Clusters, as elements of the infrastructure, usually have different requirements.

A production cluster, unlike a development cluster, has higher reliability requirements. Frequent updates and changes to components are undesirable on a productive cluster. Components should be tested as much as possible.

We use five release channels.
Note! The cluster does not use any release channel.
Rock Solid
The most stable release channel and recommended for usage in critical environments with tight SLA
Is mostly safe and we encourage you to use this version everywhere
Early Access
Recommended release channel. Is mostly safe and can be used in non-critical environments or for local development
For more broad testing of new features to catch regressions
The least stable release channel but with the most frequent appearance of new versions. Can bring new features but can be unstable.

Deckhouse can “soft” switch between release channels using the deckhouse module: it is enough to specify the desired release channel in the configuration.