Q: What is a Long Term Support Release (LTSR)?
A: A Long Term Support Release is a release package that will be supported for an extended period of time when compared to the Continuous Delivery update packages. An LTSR assists clients where frequent functional updates may not be practical for their environment and a longer term deployment is desirable. An LTSR will be supported for a minimum of one year after it is made generally available.
Q: What is a Continuous Delivery (CD) update package?
A: A CD update package is a release package which contains both new function and product maintenance (fixes) in one easy to install package enabling clients to keep current.
Q: How will fixes be delivered for a Continuous Delivery update package release?
A: If a fix is required for a CD update package release the aim is to deliver these fixes in the next CD update package. For urgent resolution of problems, an interim fix (iFix) or APAR fix may be provided for the two most recent CD update packages. As CD update packages contain product maintenance and function, a new CD update package release will contain fixes identified since the previous CD update package.
Q: How will fixes be delivered for a Long Term Support Release (LTSR)?
A: If a fix is required for a Long Term Support Release an interim fix (iFix) or APAR fix may be provided for a currently supported LTSR. Also, identified fixes will be shipped as PTFs or in a FixPack and made available at regular intervals so that ongoing maintenance can be applied to currently supported LTSRs.
Q: How long will a Long Term Support Release (LTSR) be supported?
A: Each product has the flexibility to state the duration of support for a Long Term Support Release. The support duration may be one to five years from the general availability date as determined by product and market requirements. The support duration will be announced by IBM as part of the product announcement.
Q: How is a client entitled to the software technical support referenced in this announcement?
A: 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 receive the maximum value for their software products and can take advantage of the CD support model.
Q: Can clients contact IBM technical support and obtain assistance even if they are not on either of the latest two CD update packages?
A: Yes, absolutely. Clients can contact IBM technical support for product technical assistance for as long as the product Version/Release has not yet reached End of Service (EOS). This support assistance is available for at least two years for all CD update packages for the product Release (for example, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, and so on). However, defects and security updates will only be provided on the latest two CD update packages.
Q: Does this announcement impact the way a client contacts IBM for support?
A: No, this announcement does not change the way a client contacts IBM for support. The client continues to submit and track problems electronically, or they may call the IBM Support Center in their geography. They can go to the IBM Support Portal to submit and manage problems. The Software Support Handbook can be found at this site which contains detailed information regarding contacting IBM for assistance.
Q: How does a client determine if the software they have installed is still supported? That is, has not reached the End of Service effective date.
A: IBM has a web site for clients to find the currently installed software and support status. The information is located at the IBM Software support lifecycle website.
Q: Do clients have to be using the latest release of a product to get support?
A: The client can receive support assistance on any version/release that is within its support lifecycle period. That is, the effective End of Service date has not been reached for that release. The client can obtain defect and security fixes, as provided by IBM, through interim fixes (iFixes) or APARs fixes on the most current two (2) CD update packages and on current Long Term Support Releases (when LTSRs are provided).
Q: Are components of a bundle included in the support policy?
A: Yes, support is available for all IBM components of a product until the product or bundle is withdrawn from support. In addition, all components of a bundle have a common End of Service (EOS) date.
Q: Are the April and September dates referenced in the announcement the months that IBM will announce products being withdrawn from support (End of Service)?
A: No, April and September are the effective dates that products will be withdrawn from support. IBM will announce the withdrawal at least six months in advance of the effective date.
Q: Does a client require a different license to install a LTSR and a CD update package?
A: No. Both types of release are covered by the license.
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