IBM Support

IBM Software Support - Continuous Delivery Lifecycle Policy

This document describes the Continuous Delivery (CD) IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy.  Additional details and answers to commonly asked questions regarding the CD policy can be found on our CD Frequently Asked Questions page.


Your Success Is Our Passion — IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy

The Continuous Delivery (CD) support model

In the cognitive era of computing, enterprises are embracing three historic technology shifts to enhance the business value they provide to their clients: big data, cloud computing and the 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 who wish to to receive new functionality and product maintenance updates more quickly, a major change in the IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy is introduced.

Effective May 24, 2016, IBM adds a new policy, known as the continuous delivery (CD) support model, for eligible, on-premise IBM software products.

Details of the IBM CD support lifecycle policy

The new CD software support lifecycle policy facilitates a consistent and predictable support experience.  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 of their software products and can take full advantage of technology upgrades and enhancements quickly, based on their business requirements.

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.

For IBM software products that are announced with the CD support model (Policy type "C"), IBM will provide the following product technical support to all clients who have active S&S, SWM, MLC, or SupportLine agreements:

  • Product technical support for a minimum of two years, which starts at the availability 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 version that is no longer supported, or with a co-requisite or prerequisite product that is no longer supported, IBM technical support may be limited to defects that can be replicated on currently supported environments.
  • New functionality, product maintenance and security updates through the release of CD update packages. Product maintenance and security updates are provided for the most recent CD update package and will be made available, upon request, for the second most recent CD update package.  If IBM identifies a security update that is made available as an interim fix they will be automatically provided for the latest CD update package and LTSR fixpack and can be provided for the earlier CD update package or any LTSR fixpack on request. New functional updates are not available to be applied to previously released CD update packages or LTSRs.
    • A LTSR, as determined by IBM, for select products where frequent functional updates may not be practical.  LTSRs include defect and security updates and are supported for at least one year.  Note: An LTSR does not follow the 2-plus-1 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.
  • A notice of software support discontinuance (End of Support) 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 software support lifecycle website. IBM will align the effective date of support discontinuance to occur on common dates, either in the month of April or September.
  • A LTSR support extension, for an additional fee, for a minimum period of one year following the product's effective End of Support 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 should contact their IBM representative.

Figure 1 - CD model example:
Continuous Delivery Example
In Figure 1, a product releases V1R1 followed by incremental updates. Some of the packages are declared Long Term Support Releases, which are supported for a longer period. When a new product release, for example V1R2, is made available the incremental updates continue on the new release stream.Products that are not announced with the CD support model will retain their existing support lifecycle policy.

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

For a full, detailed list of all Continuous Delivery software products or to verify the lifecycle dates for a specific product, refer to the IBM software support lifecycle website.

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.

Additional information and resources

For more information on IBM software support topics, please visit the following resources: