Software Support Policy

The purpose of this statement is to help users determine how long a given release is likely to be supported for. This information is useful when deciding when to schedule a migration, or in some cases, to help determine which version to migrate to when updating.

In general, software releases are supported until two major releases, (major releases are based upon significant new features to the code) have come out after them. Examples of major releases are BIND 9.9 and 9.10, or DHCP 4.1 and 4.3.  For example: 9.7.x general support was phased out 6 months after 9.9.0 was introduced. Currently, we publish minor, or maintenance releases approximately every six months and major releases approximately every 2 years. There may be exceptions to this in the future.

For the most current information on the status of any particular software version, please refer to the software status listed on the downloads page.

 

BIND

 

Extended Support Versions (ESV)

Releases designated as ESV are ISC’s Extended Support Versions.  We used to incorporate the letters ESV into the version name, but we discontinued this practice after BIND 9.6-ESV.

Once the ESV designation has been assigned to a given major release we will avoid introducing any new features or functionality changes.  (Exceptions may be made where the feature is of significant benefit to the user community – but in those cases, the new functionality will be enabled via a compile-time option).  However, we will install all significant and applicable bug fixes into ESVs.  Each ESV will be supported for at least four years from the initial release of that major version.

Here are our current ESV versions and their EOL dates:

  • BIND 9.6-ESV support ended in January, 2014
  • BIND 9.9 Extended Support Version will be supported until June, 2017

Supported Preview Edition (also known as ‘subscription version’, marked -S)

Releases marked with a -S are part of ISC’s Supported Preview edition. These releases provide a deployable, supported vehicle for our support customers to have early access to new features in development. The -S edition is created for and available to support subscribers and may also be offered to community developers for testing and feedback. The -S edition includes select unreleased software (new features and other changes) that ISC judges to be stable enough for production use.  The software released in the -S versions will usually be available for experimental use via our public code repository and is all intended for eventual general public release.  Features in the -S version may still be in development and may be changed or even removed by the time of the public release.

The -S edition releases are actively maintained and patched in case of security vulnerabilities, just as our regular public releases are.  The -S edition is offered under the ISC software license.

Support plan is different from regular releases:

  1. When we put out a new maint release such as 9.9.8, we do a corresponding -S1, that will normally include all the bug fixes in the 9.9.8 maintenance release, and will normally be a superset of the code in the regular 9.9.8 version.
  2. If we have to do a security patch -P, we do a corresponding -Sn for the -S edition.  For example, if we were issuing a 9.9.8-P1, and the current release of the S edition was 9.9.8-S1, the corresponding security release for the -S edition would be numbered 9.9.8-S2
  3. We may add more changes to the -S edition in between maintenance releases that we would not add to the public edition
  4. We may (will) add new features and feature changes to the -S edition in minor releases
  5. When we come to 9.9.9, we will no longer issue 9.9.8-Sn releases, but will bump the -S version to 9.9.9-S1
  6. The supported preview edition is currently branched off of 9.9, at some point we may migrate it to 9.10 or 9.11, rebasing it off of a newer stable branch. When we do this, we will continue supporting the older -S version for another 6 months to provide a transition period.

 

ISC DHCP

Extended Support Versions (ESV)

Releases designated as ESV are ISC’s Extended Support Versions.  We used to incorporate the letters ESV into the version name, but we discontinued this practice after DHCP 4.1ESV.

Once the ESV designation has been assigned to a given major release we will avoid introducing any new features or functionality changes.  (Exceptions may be made where the feature is of significant benefit to the user community – but in those cases, the new functionality will be enabled via a compile-time option).  However, we will install all significant and applicable bug fixes into ESVs.  Each ESV will be supported for at least four years from the initial release of that major version.

Here are our current ESV versions and their EOL dates:

  • DHCP 4.1-ESV will be supported until December 2015 (we have extended this indefinitely)
  • DHCP 4.3  is the current ESV version

We release maintenance versions approximately every 6 months and new major versions every 2 years.   We are nearing the end of maintenance for ISC DHCP (relative to its 20-year lifespan).  The exact timeframe for EOL will depend on the maturity of Kea and other available options. As we approach EOL we may begin adding minor new features in point releases and make other exceptions to our customary support policies.

 

Kea

All Kea releases to date include new features and are considered development releases.  We will continue doing this to keep up with the pace of new development until further notice. Currently, we are issuing updates every 4 – 6 months, and there is no such thing as a maintenance-only release.   ISC offers support for the current, and immediate prior, regularly-released versions of Kea.  As the product matures, we will plan on supporting both maintenance and development branches.

  • Kea 0.9.1 will be supported until June 2016
  • Kea 0.9.2 will be supported until December 2016

 

Other General Policy Guidelines

  • Standard support terms do not apply to developmental releases (such as Kea prior to release 1.0), the Stable Preview Edition, or Alpha, Beta  and Release Candidates (RC’s).  These are typically shorter-lived releases.
  • We reserve the right to change our version numbering for Kea.
  • We also reserve the right, based on these changes, to include some minor features in point releases (e.g. 9.8.1) for BIND and DHCP.

 

Last modified: February 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm