Last updated: January 2008
• Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 (and later maintenance releases or rebuilds) images on the Cisco.com Software Center http://www.cisco.com/public/sw-center/index.shtml will have a new Maintenance Deployment (MD) release designator. The MD release designator defines Cisco IOS Software releases that provide bugfix support and ongoing software maintenance. This release designator change will be completed by May, 2008.
• Existing GD and LD release designations for Cisco IOS Software Release 12.3* images currently on Cisco.com Software Center are not affected by this announcement.
• Cisco IOS Software release designations of Early Deployment (ED) and Deferral (DF) are not affected by this announcement.
• This announcement applies to Cisco IOS Software only.
Release Recommendations and Test Programs
1. Safe Harbor
The Safe Harbor program focuses on satisfying customer quality requirements in critical vertical markets. This program links and expands on product testing conducted within development engineering, regression testing, and systems test groups within Cisco Systems.
Safe Harbor provides testing coverage for critical feature areas as required by customer use. It complements internal product testing efforts with customer-specific testing to certify functionality. Most importantly, Safe Harbor delivers on the quality commitment provided to Cisco customers.
Safe Harbor involves testing select code releases and feature sets primarily on the Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series platform. Coverage is currently in place for the Cisco Content Services Switch (CSS) appliance and for services modules (Catalyst 6500 Series Firewall Services Module, Cisco Content Switching Module [CSM], Catalyst 6500 Series Intrusion Detection System [IDSM] Services Module, Catalyst 6500 Series Wireless LAN Services Module [WLSM], and Catalyst 6500 Series SSL Services Module [SSLSM]).
2. Cisco Validated Design Program (CVD)
The Cisco Validated Design Program consists of systems and solutions that are designed, tested, and documented to facilitate faster, more reliable and more predictable customer deployments. For a subset of these designs, incremental design integrity is built in through large-scale architectural and customer-relevant testing.
These designs have been reviewed and updated for widespread customer implementation, and are supported with forward-looking development roadmaps and system test programs that promote:
• New and existing Cisco hardware and software technologies
• Design adoption for major network deployments or enhancements
Cisco Validated Design Program designs undergo extensive system-level testing earlier in the lifecycle of Cisco software releases to substantially reduce pre-production test cycles, accelerate the deployment of new services and technologies, reduce planning and deployment time, and help ensure simpler and better software selection. The program also supports the ongoing re-validation against these designs to provide up-to-date release and hardware recommendations.