Standard and enhanced IBM support lifecycle policies

Standard and enhanced IBM support lifecycle policies

This page describes the standard and enhanced IBM Support Lifecycle Policies. Additional details and answers to commonly asked questions regarding the IBM 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.


Our policies and practices for supporting your success with our products include the following:

  • Standard Support: Standard Support 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, with the option to get support extensions for at least an additional two years following a product’s End of Support (EOS) date for an extra charge set by IBM (so-called Standard ‘3+2’ support).
  • Enhanced Support: Enhanced ‘5+3’ support provides a minimum of five full years of standard support from the date the product release was made generally available by IBM, with the option to get support extensions for at least an additional three years following a product’s EOS date for an extra charge set by IBM.
  • 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 has been 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 upgrade to 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 because 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 who and how many 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. Or you may be uncertain whether support will be available until you can upgrade all of 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:

The policies on this page cover all IBM software that is licensed under the International Program License Agreement (IPLA). Most IBM Customer Agreement (ICA) license type software products have a three year support period and already provide advance notice of withdrawal from support. Details on specific policies on products marked as "Other" can be found in the product announcement. IBM may modify these policies at any time and will communicate the modification and any exceptions via a product announcement letter or in a general policy announcement.

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.

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