This document was developed to address the most frequently asked questions from our Sales Teams about Cisco IOS® Software Major Release 12.4.
• Customers who are currently running Release 12.3T. Release 12.4 will provide the maintenance for the Release 12.3T family after it reaches its End of Engineering milestone.
• Customers who require the functionality or hardware support delivered in Release 12.3T coupled with the ongoing maintenance and stability delivered in Release 12.4.
• Customers who are using any of the Release 12.3 Special Releases, which are now part of Major Release 12.4. For information about these releases, refer to: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps5413/prod_ios_releases_home.html
TYPES OF CISCO IOS SOFTWARE RELEASES
Figure 1. Major Release and New Technology Release Relationship
CISCO IOS SOFTWARE RELEASE PORTFOLIO
• Developed for wide deployment in the world's most demanding Enterprise, Access, and Service Provider Aggregation networks, Major Release 12.4 (April 2005) is a comprehensive portfolio of Cisco technologies, including the leading-edge functionality and hardware support introduced in Release 12.3T, anchored by an intensive stability and testing program.
• The Release 12.3T family (July 2003) delivers advanced technologies that drive business productivity by delivering Security, Voice, and Wireless innovations to Enterprise, Access, and Service Provider Aggregation customers. Cisco is issuing the Release 12.3T family as a series of individual releases, each of which creates significant revenue opportunities. Release 12.3(4)T, the second of these 12.3T releases, supports nearly one hundred new features across more than thirty Cisco platforms.
• Release 12.2S is designed for Enterprise campus and Service Provider edge networks that require world-class IP and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services. The Cisco Catalyst Switches and high-end routers in Release 12.2S provide secure, converged network services in the most demanding Enterprise and Service Provider environments, from the wiring closet and data center to the WAN edge.
CISCO IOS SOFTWARE MAJOR RELEASE 12.4
CISCO IOS SOFTWARE RELEASE POLICY
• First Commercial Shipment (FCS): release is first available to customers on Cisco.com (ie: first release of Cisco IOS Software Release 12.3)
• End of Sales (EoS) Announcement: notification of EoS; occurs at least six months in advance of formal ending of orderability for Major releases
• End of Sales (EoS): release is no longer orderable or included in manufacturing shipments
• End of Engineering (EoE): end of software fixes and standard software maintenance support. All Major releases receive maintenance updates during the period between FCS and EoE. End of Engineering typically occurs, but does not exceed, 48 months from FCS ship. Support is provided via successor releases, beginning at the next sequential release.
Figure 2. Lifecycle Durations for Major Releases
CISCO IOS PACKAGING
• SSHv2 client and server functionality provides a secure, encrypted alternative to traditional telnet for router configuration and administration.
• SSL Server functionality provides an HTTPS-based secure, encrypted complement to access graphical user interfaces (ie: Router and Security Device Manager).
• SNMPv3 Server functionality includes authPriv mode, which provides authentication and encryption of SNMP messages.
Note: Export controls on strong encryption vary according to type, strength, territory, end-use, and end-user. Visit the Cisco Encryption Sales Support Tool to determine eligibility for Cisco strong encryption solutions. Send an email to Export Compliance (firstname.lastname@example.org) for clarification. Encryption-free versions of IP Base, IP Voice, Enterprise Base, and Enterprise Services feature sets will continue to be available.
• Release 12.4: http://www.cisco.com/go/release124/
• Cisco IOS Software Release Questions and Feedback: http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/732/feedback/release/
• Software Center
– Download Cisco IOS Software releases and access software upgrade planners: http://www.cisco.com/kobayashi/sw-center/sw-ios.shtml (requires Cisco.com login)
• Cisco Feature Navigator
– A web-based application that allows users to quickly match Cisco IOS Software releases to features to hardware: http://www.cisco.com/go/fn/
• Cisco Software Advisor
– Determine the minimum supported software for selected hardware:
http://www.cisco.com/pcgi-bin/front.x/Support/HWSWmatrix/hwswmatrix.cgi (requires Cisco.com login)
• Cisco IOS Upgrade Planner
– View all major releases, hardware, and software features from a single interface: http://www.cisco.com/go/iosplanner (requires Cisco.com login)
• Cisco IOS Software Cisco IOS Software Product Lifecycle Dates & Milestones, Product Bulletin No. 2214: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps5187/prod_bulletin0900aecd801eda8a.html