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Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Software Maintenance Strategy

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The Cisco® Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE) software release and maintenance methodology consists of the following release components: Major release, minor release, maintenance release, and engineering special. This document outlines the release frequency, length of support, and support roadmap for each release type to help with upgrade planning.

Table 1 describes the release types for Unified CCE, and Table 2 defines release milestones.

Table 1. Unified CCE Release Types

Unified CCE Software Release Type

Description

Major Release

A major release introduces significant new features or functions. The installation method uses a full installer package without rollback capabilities.

Examples: Releases 7 and 8

Minor Release

A minor release enhances a major release with new features. The installation method varies. It may be a full installer; however, when possible, we will instead provide a patch upgrade installer that allows for minimal disruption and enables rollback.

Examples: Releases 7.5 and 8.5

Maintenance Release (MR)

A maintenance release primarily resolves product defects in a major or minor release. Feature enhancements are kept to a minimum, but may be included based on market need. A maintenance release uses a patch installer and enables rollback.

Examples: Releases 7.5(10) and 8.5(3)

Engineering Special (ES)

An engineering special primarily resolves high-impact, relatively low-risk product defects that are not yet addressed in a release. It uses a patch installer and enables rollback.

Examples: Special 7.5(10) ES 3 and 8.5(3) ES 5

Table 2. Release Milestone Definitions

Milestone

Definition

End of Software Maintenance Releases Date:
App. SW (EoSWM)

The last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering will no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software.

Last Date of Support:
App. SW

The last date to receive service and support for the product. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

Maintenance Release Support Lifecycle

Strategy Overview

Cisco defines end of software maintenance (EoSWM) dates for products as an established part of the overall product lifecycle. Cisco recognizes that EoSWM milestones influence the decisions customers make around how they maintain their software. With that in mind, the EoSWM policy is described as follows to help customers create their own maintenance strategies.

Maintenance Release Frequency

Our goal is to release a new maintenance release (MR) every 6 months on a given major or minor release. We determine which MR is our last based on many factors, including market demand and product maturity.

• MR software maintenance support period: Each (MR) is typically supported with software maintenance for 15 months. The last MR on a particular release is supported with software maintenance until the EoSWM date for that release. The EoSWM date for those maintenance releases is typically 30 months after they are posted.

• Maintenance release end of software maintenance notification: When an MR is published, the EoSWM date for that release is posted in the "Maintenance Release Matrix". In addition, the estimated ship date and estimated EoSWM date for the next MR is posted in the Maintenance Release Matrix if applicable. Please refer to the Maintenance Release Matrix here: http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Maintenance_Release_Support_Matrix for EoSWM dates for related MRs.

Maintenance Release Support Matrix Example

Figure 1 shows an example of a maintenance release support matrix.

Figure 1. Example of Maintenance Release Support Matrix

Engineering Special Patch Strategy

Engineering specials (ES) are the primary mechanism to resolve customer-found defects on maintenance releases. They are released on an exception basis to address specific high-impact, low-product-risk customer problems on an existing software-supported MR.

Customer Profile Maintenance Strategies

The following guidelines outline several customer profiles that will assist you in defining your software maintenance strategy. In all cases, review the most current Maintenance Release Matrix online regularly as part of your ongoing planning process.

Customer A - Upgrade Twice Per Year

I always like to be on the latest tested release to reduce the risk of being exposed to known defects.

Strategy Guidance

Install the most current MR once every 6 months.
Evaluate the contents of new minor and major releases. Upgrade to those releases as necessary to meet your business needs. When the minor release you are on reaches EoSWM, you will need to install a new minor or major release to remain on a software maintenance supported release.

Advantages

• Lowers your risk of experiencing product defects on earlier releases.

• Allows you to be current with new features and functions.

Disadvantages

• Requires you to plan for two MR installs per year.

Customer B - Upgrade Once Per Year

I often need the new features in upcoming versions. I do not want to wait several years for them, but I would like to limit my need to install a new MR to once a year.

Strategy Guidance

Install the most current maintenance release once every year. Plan your installs so that you install a maintenance version that was released within the last 3 months. This strategy will allow you to ensure that you have at least a year of software maintenance support on that release.
Evaluate the contents of new minor and major releases. Upgrade to those releases as necessary to meet your business needs. Before EoSWM occurs for your version, you will need to install a new minor or major release to remain within software maintenance support.

Advantages

• Limits your need to install new releases to once a year.

• Allows you to be reasonably current with new features, functions, and defect fixes.

Disadvantages

• You will not have the most current functions and features offered in our newer versions until your next install.

• The fixes for problems in the newer releases are usually not back-ported to earlier releases, meaning you risk experiencing reported problems that you might have avoided by being on a newer release.

• As with any MR, only high-impact, low-code-complexity problems are eligible for ES fixes on top of an MR. Lower impact or more complex fixes are considered only in maintenance releases, minors, or majors.

Customer C - Last MR-to-Last MR Upgrade

I want to limit my need to install new releases as much as possible. I would prefer to wait several years to deploy new features rather than install maintenance releases, minors, or majors more frequently.

Strategy Guidance

Install new versions only when the last MR of a major release is posted. This strategy will require a new major release install about once every 2.5 years. Make sure you install the selected Major + MR release before your current release reaches EoSWM. You should use the Maintenance Release Matrix to help you with your planning.

Advantages

• Limits the administrative effort needed to deploy new releases.

• Allows you to consistently be on the most stable MR of a particular release, the last MR.

Disadvantages

• You will not have the functions and features offered in more current releases.

• The fixes for problems in the newer releases are usually not back-ported to earlier releases, meaning you risk hitting problems that you might have avoided by being on a later release.

• As with any MR, only high-impact, low-code-complexity problems are eligible for ES fixes on top of an MR. Lower impact or more complex fixes are considered only in maintenance releases, minors, or majors.

Customer D - New Baseline Deployment

I recently went live on a new major or minor release. I would like to follow one of the previously mentioned strategies.

Strategy Guidance

Install the latest MR available before you go live. In addition, review the strategies outlined in this document and determine the best strategy for you going forward. Review the Maintenance Release Matrix to help you determine how to get to a state that allows you to follow your chosen strategy. You may initially have to install maintenance releases more often in order to remain within software maintenance support until you are able to follow another software maintenance strategy.

Advantages

• This strategy allows new customers to get onto a continuously software maintenance supported path that makes future planning easier and more reliable.

Disadvantages

• Initially this maintenance strategy might require one or more MR installs than desired for long-term maintenance.