IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy is enhanced with a continuous delivery support model for eligible, on-premise IBM software products

IBM United States Software Announcement 216-269
May 24, 2016

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In the cognitive era of computing, enterprises embrace three historic technology shifts to enhance the business value that are provided their clients:

  • Big data
  • Cloud computing
  • Combination of social and mobile
At the same time, the pace of business model innovation continues to accelerate to drive an increasing need and pace for delivery of new function. To assist enterprises to receive function and product maintenance more quickly, a major change in the IBM® Software Support Lifecycle Policy is introduced.

Effective immediately, IBM adds a new policy, known as the continuous delivery (CD) support model, for eligible, on-premise IBM software products.

The new support model is implemented as follows:

  • The CD support model allows eligible, on-premise IBM products to make new function available more frequently. It is understood that frequent releases of the model may not be suitable for all client application environments. In those cases, some IBM products may offer a Long Term Support Release (LTSR) option.
  • An LTSR is supported for a longer period of time, to assist clients where frequent functional updates may not be practical and a longer term deployment is more suitable. IBM may elect to declare any CD update package an LTSR.
  • Both new function and product maintenance will be made available in a single, easy-to-install CD update package.
  • Clients should stay current with the installation of CD update and LTSR packages to obtain the latest product maintenance and new function. Product defect fixes and security updates are only available for the two, most current CD update packages and all active LTSRs. If required, individual product fixes can be made available between CD update packages for resolution of problems.
  • CD update packages are delivered on the latest product release stream when the new product release becomes available.
  • New functional updates are not available to previously released CD update packages and LTSRs.
  • Support is available for all IBM components of a product until the product is withdrawn from support. IBM expects clients will upgrade to either the latest CD update package or LTSR in order to receive on-going security updates and defect fixes.
  • Support extensions are available, for a minimum period of one year for an additional fee, following the effective support discontinuance date of the product.

The new Software Support Lifecycle Policy delivers a consistent and predictable availability of support. Clients will continue to receive the same world-class support and assistance that they are accustomed to from IBM. This support is included in the standard Software Subscription and Support (S&S), Software Maintenance (SWM), or Monthly License Charge (MLC) charges for the eligible product.

By maintaining a current S&S, SWM, MLC, or SupportLine agreement, clients will receive the maximum value for their software products and can take advantage of the CD support model.

With the CD support model, IBM will deliver product technical support for at least two years, which starts at the availability of a new product version or release. IBM will also offer an optional, fee-based support extension for at least one additional year. This model is referred to as a 2 plus 1 (2+1) policy. This is a significant change from the existing Standard (3+2) and Enhanced (5+3) IBM software support policies. The existing Standard and Enhanced policies are not impacted by this announcement and will continue to be available. By maintaining S&S, SWM, or MLC on their IBM software, clients receive the maximum value of their software products and can take full advantage of technology upgrades and enhancements quickly, based on their business requirements.



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May 24, 2016



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For eligible IBM software products that are announced with the CD support model, IBM will provide the following product technical support to all clients who have active S&S, SWM, MLC, or SupportLine agreements.

  • Provide at least two years of product technical support, which starts at the availability date of the product version or release. This technical support applies only to the IBM licensed product and its components. If the product runs on an operating system release that is no longer supported, or with a corequisite or prerequisite product that is no longer supported, IBM technical support may be limited to defects that can be replicated on currently supported environments.
  • Make support available for all IBM components of a product until the product is withdrawn from support. IBM expects that clients will upgrade to either the latest CD update package or LTSR in order to receive on-going security updates and defect fixes.
  • Provide an LTSR, as determined by IBM, for selected products where clients may need to update their environments less frequently. LTSRs include defect and security updates and are supported for at least one year. Note: An LTSR does not follow the 2 plus1 policy; however, details of the LTSR, which include the minimum period of time for which support is provided, will be made available in advance of its release date. Clients should refer to the appropriate product page or contact their IBM representative to learn if an LTSR is available for their specific products.
  • Provide new functionality, security updates, and defect fixes through CD update packages. It is the expectation of IBM that clients will upgrade to either the latest CD update package or LTSR to receive on-going, security updates and defect fixes.
  • Provide additional support (fixes), as determined by IBM, through individual product fixes on the most current two CD update packages and on current LTSRs, when LTSRs are provided.
  • Publish a notice of software support discontinuance (end of service) for a product version and release at least six months before the effective date. The support periods for products that are affected by this announcement can be found on the IBM Support Lifecycle website.
  • Align the effective date of support discontinuance to occur on common dates, either in the month of April or September.
  • Make support extensions available, for an additional fee, for a minimum period of one year following the product's effective support discontinuance date. Support extensions are designed to allow migration to the current release to be completed successfully. For additional information on product technical support extensions beyond the one-year minimum period, clients contact their IBM representative.

Products that are not announced with the CD support model will retain their existing support lifecycle policy.

IBM reserves the right to modify this policy at any time and will communicate any modification and exceptions with a product announcement, a general policy announcement, a support flash, or other form of IBM announcement.

For a full, detailed list of all products that are using the CD support model and to verify the lifecycle dates for a specific product, see the IBM Support Lifecycle website.

Additional information regarding this new support lifecycle policy, which includes questions and answers, can be found on the IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy website.

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