AIX Release and Service Strategy changes for February 2011
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The key changes are:
These changes reflect client requests for IBM to provide new fix support for individual Technology Level updates for a longer period. The intent is to reduce the administrative workload associated with maintaining AIX.
Technology Levels typically provide cumulative software fixes, new hardware support and in some cases, new functionality. For much of the history of AIX, Technology Levels (and the predecessor, Recommended Maintenance Levels) were the only way for IBM to deliver support for new hardware. Since the release strategy change in 2007, we have been able to support new hardware on already released Technology Levels via Service Pack updates. Since new hardware support was the primary driver of the Technology Level updates released in the spring of each year, we were able to eliminate those Technology Levels.
There are always variations in the release dates of Technology Level updates from year to year, so some Technology Levels will be supported for slightly more than three years. A three year service life for each Technology Level is an objective, not an absolute limit. The service life of Technology Levels will also be limited by the end of service life for the underlying AIX OS release.
These changes to provide new fix support on Technology Levels for three years start with AIX 6 Technology Level 6 and AIX 7. Earlier Technology Levels of AIX 6 (such as TL4 and TL5) will continue to have a two year new fix service life
AIX 5.3 is not included in the new release strategy changes. AIX 5.3 will be removed from marketing in April (announced April of 2010) and is transitioning to end of life. AIX 5.3 TL10 and TL11 will have two years of new fix support per the previous release strategy. TL12 is the last TL for AIX 5.3 and will transition into extended support when AIX 5.3 moves to end of service.
We also intend to reduce the number of Service Packs released to approximately four per year per AIX Technology Level. Service Pack releases are driven by new hardware releases as well as a serving as a delivery mechanism for cumulative fixes, so releasing Service Packs four times per year is an objective and not a hard limit.
All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.
Additional information on these changes can be found on the
web at http