Overview and Definitions
The Lifecycle Policy establishes a clear and predictable policy for product maintenance, product support and product end-of-life of 128 Technology’s software products. The policy is intended to enable 128 Technology customers and partners to align their deployment plans and understand service levels throughout the entire lifecycle of or software products.
For the purpose of the policy, the following definitions apply:
Maintenance: Maintenance includes problem resolution through product code changes delivered via patch releases.
Support: Support is TAC support and includes technical assistance, general troubleshooting of issues and resolution through known workarounds.
Major Release: A Major Release is a version of 128 Technology software and is distinguished by the X in the release number X.Y.Z. (e.g. 2.0.0)
Minor Release: A Minor Release is a version of 128 Technology software and is distinguished by the Y in the release number X.Y.Z. (e.g. 2.1.0)
Patch Release: A Patch Release is a release of 128T software that includes product code changes to address problems. (e.g. 2.1.1)
End-of-Maintenance (EOM) date: The end-of-maintenance date is the date after which 128 Technology will no longer provide Maintenance services for a software release or product.
Last Date of Support (LDOS): The Last Date of Support (LDOS) is the last date to receive 128 Technology Support services for a Software Release that is EOM.
End-of-Life Notification (EOLN): The EOLN is provided by 128 Technology to notify customers and partners that a product that is planned to reach its End-of-Life date in the near future.
The End-of-Life (EOL): End-of-Life means that the product release in question has reached the end of its “useful lifespan”. After the EOL date, 128 Technology will no longer provide support services for the release of the product. In most cases the EOL date coincides with the Last Date of Support (LDOS) for the release of the product.
General Availability (GA): Software is available for purchase, has proven to be reliable, free of critical bugs and is suitable for usage in production systems.
Limited Availability (LA): Software is under controlled access and is not available to the general population. LA software is covered under support and maintenance.
N: Refers to the current major release of software.
Lifecycle Support Policy
This lifecycle support policy covers the lifecycle, milestones, maintenance and support phases for Software Releases of active products as well as products becoming end-of-life.
128 Technology will provide maintenance services for at least the two most recent major releases (N and N-1). Maintenance services will be provided for at least one year from GA date of the all major releases. The N-2 release (and all minor releases that belong to it) reaches its EOM date upon the GA of a new major release. The LDOS of a major release is 6 months from its EOM date.
If the current GA version of software is 4.3.3, 4.X and the latest 3.X are supported under maintenance.
128 Technology will provide maintenance services for minor releases for 6 months from the date the minor release becomes GA or three months after the GA of a subsequent minor release, whichever is longer. The last minor release of a major release stream shares the EOM date of the major release. The LDOS of a minor release is 6 months from its EOM date.
Lifecycle Support Policy in Action
The above figure illustrates the policy in action. Major Release streams are shown releasing on an annual cadence (in practice release cadence is not fixed). Each Major Release stream is comprised of an initial release (e.g. 1.0.0) followed multiple Minor (feature) Releases that are released on a more frequent basis. Minor releases do not introduce major changes (e.g. architectural, compatibility, operating system) and as such, upgrades to feature releases of the same Major Release stream pose little risk.
The illustration shows an effective Major Release maintenance lifespan of 2 years plus 6 months of post-maintenance support services. As the 128T policy commits to provide maintenance services for at least the 2 most recent Major Releases, the 1.X.X release stream (represented by Release 1.5.0, the last Minor Release of the stream) becomes EOM upon the GA of Release 3.0.
The illustration also shows a minimum maintenance life of a Minor release (including the initial release of a Major Release stream) of 6 months plus an additional 6 months of support services (see 1.0.0 through 1.4.0). The final Minor Release of a stream may have a significantly longer maintenance life aligned with our Major Release support policy. For example, in the illustration, the final 1.X.X release, Minor Release 1.5.0 has a maintenance life of 18 months plus 6 months of support services.
Extended Maintenance & Support
Extended maintenance and support may be available for certain releases after EOM. To request extended maintenance for a release, customers and partners should contact a 128 Technology sales representative. In order to receive Extended Maintenance and Support, you must also maintain active subscriptions for the products in question for the duration of the extended maintenance and support period.
For products going EOL, 128 Technology will communicate an End-of-Life Notification (EOLN) at least 90 days prior to a product’s EOS date. EOS does not apply to incremental software releases of an active product. The EOM date will be at least 12 months from EOS. The LDOS (and effective EOL date) shall be at least one year from the EOM date.
128 Technology is committed to providing the highest quality software with each release. In addition to creating new features and functions for the 128T Networking Platform, Critical Vulnerability Exposures (CVE) are continuously evaluated and addressed in accordance with our security policy. In many cases, CVEs exist in the operating system's libraries, binaries and kernel. Addressing these vulnerabilities requires upgrading direct or indirect dependences of the 128T from upstream repositories. In some cases, this requires upgrading the kernel or even the version of OS distribution, which no longer qualifies as a patch and necessitates an increment to a minor or major version of software.