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Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.2 Mainline

Cisco IOS Software Center Update Q&A

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Last updated: April 2009

This document is intended to answer questions and provides details and benefits of Cisco IOS Software Center updates.
Q. What are Cisco IOS Software Center updates?
A. Cisco updates Cisco IOS Software Center on an ongoing basis to remove obsolete releases, making it easier for customers to find the right software releases with the latest functionality and most recent software maintenance and bug fixes.

• Currently supported IOS releases and selected end-of-life releases will remain on the Cisco IOS Software Center.

• Obsolete releases are posted in the Cisco IOS Software Table, before releases are removed. Refer to Cisco IOS Software Center Update Product Bulletin 2863 for more details.

Q. How does this affect Cisco IOS Software Center?
A. The Cisco IOS Software Center is affected in the following ways:

• Retired (obsolete) IOS releases are removed from Cisco IOS Software Center on a periodic basis with advanced notification to customers.

• Some affected releases are replaced by software maintenance release rebuilds that contain the latest bug fixes.

• Some affected releases are being retired, not replaced.

• Some releases are being left in the Cisco IOS Software Center unchanged.

Q. What Cisco IOS Software releases are affected?
Q. How do Cisco IOS Software Center updates affect me as a Cisco customer?
A. Customers should maintain a library (archive) of their software. In most cases, customers will not need to migrate from their current releases. Support policies for releases, including those removed from the Cisco IOS Software Center, continues unchanged.
Q. Do Cisco IOS Software Center updates change the Cisco IOS Software support policy?
A. No. The Cisco IOS Software support policy for all releases, including releases that are deferred, continues unchanged.
Q. What are the criteria for removing a release from the Cisco IOS Software Center?
A. Older obsolete and less frequently used releases are removed, along with newer releases that have more update software maintenance releases (rebuilds).
Q. When should I replace a Cisco IOS Software release?
A. You should replace a Cisco IOS Software release when you discover that it has a defect that affects your network, when you need added functionality, and before the release reaches end of software maintenance milestone dates.

Field notices, software advisories, and deferral notices provide information about defects that may affect your network. Ideally, you should upgrade periodically to obtain the latest functionality, bug fixes, and security protection.

Q. Where do I get updated software?
Q. How do I get an update to a release that has been removed from the Cisco Software Center?
A. Download a later release from the Cisco IOS Software Center.
Q. What if I need a copy of my old release and it is not on the Cisco IOS Software Center?
A. You can obtain an image that has been removed from the Cisco IOS Software Center from your archive or from a networking device. However, all Cisco IOS Software you run on your network must be licensed.
Q. If a specific release is not posted on the Cisco IOS Software Center, can I download it?
A. No. Only releases posted on the Cisco IOS Software Center can be downloaded.
Q. If I have SMARTnet service, can I open a case with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to request an image that has been removed from the Cisco IOS Software Center?
A. No.
Q. If a release is deferred does it mean that release has a security problem?
A. Not necessarily. When a release is deferred, the deferral notice will provide the reason for the deferral. Security vulnerability is only one of the reasons that releases are removed from the Cisco IOS Software Center.

Note: Always check the deferral notice for known problems.

Q. Does the Cisco IOS Software Center update change the standard end-of-life policy for Cisco IOS Software?
A. No.