ISC's Software Support Policy, updated Jan, 2012
We have been listening to you, and are making slight amendments to our Support and EOL (end-of-Life) policy in response to what we’ve heard. We hope these changes reflect your needs.
We will continue with our current policy, which is that software releases are supported until two major releases, (major releases are based upon signficant new features to the code) have come out after them. Examples of major releases are 9.7 and 9.6, or 4.1 and 4.0. For example: 9.7.x general support is phased out 6 months after 9.9.0 is introduced. Currently, we publish major releases six to nine months apart. We will support no more than four major releases of either BIND or DHCP, in total, at any one time.
ISC first introduced its ESV (Extended Support Version) in the summer of 2009 for users who have longer upgrade cycles. Each ESV will be supported for four years from the initial release of that major version. Example: when 9.9.0 is released we will release the ESV as soon as we determine it is stable, usually after one to two cycles of dot releases.
Here are our current ESV versions and their EOL dates:
- BIND 9.4-ESV will be supported until June, 2011-Extended to March 2012
- BIND 9.6-ESV will be supported until January, 2014-(Extended from March)
- BIND 9.9 will be the next ESV version
- DHCP 3.1-ESV will be supported until March 1st, 2012
- DHCP 4.1-ESV will be supported until December 2014
- DHCP 4.3 will be the next ESV version
Within two years of the release of an ESV we will select a new candidate. Each ESV will be supported for FOUR years, so that there is a steady flow of ESV releases. Once the ESV designation has been assigned to a given major release, no more .x releases will be made on that release branch. (e.g. once 9.6-ESV was released, we did not release a 9.6.4, only patches to the 9.6-ESV) We will use the nomenclature of "R#", for patched versions of ESVs. Patches will be released for ESV versions approximately every 3 months or upon announcement of major security bugs or operational fixes. We will install all significant and applicable bug fixes into ESVs. New features are never back-ported to ESV's.
Other General policy guidelines:
-- Standard support terms do not apply to developmental releases (such as BIND 10 in its first three years) or alpha, beta and release candidates (rc's).
-- Developmental releases may come out more often than supported releases.
-- Some level of support may be provided on a best effort basis through our alpha or beta tester program for selected customers and community members enrolled in those programs.
-- We reserve the right to change our version numbering for BIND 10.
-- 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. Recall that there will not be point releases for ESV software.
-- Here is more information on our version numering system.
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