IBM MQ release types

From IBM® MQ 9.0 there are two main types of release; a Long Term Support (LTS) release and Continuous Delivery (CD) release. From IBM MQ 9.2.1, some versions of the IBM MQ Advanced certified container are Extended Update Support (EUS) releases.

The LTS and CD release models

The aim of the two main release types is to meet the requirement for delivery of new and enhanced IBM MQ functions as rapidly as possible in the next CD release, while at the same time maintaining a stable LTS release for systems that need a long term deployment of IBM MQ, and for customers who prefer this traditional option.

In general, the two release types are distinguishable by the modification number:
  • Long Term Support releases always have a modification number of zero, for example 9.1.0 and 9.2.0.
  • Continuous Delivery releases generally have a modification number that is non-zero, for example, 9.1.4, 9.1.5, and so on.

[z/OS]The only exception to this rule is on IBM MQ for z/OS®, where from IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 there is a CD release available at the same time as each LTS release, and with the same V.R.M number. That is, there is an IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 LTS release and an IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 CD release, which are functionally identical. This provides for a simpler install experience for z/OS users who want to be able to upgrade CD releases by applying PTFs to a single SMP/E install, even when crossing an LTS release boundary. You can distinguish between IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 LTS and IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 CD by looking at the CSQY000I message in the queue manager job log.

[Continuous Delivery]CD releases are made available on a regular basis, and contain functional enhancements as well as the latest set of defect fixes and security updates. Each CD release replaces the prior ones for that version of IBM MQ, so it is possible for you to skip CD releases, if a specific CD release does not contain any function that is relevant for your enterprise. Defect support for a CD release is available for 12 months from the availability of the release, or while it remains one of the two most recent CD releases, whichever is longer.

[Long Term Support]LTS releases are updated by fix packs or PTFs, which provide defect fixes and security updates in a predictable fashion. This process matches the way service has been provided on prior versions of IBM MQ. Fix packs are numbered according to a v.r.m.f scheme so, for example, the first fix pack for the IBM MQ 9.0.0 LTS release is numbered 9.0.0.1.

For more information, see IBM MQ FAQ for Long Term Support and Continuous Delivery releases.

[z/OS]

Considerations for IBM MQ for z/OS

Ordering

When ordering IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2, two separate features are offered on ShopZ. The features correspond to the LTS release and the CD release.

Both features are applicable to the same product ID (PID). It is the product ID that is licensed, so where one feature is licensed, there is entitlement to use the alternative feature if required.

When ordering the following IBM MQ for z/OS products, select the feature corresponding with either the LTS release or CD release.

If you are selecting products for inclusion in a ServerPac, it is not possible to choose both the LTS release and CD release in the same ServerPac order, because the products cannot be installed by SMP/E in the same target zone.

Installation

The LTS and CD releases are provided in separate sets of FMIDs. Note that these FMIDs cannot be installed in the same SMP/E target zone.

Where you require both the LTS and CD releases, you should:
  • Install the LTS release and CD release in separate target zones
  • Maintain separate target and distribution libraries for the two releases

As the releases use different FMIDs, it is not possible to update a CD release with maintenance for an LTS release or the other way round. Similarly, there is no way to switch a version of the product code from LTS release to CD release or the other way round.

However it is possible to switch a queue manager between the release models, for further information see Migration

Maintenance

The LTS release is serviced by the application of PTFs which provide defect fixes. Note that the PTFs resolve specific issues, and are not cumulative.

IBM provides groups of fixes in RSU levels for an LTS release.

The CD release is serviced by the application of PTFs which deliver both defect fixes and functional enhancements.

Each set of PTFs is cumulative and increases the modification level of the CD release. That is, a set of PTFs update the product and change the reported v.r.m from 9.0.1 to 9.0.2. The subsequent set of PTFs supersedes the first set, and updates the installed product to 9.0.3.

[V9.2.0 Jul 2020]The IBM MQ 9.0.x and IBM MQ 9.1.x CD releases had separate version and release dependent FMIDs. This meant, moving from 9.0.x CD to 9.1.x CD required at least one complete SMP/E install.

[V9.2.0 Jul 2020]From IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0, the CD release uses a set of FMIDs that will remain the same for all IBM MQ for z/OS releases with a version number of 9, that is, 9.2.0, 9.2.x, 9.3.0, 9.3.x and so on. This means that it is possible to continuously upgrade CD releases just by application of PTFs. For example, it is possible to go from IBM MQ 9.2.0 CD, to IBM MQ 9.2.2 CD, to IBM MQ 9.2.4 CD, to IBM MQ 9.3.0 CD, to IBM MQ 9.3.2 CD just by applying PTFs.

Migration between LTS release and CD release

There are constraints and limitations, but generally a single queue manager can be migrated from using LTS release code to CD release code or from using CD release code to LTS release code provided that the target release is higher than that in use prior to the migration.

[V9.2.0 Jul 2020][V9.2.0 Jul 2020]From IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0, it is possible to migrate back and forth between CD and LTS releases with the same V.R.M as many times as needed, and without impact on the ability to backwards migrate. For example, a queue manager can be started up at IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 LTS, shut down and started up at IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 CD, shut down and started up at IBM MQ for z/OS 9.2.0 LTS, and the other way round.

IBM MQ for z/OS has traditionally provided a fallback capability (backward migration) so that after a period of running following a migration, it is possible to fallback to the prior release.

[V9.2.0 Jul 2020][V9.2.0 Jul 2020]This capability is retained for LTS releases, and those CD releases with a modifier of 0 such as 9.2.0 CD, but is not possible when the source or target of a migration is a CD release with a non-zero modifier number, for example, 9.1.5 or 9.2.1.

The following are valid migration scenarios, and illustrate how this principle works:
Source release Destination release Notes
8.0.0 LTS 9.2.0 LTS or 9.2.0 CD Backwards migration not supported as 8.0.0 LTS is out of standard support.
9.0.0 LTS 9.2.0 LTS or 9.2.0 CD Backwards migration supported.
9.1.0 LTS 9.2.0 LTS or 9.2.0 CD Backwards migration supported.
9.1.5 CD 9.2.0 LTS or 9.2.0 CD Backwards migration not supported as source release is CD with a non-zero modifier.
[V9.2.0 Jul 2020]9.2.0 LTS or [V9.2.0 Jul 2020]9.2.0 CD 9.2.1 CD Backwards migration not supported as destination release is CD with a non-zero modifier.

Write to operator with reply CSQY041D is issued to confirm migration.

[UNIX, Linux, Windows, IBM i]

Considerations for IBM MQ for Multiplatforms

Ordering

Within Passport Advantage there are two separate eAssemblies for IBM MQ 9.2. One contains installation images for IBM MQ 9.2.0 Long Term Support release, and the other contains installation images for IBM MQ 9.2.x Continuous Delivery release.

Download installation images from the eAssembly according to your choice of release.

Alternatively, for the LTS release only, a media pack is available, containing product installation DVDs.

All IBM MQ versions, and for IBM MQ 9.2 both the LTS releases and CD releases, belong to the same Product Id.

Entitlement to use IBM MQ extends across the entire product (PID) subject to the constraints of licensed components and pricing metrics. This means that you can freely choose between LTS release and CD release installation images for IBM MQ 9.2.

Installation

Once an installation image has been downloaded from Passport Advantage, you should only select for installation the components for which you have purchased entitlement. See IBM MQ license information for further information about which installable components are included for each chargeable component.

It is possible to install IBM MQ 9.2.0 LTS release and IBM MQ 9.2.x CD release on the same operating system image.

If you do this, the components appear as separate installations, as supported by IBM MQ multi-version support. Each version has distinct sets of queue managers associated with that version.

Each new CD release is provided as an installation image. The new CD release can be installed along side an existing release, or, an earlier CD release can be updated in place by the installer to the new release.

Maintenance

The LTS release is serviced by the application of fix packs, which provide defect fixes. The fix packs are made available periodically and are cumulative.

The only maintenance provided for a CD release will be in the form of an iFix delivered to resolve a specific customer issue, if required, on the two latest CD releases, which could be on a subsequent version.

Migration between LTS release and CD release

There are constraints and limitations but, generally, a single queue manager can be migrated from using LTS release code to CD release code, or from using CD release code to LTS release code, provided that the target release is higher than that in use prior to the migration.

Two approaches are possible:
  • Install the new release of code in place so that an existing installation of IBM MQ is updated. Any queue managers associated with the installation use the new release of code when started.
  • Install the new release of code as a new installation, then move individual queue manager instances to the new installation using the setmqm command.

Once a queue manager starts running a CD release of code, the queue manager command level is updated to indicate the new release level. This means any new functions provided in the release are enabled, and it will no longer be possible to restart the queue manager using a code release with a lower v.r.m number.

[V9.2.1 Dec 2020][Extended Update Support][Continuous Delivery]

IBM MQ Advanced certified container and the EUS release model

The IBM MQ Advanced certified container is only supported when deployed using the IBM MQ Operator on the Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform. IBM MQ Advanced certified container Operators are supported for use as part of the IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration, or independently. The IBM Cloud Pak for Integration uses the Extended Update Support (EUS) release model, which provides 18 months support for each EUS release.

The IBM MQ Advanced certified container image is based on IBM MQ Continuous Delivery, and is typically supported as a CD release. However, if a certified container image is based on a version of IBM MQ marked as -eus, and the container is used as part of the IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, the container is instead supported as an EUS release.

For detailed mappings between IBM MQ Operators, IBM Cloud Pak for Integration versions, and certified container images, see Release history for IBM MQ Operator and certified containers.