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IBM MQ FAQ for Long Term Support and Continuous Delivery releases

Product documentation


Abstract

This FAQ is applicable to IBM MQ 9.0 or later releases. Starting with IBM MQ 9.0, IBM MQ is introducing the support model described below

Content


With the IBM MQ V9.0 family of products, IBM MQ introduces a Continuous Delivery (CD) support model. Following the initial release of Version 9.0, new function and enhancements will be made available by incremental updates within the same version and release, whilst there will also be a Long Term Support release available for deployments that require security and defect fixes only.
Long Term Support releases are referred to as LTSR or LTS release. Continuous Delivery releases are referred to as CDR or CD release.

For further explanation of the diagram see the Terms and Conditions section of the IBM MQ 9.0 Announcement Letter.

Q. What do you mean by LTS and CD releases?
A. LTS stands for Long Term Support. This corresponds with the way we have traditionally supported and maintained MQ. The Long Term Support release is for systems which demand the highest levels of stability - updates during the support period contain fixes to identified problems and vulnerabilities. CD stands for Continuous Delivery, the CD releases add new function to MQ on a regular cadence and are intended for customers wanting to exploit the latest features and capabilities of MQ without waiting for the next long term support release cycle. Fixes are only provided on the LTS and two most recent CD Releases.

Q. What's the frequency of LTS and CD releases?
A. The exact duration between releases is not fixed but the expected frequency is LTS releases approximately every two years and CD releases every few months.

Q. How are LTS releases numbered?
A. Using the V.R.M.F format described here a newly released LTS release is in the format X.Y.0.0, where either X or Y has been increased since the previous LTS release and the modification number and fix level are zero. Subsequent fix packs will increase the fix level.

Q. How are CD releases numbered?
CD releases are in the format X.Y.Z, where X and Y match that of the most recent LTS release, and Z (the modification number) indicates the CD delivery since the matching LTS release was delivered.

Q. Do I need a different license to install LTS or CD releases?
A. No. Both types of release are covered by the same license.

Q. Where do I obtain an LTS or CD installation?
A. LTS and CD are installed from separate installation binaries. Both types are available through Passport Advantage or ShopZ.

Q. What is the support model for an LTS release?
A. This matches the support model for previous versions and releases. An LTS release is supported for at least five years from the point that it is made generally available.

Q. What is the support model for a CD release?
A. Support of a CD release is based on the support lifetime of the related LTS release. So support for CD release X.0.3 is provided while X.0.0.0 is in support. However, for fixes see the later questions.

Q. How do I raise a problem with an LTS or CD release?
A. There is no change to how problems are raised for IBM MQ in this model. As before any problems requiring IBM investigation should have a PMR raised through the IBM support portal.

Q. How are fixes delivered for an LTS release?
A. As previously, if a fix is required for an LTS release, where possible, IBM provides an iFix or APAR fix for the level of LTS installed on your system. While an LTS release is in support, identified fixes are shipped as PTFs for z/OS or rolled up into fix packs on distributed platforms and made available at regular intervals.

Q. How are fixes delivered for a CD release?
A. If a fix is required for a CD release we aim to deliver it in the next CD or LTS release. For urgent resolution of problems, an iFix or APAR fix can only be provided for the two most recent CD releases. A new CD release contains fixes identified since the previous CD release. Much like a fix pack.

Q. Does that mean the last CD release before an LTS release also gets fixed?
The "two most recent CD releases" applies across new LTS releases. For example, if a problem is identified running on W.0.4 but a new LTS release X.0.0.0 has been delivered with subsequent CD releases X.0.1 and X.0.2, fixes can only be provided for those most recent CD releases.

Q. Can I install both LTS and CD based systems on the same OS image?
A. Yes.

Q. Can channels from LTS based systems connect with CD based systems?
A. Yes, All MQ queue managers interoperate with queue managers running at a different version, whether they're using an LTS or CD release.

Q. On z/OS, can LTS and CD based systems access the same shared queues?
A. Generally yes. From time to time we might introduce new function in an LTS or CD release which has specific restrictions.

Q. Can an MQ cluster contain both LTS and CD queue managers?
A. Yes, queue managers of different levels can interoperate in an MQ cluster. However, it might not be possible to use newer cluster capabilities only available in the version of some of the queue managers.

Q. Can an MQ cluster's full repository queue managers be from an LTS release and other queue managers at new CD releases?
A. Yes. However, if the CD queue managers intend to exploit new clustering capabilities, the full repository queue managers might also need to be upgraded. This will be a documented requirement of the feature.

Q. What features do you see in a CD release?
A. New features are delivered in each CD release. By the nature of the regular delivery, large features might be delivered across multiple CD releases, increasing the extent of the feature each time.

Q. Will new features be exactly the same from one CD release to another?
A. Potentially not. CD releases provide new capabilities as rapidly as possible, which might mean that a feature delivered in one CD release is improved in a subsequent CD release, based on further development or user feedback. This might change the external administration and behavior of a new feature. For this reason, some migration work might be required when new CD features are enabled.

Q. How do I identify if a feature is liable to change under subsequent CD releases?
A. The documentation of the feature indicates if this feature is currently only available through CD releases and therefore liable to change.

Q. Can I prevent new CD features being available on a queue manager?
A. No. All new CD features are enabled on a queue manager. Depending on the nature of the new feature it might be possible to disable it through configuration or just not use the feature, but new features are enabled and available for use by default.

Q. How does the command level (CMDLEVEL) of a queue manager change with a CD or LTS release?
A. The CMDLEVEL is automatically set to a command level that matches the installed CD or LTS release. The user cannot reduce or hold back the command level. The command level does not change between fix packs of an LTS release, for example between 9.0.0.0 and 9.0.0.4.

Q. Where do I find documentation for the LTS and CD releases?
Documentation for V9.0.0.x LTS and V9.0.x CD releases are in the same IBM MQ 9.0 section in Knowledge Center. CD and LTS content are both identified by a blue rectangular icon containing a version number.
For LTS content, the icon is dark blue and contains the LTS release and Fix Pack number. For example
For CD content, the icon is light blue and contains the CD release number. For example

Q. Are all the new features in a CD release supported?
A. Yes, if you choose to use any new feature, support is provided through the standard methods. If any fix is required it is delivered as previously described.

Q. What features do you see in an LTS release?
A. When a new LTS is released it contains versions of the features introduced in the CD releases produced on top of the previous LTS release. Occasionally, features introduced in a CD release just prior to a new LTS release might not be included in the LTS release, or might be included in a modified form.

Q. Do new features change from one LTS release to another?
A. No. After features are delivered in an LTS release every effort is made to maintain the external administration and behavior of the features available, in the same way as has been done in the past.

Q. Can I migrate a queue manager from an LTS release to a CD release?
A. You can migrate from an LTS release to a CD release at the same or higher version or release number. For example from X.0.0.4 to X.0.3

Q. For z/OS, will you provide backward migration capability after migrating from an LTS to a CD release?
A . No. After a queue manager is started using a CD release of code it enters OPMODE(NEWFUNC,) at the new CD release. Prior to moving to a CD Release consider taking a backup of the LTS installation that could be restored.

Q. For distributed platforms, will you provide backward migration capability after migrating from an LTS to a CD release?
A . No. Once queue manager data and objects have been migrated to the new CD release it is not possible to go backwards. Prior to moving to a CD Release consider taking a backup of the LTS installation that could be restored.

Q. Can I migrate a queue manager from a CD release to an LTS release?
A. You can migrate from a CD release to an LTS release at a higher version or release number. For example from X.0.3 to Y.0.0.0 (where Y>X)

Q. For z/OS, do you provide backward migration capability after migrating from a CD to an LTS release?
A . No. After a queue manager is started using a CD release of code it enters OPMODE(NEWFUNC,) at the new LTS release.

Q. Can I migrate a queue manager from one CD release to another CD release?
A. You can migrate from a CD release to another CD release at a higher version, release or modification number. For example from X.0.3 to X.0.5

Q. To migrate a queue manager do I have to move up through every CD or LTS release?
A. No. Migration is possible from any in support LTS or CD release to a later LTS or CD release.

Q. Will a queue manager previously running under one CD release run under a new CD release?
A. Yes. The queue manager can be migrated from one CD release to another along with its data. However, as already described, features provided under the earlier CD release might have been modified in the later release and some modification to the configuration or applications using the new features might be required.

Q. Will a queue manager previously running under one LTS release run under a new CD release?
A. Yes. The queue manager can be migrated from one CD release to another along with its data.

Q. Will a queue manager previously running under one CD release run under a new LTS release?
A. Yes. The queue manager can be migrated from one CD release to a later LTS release along with its data. However, as already described, features provided under the earlier CD release might have been modified in the later release and some modification to the configuration or applications using the new features might be required.

Q. Can I roll back a CD install to an earlier CD release or LTS release?
A. No. It is not possible to rollback any CD install.

Q. Can I roll back an LTS release to an earlier CD release?
A. No. It is not possible to rollback to a CD install.


Original publication date

2016/4/20

Document information

More support for: WebSphere MQ
APAR / Maintenance

Software version: 9.0

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS

Reference #: 7047919

Modified date: 14 February 2017


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