In this era of digital transformation and historic technology shifts with data management and mobility for hybrid cloud environments, enterprises are continually looking to enhance the business value they provide their clients. At the same time, the pace of business model innovation continues to accelerate to drive an increasing need and pace for delivery of new function. In other words, enterprises often find themselves having to find a balance between adopting new capabilities and trying to ensure the ongoing resilience of their key systems. We know that some of you want a rock-solid base release that will be around for years while others want to get their hands on the very latest function or feature, still fully tested, for their environment as soon as possible. Some customers want both for different parts of their estate. No matter what, clarity on what they should be running is paramount.
Starting in the first quarter of 2021, IBM is taking steps to make this easier for users of IBM Spectrum Virtualize. IBM will continue to produce software packages regularly during the year. These software packages will be referred to as Continuous Development (CD) release packages and might include fixes, new features, and enhancements. A CD release might occasionally be designated as a Long Term Support (LTS) release or level. An LTS level is intended for systems which demand the highest levels of stability, and Program Temporary Fixes (PTF) based on this LTS level during the supported period will contain fixes for identified problems and vulnerabilities. The LTS releases are what we expect the majority of our customers to be running with subsequent upgrades between LTS releases.
Conversely, CD release levels are intended for clients wanting to exploit the latest features and capabilities of IBM Spectrum Virtualize when they do not wish to wait for the next LTS package that includes these updates. Clients can choose to be on an LTS level and move to a CD level, and vice-versa, move between CD levels, or have some systems on CD and some on LTS levels. A client that is not utilizing an LTS level will be expected to move to a subsequent supported CD level or to the next LTS level for fix currency.
Figure: IBM Spectrum Virtualize CD/LTS Software Release Approach
The CD releases are expected to add new function to current storage products running IBM Spectrum Virtualize software on a regular cadence and are intended for customers wanting to exploit the latest features and capabilities of IBM Spectrum Virtualize without waiting for the next long term support release cycle. In other words, the non-LTS CD releases are where our customers can go to, to get the cutting edge, fully tested capabilities before they appear in the next LTS release. With CD releases, customers should expect to move to subsequent CD releases regularly, if they want to keep on getting all the very latest capabilities.
This is great for our clients especially as they look at their long-term data management and modernization plans for their hybrid cloud storage environment. This new IBM Spectrum Virtualize software release strategy makes it easy for our clients to determine what software release path they want to be on, along with, the flexibility to move between CD releases based on their functional needs. The recommended LTS PTF or CD level for use with systems can be found in the IBM Support IBM Spectrum Virtualize Family of Products Upgrade Planning page. This CD release model facilitates a consistent and predictable support experience. Clients will continue to receive the same world-class support and assistance that they are accustomed to from IBM. This support is included in the standard software subscription, maintenance and license charges for the eligible storage products. Further details on the Continuous Development release model can be found in the FAQ page. Additional questions and/or comments can be sent to Hybrid Cloud Storage Offering Management, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!