IBM Support

Spectrum Virtualize Family of Products Upgrade Planning

Question & Answer


Question

How can I determine which software release to use when planning to upgrade my Spectrum Virtualize systems?

Answer

From version 8.4, IBM has transitioned to a new Continuous Development release model to make it easier for clients to determine which is most suitable for them.  
Releases are now divided into two branches:
Long Term Support (LTS)
  • Contains new functionality in addition to all functionality introduced in previous LTS and Non-LTS releases.
  • Plan for quarterly fix packs (PTFs) but no new functionality will be added, to deliver maximum stability.
  • Plan for one LTS release every 1-2 years.
  • Identified by zero as the third digit of the release number (e.g. 8.4.0.0).
  • IBM expects most clients to run the LTS branch.
  • Select this branch if stability is the priority.

Non-Long Term Support (Non-LTS)
  • Contains new functionality in addition to all functionality introduced in previous LTS and Non-LTS releases.
  • Will not receive regular fix packs.  Fixes for issues introduced in a Non-LTS release will be delivered in a subsequent Non-LTS or LTS release.
  • Plan for multiple Non-LTS releases per year.
  • Identified by a non-zero as the third digit of the release number (e.g. 8.4.1.0).
  • To upgrade to a Non-LTS, a system must already be running a previous release (LTS or Non-LTS) on the same version.  For example, to upgrade to 8.4.2 the system must be running 8.4.0.x or 8.4.1.  To upgrade from 8.4.2 to 8.5.2, the system must first be upgraded to 8.5.0.x.
  • Select this branch if new functionality is the priority.

Further information about this new release model can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page: 

https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6409554
 



In the following tables, the levels shown under the Minimum PTF heading are considered stable release levels. Systems running at or above these levels can remain in place unless an update is required for specific fixes or new function.

The levels shown under the Recommended PTF heading are considered stable release levels that have accumulated a reasonable amount of runtime in client environments, and/or contain critical fixes.  Clients planning to upgrade code should choose a level from this column unless a higher level is required for specific fixes or new function.

All releases marked as 'Recommended' are considered to have equivalent stability.

The date in square brackets shows the release date of the PTF.

Refer to the hardware interoperability matrix for your system to identify which software levels are supported.  Links to these pages are provided at the end of this page.

Long Term Support (LTS) releases:

Release Minimum PTF Recommended PTF Latest PTF
8.5.0
Recommended
8.5.0.5
[Aug 2022]
8.5.0.5
[Aug 2022]
8.5.0.5
[Aug 2022]
8.4.0
Recommended
8.4.0.2
[Feb 2021]
8.4.0.8
[Aug 2022]
8.4.0.8
[Aug 2022]

Note: 8.5.0 is the minimum supported version for SAN Volume Controller SV3, FlashSystem 7300 and FlashSystem 9500 systems.

Version 8.3 and earlier releases:

Release Minimum PTF Recommended PTF Latest PTF
8.3
Recommended
8.3.1.0
[Feb 2020]
8.3.1.7
[Apr 2022]
8.3.1.7
[Apr 2022]
8.2
(End of support Sep 2022)
8.2.1.9
[Jan 2020]
8.2.1.14
[Oct 2021]
8.2.1.15
[Mar 2022]
8.1 End Of Support
7.8 7.8.1.6
[May 2018]
7.8.1.13
[Apr 2021]
7.8.1.14
[Oct 2021]
<7.8 End Of Support
Note: Storwize V3500/V3700 systems with 4GB memory cannot upgrade beyond 7.5.0.14, which is supported on this hardware until service is discontinued (2022-12-31).

Non-Long Term Support (Non-LTS) releases:

Non-LTS releases are recommended only if new features are required.  Refer to the guidance earlier on this page for more information on the differences between LTS and non-LTS releases.

Release Minimum PTF Recommended PTF Latest PTF
8.5.2
8.5.2.0
[Sep 2022]
8.5.2.0
[Sep 2022]
8.5.2.1
[Sep 2022]
8.5.1 8.5.1.0
[Jun 2022]
8.5.1.0
[Jun 2022]
8.5.1.0
[Jun 2022]
8.4.2 8.4.2.0
[Sep 2021]
8.4.2.0
[Sep 2021]
8.4.2.1
[Dec 2021]
8.4.1 8.4.1.0
[Jun 2021]
8.4.1.0
[Jun 2021]
8.4.1.0
[Jun 2021]

It is not necessary to upgrade every time a new PTF level is released. For example, most clients typically upgrade their systems once or twice per year.

Visit the IBM Support Software Lifecycle site to determine when a specific release will reach End of Support (EOS).

Visit the  Concurrent Compatibility and Code Cross Reference for Spectrum Virtualize page to determine the appropriate upgrade path for your system.

The following hardware interoperability matrices show the software levels supported for each product family and hardware model.

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Document Information

Modified date:
28 September 2022

UID

ssg1S1005283