IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policies
This page describes the IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policies. Additional details and answers to commonly asked questions regarding the IBM Software Support Lifecycle policy can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Your Success Is Our Passion—IBM Support Lifecycle Policy
For more than 100 years, IBM has offered world class support for our products in an effort to afford you maximum value from your investments. Every day, a global team of highly skilled support professionals and software developers provides technical support to our Software Subscription and Support (S&S) customers for the licensed IBM software that runs their enterprise. IBM’s ability to provide help when you need it, across your entire covered IBM software portfolio, is second to none.
Given the accelerating pace of innovation and change, it’s important to know you can rely on your most trusted vendor to be there as you manage the systems that run your business. IBM support is delivered through variety of support offerings, including your annually renewed S&S (for Passport Advantage), through SupportLine agreements, and other programs. Based on input from our clients, we’re continuing to enhance our software support offerings.
- Support Lifecycle Policies – The specific policy for your product version/release is visible on the Support Lifecycle overview page.
- Enhanced: Lifecycle policy Enhanced provides defect and non-defect product technical support for a minimum of five years from the date the product release was made generally available by IBM. Following a product’s announced End of Support date (EOS) there is the option to get support extensions for at least an additional three years for an extra charge set by IBM (enhanced ‘5+3’ support).
- Standard: Lifecycle policy Standard provides defect and non-defect product technical support for a minimum of three years from the date the product release was made generally available by IBM. Following a product’s announced End of Support date (EOS) there is the option to get support extensions for at least an additional two years for an extra charge set by IBM (Standard ‘3+2’ support).
- Continuous Delivery: Lifecycle policy Continuous Delivery provides product technical support for a minimum of two years from the date the product release was made generally available by IBM. Following a product’s announced End of Support date (EOS) there is the option to get support extensions for at least an additional year for an extra charge set by IBM (CD ‘2+1’ support). Additional details are outlined on our Continuous Delivery lifecycle page.
- Support Cycle: Lifecycle policy Support Cycle provides defect and non-defect product technical support for a period of at least two, three, or five years from the date the product release was made generally available by IBM. Identification of the base support period will be indicated by appending the support years to the end of the policy name (Support Cycle-5, Support Cycle-3, Support Cycle-2) and will be visible on our Product Lifecycle page and in our product announcements. Once an eligible product’s version/release reaches End of Support (EOS) an option may exist to purchase Extended Support and receive limited coverage for up to an additional 4 years. When an eligible product reaches EOS for the last version/release an option to purchase Sustained Support may exist to provide limited coverage for up to an additional 5 years. Products listed with Support Cycle-Other may not follow the base support period or have extended/sustained support availability. Details for those products will be found in the comments on the Product Lifecycle page and in the Product Announcement Letter.
Anything as a Service (XaaS): Although not a lifecycle policy, Anything as a Service (XaaS) support is included in the Cloud Service and provides defect and non-defect product technical support. Technical support for XaaS ends when the XaaS Cloud Service ends, either because customer’s contract has ended, or the service has been withdrawn in accordance with the IBM Cloud Services Agreement or other agreement governing customer’s XaaS service. Support extensions, Extended and Sustained Support are not available for XaaS offerings.
- Supporting ‘acquired’ products: Over the past few years, IBM has acquired a wide range of excellent software products and innovative companies – a pattern we expect to continue as we seek to provide broader and deeper solutions. Our practice is to hire the inventors, developers and support technicians who built these industry leading capabilities. Those same teams produce and support new IBM versions of these products and integrate the technology with IBM’s pre-existing products as needed. Although acquired company software products are not subject to this Policy until they become IBM branded products, we encourage you to contact your IBM sales representative if you have specific questions about a particular acquired software product. IBM takes your support needs into account when integrating acquired software products.
- Keeping you in the loop regarding support changes: We’ll continue to give customers at least 12 months of notice prior to an IBM branded product release’s EOS date and the availability of support extensions for an extra charge set by IBM. To make planning easier, we endeavor to coordinate most EOS dates to occur on 30 April or 30 September. We also plan to make it easier to understand the support implications of changes to the portfolio. For example, when we combine products into a single offering, we’ll work to explain how that affects the support you’re counting on for the products you have installed. We want you to have time to put plans in place to download new versions or decide to purchase a support extension.
- Electronic support options: The IBM Support Community is your gateway to 24×365 software support. It brings together all IBM online support resources and tools for hardware, software and services in a consistent interface that is tuned to your specific needs. IBM has developed many smart online tools and proactive features that can help you prevent problems from occurring in the first place, or quickly and easily troubleshoot problems when they occur. The Portal is free to IBM customers and a key resource for your entire IT organization as it provides extensive search capabilities, links to education resources, the ability to tailor the Portal to reflect your IBM software portfolio and access to fixes. Be sure to register online to take full advantage of all the features the Portal has to offer. Through Passport Advantage, you decide which people in your organization are authorized to submit support requests. You even identify a severity level for your support request. More and more customers prefer to submit support requests electronically—documenting questions and problems with details that go directly to skilled support specialists. Your team has direct access to support resources.
- Providing support beyond the extended lifecycle when needed: Special circumstances can delay your ability to move to new versions, perhaps even beyond the support time frame for any particular product or maybe IBM has already announced the EOS for some versions of products you use. You may be uncertain whether support will be available until you can update all your systems. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, please contact your IBM sales representative, preferably prior to the end of the existing support period for the product of interest. We want to work with you to ensure your critical business systems are supported by IBM’s unique experience and abilities. As a software customer of IBM, you should never have to feel like you’re ‘going it alone’.
For more information on IBM software support topics, check out the following resources:
- IBM Support Community
- Passport Advantage
- IBM License Information (LI) documents
- IBM Software Subscription and Support overview
- IBM product support lifecycle
Exception: Some IBM products may not adhere to the policies outlined above and will be flagged with an exception. IBM Software that is sold "as is" and products recently acquired by IBM, which may still adhere to legacy lifecycle agreements, will also be flagged.