This document describes current guidelines on the Cisco Stealthwatch® Software time-based release model and release support timeline and answers some common questions. The information contained in this document is informational only and is subject to change without notice. Cisco recommends you periodically check here to ensure you are reviewing the most current version of this document.
Types of Software Releases
The Cisco Stealthwatch Software model has three types of software releases. Each release type has its own content scope and release frequency. Two types are time-based (Feature releases and Maintenance releases) and the third is a mechanism (Software Maintenance Unit) to deploy asynchronous software patches.
The examples in these guidelines use the X.Y.Z format for release version numbers, for example 6.10.1.
Cisco Stealthwatch Software Feature releases (X.Y.Z) are signified by a change to either the first digit (X) or the second digit (Y) in the release version number (for example, the 7 in Cisco Stealthwatch Software Release 7.0.0 or the 10 in Cisco Stealthwatch Software Release 6.10.0). In general, a change to X would indicate a larger change, such as a change in architecture or the addition of a platform.
Feature releases are delivered for one or more of the following reasons:
● Likely to cause a change to X:
◦ Introduce significant changes throughout the software, including infrastructure or architectural changes. For example, Release 7.0.0 introduced Centralized Management of appliances.
● Likely to cause a change to Y:
◦ New functions and features: For example, Release 6.9.0 introduced the Host Group Report in the Web UI.
◦ Bug fixes and enhancements to existing functions introduced in a previous feature release: For example, Release 6.10.0 enhanced Flow Queries in the Web UI.
Feature releases are delivered approximately every 6 months. Cisco may alter the frequency of this release interval upon customers' feedback and market conditions in the future, but every attempt is made to maintain a time-based release.
The list of critical bug fixes and features added to a feature release is provided in the release notes along with installation instructions and dependencies. Cisco announces new feature releases by posting a product bulletin on Cisco.com. The software images are available from the Download and License Center on stealthwatch.flexnetoperations.com. Please note that certain features may require the purchase of an additional license.
Release Support Timeline
Typically Cisco provides software maintenance support for 12 months after the Feature release (X or Y) is introduced. An exception to this is for any security-related problems as guided by Cisco PSIRT and in accordance with the Cisco Security Vulnerability Policy. Cisco will provide software maintenance support for 18 months after the Feature release (X or Y) is introduced for any security vulnerability or PSIRT concern.
Software maintenance support will provide customers with routine maintenance releases as well as asynchronous Software Maintenance Unit’s.
A Cisco Stealthwatch Software maintenance release is signified by the third digit (Z) in the release version number (for example, the 2 in Cisco Stealthwatch Software Release 6.10.2).
Maintenance releases are the primary mechanism to deliver critical bug fixes to Cisco Stealthwatch Software feature releases. Representatives from Cisco TAC and Cisco Engineering evaluate the priority of bug fixes and determine the ones that should be included in each maintenance release. Maintenance releases are delivered approximately every 3 months, approximately 4 maintenance releases (Z) are planned for each feature release (X or Y). Cisco may alter the frequency of this release interval upon customers' feedback and market conditions in the future, but every attempt is made to maintain a time-based release.
Maintenance releases are cumulative for the feature release they support. At the time it is published, the latest maintenance release includes all critical fixes published since the feature release was introduced. Cisco encourages all Cisco Stealthwatch Software customers to actively migrate to the latest maintenance release at their earliest convenience. If a bug is encountered that has been fixed in a maintenance release, the Cisco support will recommend an upgrade to the latest available maintenance release.
The list of critical bug fixes added to a maintenance release is provided in the release notes along with installation instructions and dependencies. Cisco announces new maintenance releases by posting a product bulletin on Cisco.com. The software images are available from the Download and License Center on stealthwatch.flexnetoperations.com.
Software Maintenance Unit (SMU)
A Software Maintenance Unit (SMUs) is not a scheduled release mechanism. They are typically confined to a limited number of software components and are intended to be a patch fix. SMUs are not intended to deliver new features and they are not a replacement for maintenance releases. Individual SMUs reach immediate end-of-life after the bug fix is integrated into a maintenance release. Cisco does not produce SMUs for every software bug fix.
SMUs are posted on the Download and License Center on stealthwatch.flexnetoperations.com. A list of recommended SMUs is available on the page. Each SMU is customized for a specific Cisco Stealthwatch Software release. However, SMUs are not normally generated for all available software releases.