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Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2SX and 12.2SY on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series

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Cisco Systems ® announces updates to the software release designations effective May 23, 2012 for new technology releases off of the Cisco ® IOS ® Software 12.2SX Major Release and 12.2SY Standard Maintenance Release for the Cisco Catalyst ® 6500 Series.
This announcement provides clarity on software maintenance plans and does not change any Cisco standard end-of-life policies, located at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_end-of-life_policy.html. The Cisco standard end-of-life policy defines maintenance and support requirements for a major release, which for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is 12.2SX and 12.2SY. The end-of-life policy does not specify how long bug-fix maintenance rebuilds can be expected on a new technology release such as 12.2(33)SXJ on Major Release 12.2S. Figure 1 shows the release numbering convention for Major Release 12.2S.

Figure 1. Release Numbering Convention for Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2S

Under current policy, after a new technology release becomes available on the same major release, bug fixes will generally not be applied to previous new technology releases. In order to get comprehensive bug fixes, customers must move to the latest new technology release identified by Cisco.
As long as maintenance is offered under the Cisco end-of-life policies for a major release, bug fixes will continue to be applied to that release, but can only be expected to appear in the most recent new technology release of that major release. For example, for Cisco IOS Software Major Release 12.2S, a move from Release 12.2(33) SXI to Release 12.2(33) SXJ would be required after Release 12.2(33) SXJ is available in order to get bug fixes through rebuilds.
To allow customers to qualify, deploy, and remain on a new technology release for more than 6 to 12 months with active bug-fix maintenance plans, Cisco will now designate new technology releases on Major Release 12.2S as either a standard maintenance release or extended maintenance release. A standard maintenance release will offer regular bug-fix maintenance rebuilds for 12 months, and an extended maintenance release will offer bug-fix maintenance rebuilds for 24 months.
Under the new policy, bug fixes can be expected in any new technology release that is in an active maintenance state as defined by the standard maintenance and extended maintenance release designator.
Figure 2 shows sample standard maintenance and extended maintenance releases and explains the new policy.

Figure 2. Timelines Showing Planned Release Maintenance Process

Standard Maintenance Release

• Ideal for latest feature and hardware support

• 12 months of critical fixes for bugs with no operational workaround or business affecting severity 1 and 2 issues

• 6 additional months of critical fix support for network affecting bugs such as Product Security Incident Report Team (PSIRT) issues (standard Cisco PSIRT policy will take precedence; see http://www.cisco.com/go/psirt)

• Release might be safe harbor tested (for more information, see http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns504/networking_solutions_program_category_home.html)

• Same internal shipping quality criteria as extended maintenance release

Table 1 shows standard maintenance release goals and dates for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series.

Table 1. Standard Maintenance Release Goals and Dates for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series

Goal

Definition

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

The date the software release is first available at http://www.cisco.com/kobayashi/sw-center/sw-ios.shtml.

Day 0

End of standard maintenance

The last date on which regular bug-fix maintenance rebuilds will be made available for this software release. After this date, a software upgrade to the next available release for supported products might be required for continued bug-fix maintenance.

+12 months

End of critical maintenance

The last date on which a critical fix rebuild (limited to network-affecting issues such as PSIRT advisories; see http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_security_advisories_listing.html) will be made available for this software release. After this date, a software upgrade to the next available release for supported products might be required for continued bug-fix maintenance or critical fixes. Standard Cisco PSIRT policy will take precedence; see http://www.cisco.com/go/psirt.

+6 months from end of standard maintenance date

Extended Maintenance Release

• Ideal for long-term maintenance support and also incorporating all the features and hardware support of previous standard maintenance and extended maintenance releases

• 24 months of regular maintenance rebuilds (approximately one every 3 months) with fixes for critical severity 1, 2, and 3 bugs

• 6 additional months of critical fixes support for network-affecting bugs such as PSIRT issues (standard Cisco PSIRT policy will take precedence; see http://www.cisco.com/go/psirt)

• Release will be safe harbor tested and certified

• 12 months of overlap with next extended maintenance release to allow for smooth transitions

• Release 12.2(18)SXF is the first extended maintenance release, with the 2-year clock starting on March 1, 2006

Table 2 lists extended maintenance release goals and dates for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series.

Table 2. Extended Maintenance Release Goals and Dates for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series

Goal

Definition

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

The date the software release is first available at http://www.cisco.com/kobayashi/sw-center/sw-ios.shtml.

Day 0

End of extended maintenance

The last date on which regular bug-fix maintenance rebuilds will be made available for this software release. After this date, a software upgrade to the next available release for supported products might be required for continued bug-fix maintenance.

+24 months

End of critical maintenance

The last date on which a critical fix rebuild (limited to network-affecting issues such as PSIRT advisories; see http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_security_advisories_listing.html) will be made available for this software release. After this date, a software upgrade to the next available release for supported products might be required for continued bug-fix maintenance or critical fixes. Standard Cisco PSIRT policy will take precedence; see http://www.cisco.com/go/psirt.

+6 months from end of extended maintenance date

12.2(50)SY Software Release

Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(50)SY for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is a standard maintenance release available to Cisco ® Catalyst ® 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T only. Table 3 provides the goals and dates for the Maintenance Release 12.2(50)SY. This release is a Supervisor 2T only release. There is no support for Supervisor 720 or Supervisor 32 in 12.2(50)SY.

Table 3. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(50)SY Goals and Dates

Goal

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

July 12, 2011

End of standard maintenance

July 26, 2012

End of critical maintenance

March 1, 2013

End of Support

July 31, 2017

12.2(33)SXJ Software Release

Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXJ for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is the latest IOS release for Supervisor 720 and Supervisor 32 customers and is an extended maintenance software release. Table 4 provides the goals and dates for Extended Maintenance Release 12.2(33)SXJ.

Table 4. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXJ Goals and Dates as the next Extended Maintenance Release

Goal

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

March 21, 2011

End of extended maintenance

Jun 30, 2014

End of critical maintenance

Mar 31, 2016

12.2(33)SXI Software Release

Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXI for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is available to customers and is an extended maintenance software release. Table 5 provides the goals and dates for Extended Maintenance Release 12.2(33)SXI.

Table 5. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXI Goals and Dates as the next Extended Maintenance Release

Goal

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

November 2008

End of extended maintenance

September 13, 2012

End of critical maintenance

September 13, 2014

End of Support

August 31, 2017

12.2(33)SXH Software Release

Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXH for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is end of sale on March 2011. Table 4 provides the dates for 12.2(33)SXH.

Table 6. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(33)SXH Dates

Goal

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

August 2007

End of Life Announcement

September 2010

End of extended maintenance

October 2010

End of Sale

March 2011

End of critical maintenance

October 2011

End of Support

March 2016

For more details, please view the 12.2(33)SXH End of Sale announcement: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps708/eol_c51-624522.html

12.2(18) SXF Software Release

Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(18)SXF for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series has reached End of Sale and the dates are provided in Table 7.

Table 7. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(18)SXF Goals and Dates as the First Extended Maintenance Release

Goal

Date

Posting to Software Download Center

September 2005

End of Life Announcement

August 2009

End of extended maintenance

September 2009

End of Sale

February 2010

End of Critical Maintenance for WAN Interfaces*

February 2010*

End of critical maintenance

February 2011*

*NOTE: After the last planned rebuild in September 2009, only critical network impacting bugs will be considered. Critical fixes will only be done on an as needed basic on the last planned maintenance release 12.2(18)SXF17.

End of Support

February 2015

* Critical maintenance for WAN interfaces ends earlier than the rest of 12.2(18)SXF hardware and feature support. For a detailed list of WAN interfaces, please refer to the links below.

Releases prior to 12.2(18)SXH

Cisco IOS Software releases prior to 12.2(18)SXH for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series have all reached End of Critical Maintenance. These include 12.2(17)SXB, 12.2(18)SXD,12.2(18)SXE and 12.2(18)SXF releases.
All Cisco Catalyst 6500 systems running previous releases of 12.2SX such as 12.2(17)SXB, 12.2(18)SXD, 12.2(18)SXE, 12.2(18)SXF, and 12.2(33)SXH should be migrated to Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(18)SXI or higher in order to get regular bug-fix maintenance rebuilds until the end of extended maintenance date.

Table 8. Last date of Support for the Cisco IOS Software Release prior to 12.2(18)SXH

Release

End of Software Maintenance

Last date of Support

12.2(17d)SXB

4/20/2006

4/20/2010

12.2(18)SXD

12/8/2006

12/8/2010

12.2(18)SXE

1/25/2007

1/25/2011

Standard Maintenance and Extended Maintenance Release Identification

At the time of initial posting to the Software Download Center, the product bulletin and release notes for a new release will be updated to indicate whether it is designated as a standard maintenance release or an extended maintenance release. Note that the "Posting to Software Download Center" date is effective on the initial new technology release posting for all subsequent rebuilds on that release. For example, the "Posting to Software Download Center" date for Release 12.2SXI5 will be the date Release 12.2SXI is first posted to the Cisco Software Download Center Website. Therefore, the standard maintenance and extended maintenance designations and dates only apply to the first build of a new technology release, such as 12.2SXI, and all subsequent rebuilds will be subject to the same policy and dates.

For More Information

For more information about Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2SX and 12.2SY on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series, visit http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6017/prod_release_notes_list.html or contact your local account representative.
For more information about Cisco IOS Software lifecycle goals and dates, visit http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_end-of-life_policy.html.