Introduction


Note

This product bulletin describes the release, support timeline and support guidelines for Cisco HyperFlex software.


Cisco HyperFlex software follows a time-based release model that delivers maintenance and feature releases. This approach enables Cisco to introduce stable and feature rich software releases in a reliable and predictable cadence.

The information contained in this document is informational only and is subject to change. Cisco recommends that you periodically check Recommended Cisco HyperFlex HX Data Platform Software Releases - for Cisco HyperFlex HX-Series Systems to ensure that you are reviewing the most current version of this document.

Types of Software Releases

Cisco is introducing an updated software release delivery model and specific EOL guidelines starting with the HyperFlex 3.5(2x) software release.

The Cisco HyperFlex software release model has 2 types of software releases – Long-lived release (maintenance releases) and Feature release. Each release type has its own content scope and release frequency. Both the types are time-based and will also have patches being released at a specified cadence.

There will be patches periodically released off of both the long-lived and feature release train. The long-lived release will be a maintenance release based off the same feature release number as the feature release. 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 examples in these guidelines use the X.Y(Za) format for release version numbers, for example 3.5(2a).

Long-lived Release or Maintenance Release

A Cisco HyperFlex software long-lived release or maintenance release will be a stable release with a longer release lifecycle (30 months). As a long-lived release is targeted for stability, no new major features will be included during its lifecycle. It will be a rollup of the features and functionality from the previous feature release. It will include additional hardening and bug fixes. The long-lived release will be easier to upgrade between releases far apart. A long-lived release will support certain older versions of dependent software (older ESX and UCSM versions) that will not be supported with the latest release, moving forward. Customers needing a release that will be supported for a longer period of time are encouraged to be on the long-lived release.

A Cisco HyperFlex software long-lived release or maintenance release (X.Y(Za)) is signified by the third digit (Z) in the release version number. If this digit is greater than 1 then that Cisco HyperFlex software version is considered a long-lived release (for example, the 2 in Cisco HyperFlex software release 3.5(2d)).

Patch releases for a long-lived release are delivered approximately every 3 months. Patch releases are the primary mechanism to deliver critical bug fixes to Cisco HyperFlex Software releases. Representatives from Cisco TAC and Cisco Engineering evaluate the priority of bug fixes and determine the ones that should be included in each patch of the long-lived release. Cisco may alter the frequency of the patch release interval upon customers' feedback and market conditions in the future, but every attempt is made to maintain a time-based patch release.

Patch releases are cumulative for the long-lived release they support. At the time it is published, the latest patch release includes all critical fixes published since the HyperFlex software long-lived release was introduced. Cisco encourages all Cisco HyperFlex software customers to actively migrate to the recommended patch release at their earliest convenience. If a bug is encountered that has been fixed in a patch release, Cisco support will recommend an upgrade to the latest available patch release. Cisco HyperFlex does not support any downgrades between HX releases.

Feature Release

Cisco HyperFlex software feature release will have the latest features, functionalities and updates. This will have a shorter release lifecycle (9 months) compared to the long-lived release. Customers looking to use the latest features and functionality should move up to the feature that has the content they need.

Cisco HyperFlex software feature releases (X.Y(Za)) are signified by a change to either the first digit (X) or the second digit (Y) in the release version number (for example, the 4 in Cisco HyperFlex software release version 4.0(1a) or the 5 in Cisco HyperFlex software release version 4.5(1a)). 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:

Introduce significant changes throughout the software, including infrastructure, architectural or file system format changes. For example, Release 4.0(1a) introduced support for two-node HyperFlex Edge clusters and Cisco Intersight Invisible Cloud Witness. This will be likely to cause a change to X.

New features and functionality. This will be likely to cause a change to Y.

Bug fixes and enhancements to existing functions introduced in a previous feature release. This will be likely to cause a change to Y.

A feature release may also have a patch release. Cisco may change what constitutes a feature release and also 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. Cisco HyperFlex does not support any downgrades between HX releases.

Please note that certain features may require the purchase of a higher tier license.

Cisco HyperFlex Long-Lived Release Milestones

The Cisco HyperFlex software version 3.5(2x) is the first long-lived release that will adhere to the guidelines presented here.

Table 1. Cisco HyperFlex Long-lived Release Software End-of-Sale and End-of-Life milestones

Milestone

Definition

Timing

End of SW Maintenance (EOSM) Release Date

The last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering may no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software. Only critical security updates will be provided on this release train.

Minimum of 18 months from the release date

End of Security and Vulnerability Fixes

The last date that Cisco may provide support for security vulnerabilities.

27 months from the release date

Last Date of Support

The last date to receive service and support for the product. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

30 months from the release date


Note

The HyperFlex software will be available on the Software Download page until the "End of Security and Vulnerability Fixes" date.

Customers with active service contracts will continue to receive support from the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as shown in Table 1 above. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

Cisco HyperFlex Feature Release Milestones

The Cisco HyperFlex software version 4.0(1x) is the first feature release that will adhere to the guidelines presented here.

Table 2. Cisco HyperFlex Feature Release Software End-of-Sale and End-of-Life milestones

Milestone

Definition

Timing

End of SW Maintenance (EOSM) Release Date

The last date that Cisco Engineering may release any final software maintenance releases or bug fixes. After this date, Cisco Engineering may no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software. Only critical security updates will be provided on this release train.

6 months from the release date

End of Security and Vulnerability Fixes

The last date that Cisco may provide support for security vulnerabilities.

6 months from the release date

Last Date of Support

The last date to receive service and support for the product. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

9 months from the release date


Note

The HyperFlex software will be available on the Software Download page until the "End of Security and Vulnerability Fixes" date.

Customers with active service contracts will continue to receive support from the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as shown in Table 1 above. After this date, all support services for the product are unavailable, and the product becomes obsolete.

Recommended Release

The current recommended long-lived release for HyperFlex can be identified by the following mechanisms:

For a feature release, the recommendation is to use the latest available patch release for the feature release.

Upgrade Paths

For information on the supported HX upgrade paths, refer to the HX Upgrade Guide.

Customers are encouraged to migrate to Cisco HyperFlex’s recommended patch release for the long-lived and feature releases. For information on the current feature and long-lived releases, refer to the HyperFlex recommended release bulletin page. HyperFlex Customer’s with an active Cisco Support contract are eligible to download the latest releases from HyperFlex Cisco Software Download page.

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