This product bulletin describes the release plan for the Cisco IOS® XE Software images for Cisco® ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers.
For the introduction of Cisco IOS XE Software for the Cisco ASR 1000 Series, Cisco is using a release plan that provides an optimized and predictable way to deliver software and hardware features in a time-based release sequence. Cisco IOS XE Software is a modular operating system built on a Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is designed to meet greater requirements for security and high availability. IOS XE includes a software module derived from the Cisco IOS Software.
Release 12.2 SR release train that runs as a daemon on top of the Linux kernel. Cisco selects specific features and other code from the Cisco IOS Software12.2 SR release train for inclusion in Cisco IOS XE Software. Through this release plan, and though careful selection of the Cisco IOS Software features being introduced, Cisco IOS XE Software releases offer greater stability, higher availability and shorter qualification time.
Cisco IOS XE Software Release Plan Highlights
With the release of the Cisco ASR 1000 Series routers and Cisco IOS XE Software, Cisco now provides its customers with another world-class software delivery plan. This delivery plan enables customers to qualify releases more quickly and have a definitive release schedule for new software images.
Highlights of the new software release plan include:
• Time-based releases: Releases are planned for delivery three times a year (every four months). New software features and hardware are introduced in each release. Releases have fewer incremental features included when compared with traditional Cisco IOS Software releases, reducing customer qualification time.
• Two release support durations: Each Cisco IOS XE Software release is classified as either a Standard Support or an Extended Support release. A Standard Support release has a total engineering support lifetime of one year, with two scheduled rebuilds. The Extended Support release provides a total engineering support lifetime of two years, with four scheduled rebuilds. For more information about the Cisco IOS XE Software end-of-life policy and associated support milestones for specific Cisco IOS XE Software releases, see product bulletin PB448258 (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps9343/product_bulletin_c25-448258.html).
• Rebuilds scheduled at regular intervals: Rebuilds are created only for bug fixes, and no new features are included in a rebuild image. For Standard Support releases, the first rebuild image is released two months after the parent image's first customer shipment (FCS). The second rebuild image is released four months after the parent image's FCS. The Extended Support release provides four scheduled rebuilds. The first two of these rebuilds are released at two-month intervals after FCS of the affected Cisco IOS XE Software release, and the second two rebuilds are released at four-month intervals thereafter. Releases to correct critical problems (such as those identified by the Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team) are introduced as needed.
• Modular software image packaging: Each release contains seven different software modules. Each module enables functions for different components of the Cisco ASR 1000 Series router. A single consolidated Cisco IOS XE Software image file contains all the individual modules.
• Simplified Cisco IOS Software image options: Four Cisco IOS XE Software image options are available for customers:
– Cisco ASR 1000 Series RP1 IP Base
– Cisco ASR 1000 Series RP1 IP Base Without Cryptography
– Cisco ASR 1000 Series RP1 Advanced IP Services
– Cisco ASR 1000 Series RP1 Advanced Enterprise Services
– Cisco ASR 1000 Series RP1 Advanced Enterprise Services Without Cryptography
The Cisco IOS XE Software naming schema consists of a three-part numeric identifier describing the major release, release version, and rebuild number of the software image. The identifier uses this format:
Hence, release version 1 of major release 2 would be shown as 2.1.0, first rebuild of release version 1 would be 2.1.1, second rebuild of release version 1 would be 2.1.2, and so on.
Certain exception events (such as software image deferrals) may require the release of generally available versions of Cisco IOS XE Software without a sequential rebuild number or may not have a rebuild number beginning at zero. For example, Cisco IOS XE Software Release 2.2.1 may be the first generally available release rather than 2.2.0.
A Cisco IOS XE Software image consists of seven individual modules (also referred to as subpackages). Individual modules or subpackages of a Cisco IOS XE Software image cannot be downloaded from Cisco.com individually. Individual subpackages can be extracted from the consolidated package from the Cisco ASR 1000 Series router command-line interface (CLI). Figure 1 illustrates how individual software subpackages are bundled in Cisco IOS XE Software.
Figure 1. Cisco IOS XE Software Module Bundling
Each Cisco IOS XE Software subpackage provides specific functions for the Cisco ASR 1000 Series router. The functions of the individual Cisco IOS XE Software subpackages are described in Table 1. Table 2 summarizes the naming schema for Cisco IOS XE Software subpackages.
ASR_RELEASE: Cisco ASR 1000 Series router Cisco IOS XE Software release version
IOS_VERSION: Cisco IOS Software version from which the Cisco IOS XE Software image is derived
IOS_TRAIN: Cisco IOS Software release train from which the Cisco IOS XE Software image is derived
The packages are designed to use the In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) capability of the Cisco IOS XE Software. Customers have the capability to upgrade only those packages that need to be upgraded. Hence, an entire software image upgrade can be avoided unless the upgrade package requires it.
The examples in Figures 2 and 3 show how the file naming schema is used to identify individual subpackages.
Figure 2. Cisco IOS XE Software Subpackage Example and Character Position Definitions (Except RPIOS)
Figure 3. Cisco IOS XE Software RPIOS Subpackage Example
Cisco IOS XE Software Image Options
The Cisco IOS XE Software image incorporates a Cisco IOS Software kernel (RPIOS) that is derived from the Cisco IOS Software 12.2SR release train. The individual Cisco IOS XE Software release is independent of the release cycle of Cisco IOS Software 12.2SR. The content incorporated into the RPIOS module is determined by Cisco based on feature requirements, defect resolution needs, and overall software image quality.
Consolidated Software Packages
Four consolidated software packages (also referred to as images) are built from the seven individual software modules. The naming and content of these consolidated packages is summarized in Table 3.
* Cisco ASR 1000 Advanced Enterprise Services includes the RPIOS Advanced Enterprise Services Cryptography (K9) subpackage with all features including Lawful Intercept and Cisco Unified Border Element (SP Edition) (also known as Session Border Controller [SBC]).
** Cisco ASR 1000 Advanced IP Services includes the RPIOS Advanced IP Services Cryptography (K9) subpackage and supports all features that are in the Cisco ASR 1000 Advanced Enterprise Services image with the exception of some older protocols.
*** RPAccess is provided as either a cryptographic or noncryptograpic version, depending on the type of consolidated package. The noncryptographic version is bundled only with the Cisco ASR 1000 IP Base (Without Cryptography) consolidated package.
• For IP Security (IPsec) Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption support, the minimum image required is the Cisco ASR 1000 Advanced IP Services image.
• The IP Base image supports only SSH, not IPsec 3DES and AES.
• The IP Base (Without Cryptography) image does not support SSH or IPsec 3DES and AES.
Only the four consolidated Cisco IOS XE Software packages are available for ordering on Cisco.com. Additional feature license charges apply for certain premium services. Table 4 lists the available Cisco IOS XE Software images and provides examples of file names used for the images. Figure 4 shows how the file name is interpreted. Customers should refer to product bulletin PB448292, Cisco IOS XE Feature Licenses (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps9343/product_bulletin_c25-448292.html) for more information about the licensing structure used for Cisco IOS XE Software.
Feature inheritance is a powerful aspect of Cisco IOS XE Software packaging. After a feature is introduced, it is always present in the more comprehensive packages; for example, all the features in the IP Base package are in the Advanced IP Services and Advanced Enterprise Services packages. Feature inheritance clarifies the feature content of the different packages and illustrates their relationship.
Figure 5 shows how feature inheritance works in Cisco IOS XE Software.
Note: A software redundancy right-to-use feature license for the Cisco ASR 1000 Series (FLASR1-IOSRED-RTU) must be purchased to enable software redundancy.
Cisco IOS XE Software Product Identifiers
Cisco IOS XE Software images use an alphanumeric product identifier (PID). Table 5 lists the consolidated software packages available and the associated PIDs. Figure 6 presents an example of a Cisco IOS XE Software PID showing the character positions. Definitions of the character positions are given in Table 6.