AZ clusters with workloads that follow Kubernetes best practices to ensure high availability within a region.

  • In the event an entire cloud region is unavailable, customers must install a new cluster in a different region and restore their apps using their backup data.

Cluster capacity

Evaluating and managing cluster capacity is a responsibility that is shared between Red Hat and the customer. Red Hat SRE is responsible for the capacity of all master and infrastructure nodes on the cluster.

Red Hat SRE also evaluates cluster capacity during upgrades and in response to cluster alerts. The impact of a cluster upgrade on capacity is evaluated as part of the upgrade testing process to ensure that capacity is not negatively impacted by new additions to the cluster. During a cluster upgrade, additional worker nodes are added to make sure that total cluster capacity is maintained during the upgrade process.

Capacity evaluations by SRE staff also happen in response to alerts from the cluster, once usage thresholds are exceeded for a certain period of time. Such alerts can also result in a notification to the customer.

Change management

Cluster changes are initiated in one of two ways:

  • A customer initiates changes through self-service capabilities like cluster deployment, worker node scaling, and cluster deletion.

  • An SRE initiates a change through Operator-driven capabilities like configuration, upgrade, patching, or configuration changes.

Change history is captured in the Cluster History section in OpenShift Cluster Manager (OCM) Overview tab and is available to customers. This includes logs from the following changes:

  • Adding or removing identity providers

  • Adding or removing users to/from the dedicated-admins group

  • Scaling the cluster compute nodes

  • Scaling the cluster load balancer

  • Scaling the cluster persistent storage

  • Upgrading the cluster

SRE-initiated changes that require manual intervention generally follow the below procedure:

  • Preparing for change

    • Change characteristics are identified and a gap analysis against current state is performed.

    • Change steps are documented and validated.

    • Communication plan and schedule is shared with all stakeholders.

    • CICD and end-to-end tests are updated to automate change validation.

    • Change request capturing change details is submitted for management approval.

  • Managing change

    • Automated nightly CI/CD jobs pick up the change and run tests.

    • The change is made to integration and stage environments, and manually validated before updating the customer cluster.

    • Major change notifications are sent before and after the event.

  • Reinforcing the change

    • Feedback on the change is collected and analyzed.

    • Potential gaps are diagnosed in order to understand resistance and automate similar change requests.

    • Corrective actions are implemented.

SREs consider manual changes a failure and this is only used as a fallback process.

Configuration management

The infrastructure and configuration of the OpenShift Dedicated environment is managed as code. Red Hat SRE manages changes to the OpenShift Dedicated environment using a GitOps workflow and automated CI/CD pipeline.

Each proposed change undergoes a series of automated verifications immediately upon check-in. Changes are then deployed to a staging environment where they undergo automated integration testing. Finally, changes are deployed to the production environment. Each step is fully automated.

An authorized SRE reviewer must approve advancement to each step. The reviewer might not be the same individual who proposed the change. All changes and approvals are fully auditable as part of the GitOps workflow.

Patch management

OpenShift Container Platform software and the underlying immutable Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) operating system image are patched for bugs and vulnerabilities as a side effect of regular z-stream upgrades. Read more about RHCOS architecture in the OpenShift Container Platform documentation.

Release management

OpenShift Dedicated clusters are upgraded as frequently as weekly to ensure that the latest security patches and bug fixes are applied to OpenShift Dedicated clusters.

Patch-level upgrades, also referred to as z-stream upgrades (for example, 4.3.18 to 4.3.19), are automatically deployed on Tuesdays. New z-stream releases are tested nightly with automated OpenShift Dedicated integration testing and released only once validated in the OSD environment.

Minor version upgrades, also referred to as y-stream upgrades (for example, 4.3 to 4.4), are coordinated with customers by email notification.

Customers can review the history of all cluster upgrade events in their OCM web console.

Identity and access management

Most access by Red Hat site reliability engineering (SRE) teams is done by using cluster Operators through automated configuration management.


For a list of the available subprocessors, see the Red Hat Subprocessor List on the Red Hat Customer Portal.

SRE access to all OpenShift Dedicated clusters

SREs access OpenShift Dedicated clusters through a proxy. The proxy mints a service account in an OpenShift Dedicated cluster for the SREs when they log in. As no identity provider is configured for OpenShift Dedicated clusters, SREs access the proxy by running a local web console container. SREs do not access the cluster web console directly. SREs must authenticate as individual users to ensure auditability. All authentication attempts are logged to a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system.

Privileged access controls in OpenShift Dedicated

Red Hat SRE adheres to the principle of least privilege when accessing OpenShift Dedicated and public cloud provider components. There are four basic categories of manual SRE access:

  • SRE admin access through the Red Hat Customer Portal with normal two-factor authentication and no privileged elevation.

  • SRE admin access through the Red Hat corporate SSO with normal two-factor authentication and no privileged elevation.

  • OpenShift elevation, which is a manual elevation using Red Hat SSO. It is fully audited and management approval is required for every operation SREs make.

  • Cloud provider access or elevation, which is a manual elevation for cloud provider console or CLI access. Access is limited to 60 minutes and is fully audited.

Each of these access types has different levels of access to components:

Component Typical SRE admin access (Red Hat Customer Portal) Typical SRE admin access (Red Hat SSO) OpenShift elevation Cloud provider access

OpenShift Cluster Manager (OCM)


No access

No access

No access

OpenShift web console

No access



No access

Node operating system

No access

A specific list of elevated OS and network permissions.

A specific list of elevated OS and network permissions.

No access

AWS Console

No access

No access, but this is the account used to request cloud provider access.

No access

All cloud provider permissions using the SRE identity.

SRE access to cloud infrastructure accounts

Red Hat personnel do not access cloud infrastructure accounts in the course of routine OpenShift Dedicated operations. For emergency troubleshooting purposes, Red Hat SRE have well-defined and auditable procedures to access cloud infrastructure accounts.

In AWS, SREs generate a short-lived AWS access token for the BYOCAdminAccess user using the AWS Security Token Service (STS). Access to the STS token is audit logged and traceable back to individual users. The BYOCAdminAccess has the AdministratorAccess IAM policy attached.

In Google Cloud, SREs access resources after being authenticated against a Red Hat SAML identity provider (IDP). The IDP authorizes tokens that have time-to-live expirations. The issuance of the token is auditable by corporate Red Hat IT and linked back to an individual user.

Red Hat support access

Members of the Red Hat CEE team typically have read-only access to parts of the cluster. Specifically, CEE has limited access to the core and product namespaces and does not have access to the customer namespaces.

Role Core namespace Layered product namespace Customer namespace Cloud infrastructure account*

OpenShift SRE

Read: All

Write: Very

Limited [1]

Read: All

Write: None

Read: None[2]

Write: None

Read: All [3]

Write: All [3]


Read: All

Write: None

Read: All

Write: None

Read: None[2]

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Customer administrator

Read: None

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Read: All

Write: All

Read: Limited[4]

Write: Limited[4]

Customer user

Read: None

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Read: Limited[5]

Write: Limited[5]

Read: None

Write: None

Everybody else

Read: None

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Read: None

Write: None

Cloud Infrastructure Account refers to the underlying AWS or Google Cloud account

  1. Limited to addressing common use cases such as failing deployments, upgrading a cluster, and replacing bad worker nodes.

  2. Red Hat associates have no access to customer data by default.

  3. SRE access to the cloud infrastructure account is a "break-glass" procedure for exceptional troubleshooting during a documented incident.

  4. Customer administrator has limited access to the cloud infrastructure account console through Cloud Infrastructure Access.

  5. Limited to what is granted through RBAC by the customer administrator, as well as namespaces created by the user.

Customer access

Customer access is limited to namespaces created by the customer and permissions that are granted using RBAC by the customer administrator role. Access to the underlying infrastructure or product namespaces is generally not permitted without cluster-admin access. More information on customer access and authentication can be found in the Understanding Authentication section of the documentation.

Access approval and review

New SRE user access requires management approval. Separated or transferred SRE accounts are removed as authorized users through an automated process. Additionally, SRE performs periodic access review including management sign-off of authorized user lists.

Security and regulation compliance

Security and regulation compliance includes tasks, such as the implementation of security controls and compliance certification.

Data classification

Red Hat defines and follows a data classification standard to determine the sensitivity of data and highlight inherent risk to the confidentiality and integrity of that data while it is collected, used, transmitted stored, and processed. Customer-owned data is classified at the highest level of sensitivity and handling requirements.

Data management

OpenShift Dedicated uses cloud provider services to help securely manage keys for encrypted data (AWS KMS and Google Cloud KMS). These keys are used for control plane data volumes which are encrypted by default. Persistent volumes for customer applications also use these cloud services for key management.

When a customer deletes their OpenShift Dedicated cluster, all cluster data is permanently deleted, including control plane data volumes, customer application data volumes (PVs), and backup data.

Vulnerability management

Red Hat performs periodic vulnerability scanning of OpenShift Dedicated using industry standard tools. Identified vulnerabilities are tracked to their remediation according to timelines based on severity. Vulnerability scanning and remediation activities are documented for verification by third-party assessors in the course of compliance certification audits.

Network security

Firewall and DDoS protection

Each OpenShift Dedicated cluster is protected by a secure network configuration at the cloud infrastructure level using firewall rules (AWS Security Groups or Google Cloud Compute Engine firewall rules). OpenShift Dedicated customers on AWS are also protected against DDoS attacks with AWS Shield Standard.

Private clusters and network connectivity

Customers can optionally configure their OpenShift Dedicated cluster endpoints (web console, API, and application router) to be made private so that the cluster control plane or applications are not accessible from the Internet.

For AWS, customers can configure a private network connection to their OpenShift Dedicated cluster through AWS VPC peering, AWS VPN, or AWS Direct Connect.

At this time, private clusters are not supported for OpenShift Dedicated clusters on Google Cloud.

Cluster network access controls

Fine-grained network access control rules can be configured by customers per project by using NetworkPolicy objects and the OpenShift SDN.

Penetration testing

Red Hat performs periodic penetration tests against OpenShift Dedicated. Tests are performed by an independent internal team using industry standard tools and best practices.

Any issues that are discovered are prioritized based on severity. Any issues found belonging to open source projects are shared with the community for resolution.


OpenShift Dedicated follows common industry best practices for security and controls. The certifications are outlined in the following table.

Table 1. Security and control certifications for OpenShift Dedicated
Certification OpenShift Dedicated on AWS OpenShift Dedicated on GCP

ISO 27001






SOC 2 Type 2






Additional resources

Disaster recovery

OpenShift Dedicated provides disaster recovery for failures that occur at the pod, worker node, infrastructure node, master node, and availability zone levels.

All disaster recovery requires that the customer use best practices for deploying highly available applications, storage, and cluster architecture (for example, single-zone deployment vs. multi-zone deployment) to account for the level of desired availability.

One single-zone cluster will not provide disaster avoidance or recovery in the event of an availability zone or region outage. Multiple single-zone clusters with customer-maintained failover can account for outages at the zone or region levels.

One multi-zone cluster will not provide disaster avoidance or recovery in the event of a full region outage. Multiple multi-zone clusters with customer-maintained failover can account for outages at the region level.