End of Product Life Cycle: Overview

Products reach the end of their Product Life Cycle for a number of reasons. These reasons may be due to market demands, technology innovation and development driving changes in the product, or the products simply mature over time and are replaced by functionally richer technology. While this is an established part of the overall product life cycle, Cisco Systems recognizes that end-of-life milestones often prompt companies to review the way in which such end-of-sale and end-of-life milestones impact the Cisco products in their networks. With that in mind, we have set out below Cisco's end-of-life policy to help customers better manage their end-of-life transition and to understand the role that Cisco can play in helping to migrate to alternative Cisco platforms and technology.

The End of Life Policy only applies to End of Life and End of Sale announcements made in all Theaters on or after November 30, 2002 for all Cisco product lines. The Policy does not apply to product that is already subject to an End of Life and/or End of Sale announcement.

The general policy guidelines are:

  1. As a general rule, Cisco will provide 6 months' notice of the affected product's end-of-sale date and/or the last day when the affected product can be ordered. This notice will appear on the Cisco.com site at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/prod_end_of_life.html and we encourage you to visit this site regularly as it contains useful information regarding Cisco's end-of-life program. Sign up at the Cisco Notification Service to receive notifications.
  2. Access to Cisco's Technical Assistance Center (TAC) will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a period of 5 years from the end-of-sale date for hardware and operating system software issues and for a period of 3 years from the end-of-sale date for application software issues.
  3. Spares or replacement parts for hardware will be available for a period of 5 years from the end-of-sale date. We will provide spares and replacement parts in accordance with our Return Materials Authorization (RMA) process.
  4. Software support will be as follows:
    1. For the first year following the end-of-sale date, we will provide bug fixes, maintenance releases, work arounds, or patches for critical bugs reported via the TAC or Cisco.com Web site.
    2. After the first year and for Operating System SW -where available- we will provide bug fixes, maintenance releases, workarounds or patches for a period of 4 years for operating system software. Bear in mind that it may be necessary to use software upgrade release to correct a reported problem.
    3. After the first year and for Application SW -where available - we will provide bug fixes, maintenance releases, workarounds or patches for a period of 2 years for application software. Bear in mind that it may be necessary to use software upgrade release to correct a reported problem.
  5. You will need to ensure that you have a current and fully paid support contract with Cisco. Please contact your Support Account Manager regarding fees payable during the end-of-life period so that we can support you right through the end-of-life transition period.
  6. Below are guidelines that should be followed to ensure that you receive effective support for the affected products within your network:
    1. For hardware or software that is not covered under a service contract, customers may add the product(s) to a current contract or purchase a new contract until 12 months after the end-of-sale date.
    2. Service contracts that have not been renewed or have lapsed after 12 months of end-of-sale date are not re-newable.
    3. Renewal of your service contract will generally be available until the last year of support, but will not extend beyond the last date of support.

The end-of-life milestones and Cisco commitments are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Standard Guideline for End-of-Life Milestones
Milestone -6 mos Day 0 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year
End-of-Sale Notice Period   End-of-sale date          
Operating System Software maintenance support   See 4(a) See 4(b) above    
Add or attach new service contracts            
Renew service contracts – for HW & Operating System SW            
Hardware Repair or Replacement            
Customer Service and Support of HW & Operating System SW (TAC access & support)            
Application Software maintenance support    See 4(a) See 4(c) above    
Renew service contracts – for Application SW            
Customer Service and Support of Application SW
(TAC access & support)

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Here is an explanation of some of the terms that we have used in this notice:

End of Product Life Cycle: A process that guides the final business operations associated with the product life cycle. The end-of-life process consists of a series of technical and business milestones and activities that, once completed, make a product obsolete. Once obsolete, the product is not sold, manufactured, improved, repaired, maintained, or supported.

End-of-sale date: The last date to order the product through Cisco point-of-sale mechanisms. The product is no longer for sale.

Hardware: The physical product and its physical components.

Operating System Software: Cisco operating system software that runs on Cisco hardware Application software: Cisco software that requires the presence of some non-Cisco operating system software.

Software Maintenance support: The time period that Cisco may release any software maintenance releases or bug fixes to the software product. After this date, Cisco Engineering will no longer develop, repair, maintain, or test the product software.