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How soon does an ER release change to a General Release?

Gregg Hughes
Beginner
Beginner

Good afternoon, all!

We have a couple of new ISR4331 routers. The transceivers we purchased for GE0/0/2 will only work with the very, very latest 16.4.1 Early Deployment. I can't use an early release in production and this transceiver won't work at all with the current 15.4 release installed on the router.

How quickly could this early deployment release be updated to a general release? A month, several months....never?

Thanks very much to all for looking!

Gregg

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Palani Mohan
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Hi Gregg

I understand the question clearly. The link cited by Paul is the only document we have but then, it does not address 16.x releases. Not sure what the plans are, for releasing a similar document for 16.x releases. More on this in my response to Paul's comment.

Which SFP/transceiver do you have? Knowing this will help me to see what other options may exist. Before asking this question, I looked at

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/routers/4000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/relevant-interfaces-and-modules.html#small-form-factor-pluggable

and

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/routers/access/4400/release/xe-16-rn/isr4k-rel-notes-xe-16-4.html

Neither of them mention anything special for 4331 and so, I am asking for details about the SFP you have.

Sincerely ... Palani

PS 16.4.1 is the first release for the new platform 4221.

View solution in original post

6 Replies 6

Paul Chapman
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi -

As far as I can tell, there no longer is such a thing as a "GD" release for most platforms due to the rigorous testing requirements.  Cisco appears to have adopted a DevOps methodology in IOS development.  The ED release is typically the first release with new features in a code train.  These are typically followed by MD releases every 1 - 6 months (depending on platform lifecycle).

I would expect to see an MD release for this version and your platform within a few months.

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/ios-nx-os-software/ios-xe/product_bulletin-c25-731734.html

PSC

Hi Paul

GD (as we knew from back in the days of 12.x) seem to have morphed into MD (Maint Deployment). Hold this thought as one part of the puzzle.

Coming to another part of the puzzle, there are standard and extended releases, at a major release level.To add clarity to it, 16.4 is the major release. 16.4.1 is the first minor release that is part of 16.4 major release train.

The third part of the puzzle is which is a standard release and which is extended? Looking back at 3.1x releases for IOS-XE, every 3rd release (i.e after two standard releases) is an "Extended" release. 3.11 and 3.12 were standard and 3.13 was extended. 3.14 and 3.15 were standard and 3.16 was extended. Applying this logic to 16.x, 16.1 and 16.2 were standard and 16.3 would be the extended release (the release with 36 months life-cycle).

Looking at the info here,  we can see a trend that indicates the following:

    • None of the minor release/versions for a standard release get the MD tag.
    • The initial releases of an extended release do not get the MD tag.
    • There are 4 versions/releases for a standard release train which ties with a release every three months (or so).
    • The fourth or fifth version/releases for an extended seem to get the MD tag.

For 16.x, since we don't have a doc similar to the one you cited, 16.1 and 16.2 would be the standard which makes 16.3 to be an extended release train. 16.4 and 16.5 would be standard release trains which means the minor releases for 16.4 and 16.5 will not likely get the MD tag. Also, being standard releases, these have a shorter life than a 16.3 OR 16.6.

Now, all of the above is pure interpreation on my part, based on what this history has shown us. So, please take it with a grain of salt:-)

I hope this helps .... Kind regards .... Palani

Hi Palani -

I would generally agree with that.

The document I linked tells us that new features for a code version (say 3.1) will have 3 main updates in the first 18 months of the lifecycle.  The main version will also have 8 maintenance releases during a 4 year lifecycle.  Cisco also leaves open the possibility of other releases due to major security flaws if necessary.

This shows a strategy to get new features to market quickly, then make steady updates as customers report bugs. (I reported non-critical bug in Jan, and the updated version will be released in March.)

PSC

Palani Mohan
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Hi Gregg

I understand the question clearly. The link cited by Paul is the only document we have but then, it does not address 16.x releases. Not sure what the plans are, for releasing a similar document for 16.x releases. More on this in my response to Paul's comment.

Which SFP/transceiver do you have? Knowing this will help me to see what other options may exist. Before asking this question, I looked at

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/routers/4000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/relevant-interfaces-and-modules.html#small-form-factor-pluggable

and

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/routers/access/4400/release/xe-16-rn/isr4k-rel-notes-xe-16-4.html

Neither of them mention anything special for 4331 and so, I am asking for details about the SFP you have.

Sincerely ... Palani

PS 16.4.1 is the first release for the new platform 4221.

Hello, Palani!

I had the ProLine GB-TLC-PRO. I was informed by ProLine that only the 16.4.1 version would work with this model. I have since RMA'd the transceiver back to the vendor, who is looking into alternative transceivers for this router.

I'm still a bit at sea about IOS-XE and its support model. It looks like it's using a long-term/short-term support release mechanism, sort of like Ubuntu Linux. If so, the Early Deployment/Maintenance Deployment indicators seem misleading to me. I won't be sure which IOS version will fit with my company policy of "no early release" in production. I'll be interested to see what the actual story is.

Thanks!

Gregg

Hi Gregg

It is kinda hard when you deal with interoperability issues, involving two vendors/providers. I am glad to see the partner helping with providing you with a different SFP. Generally speaking, vendors do a good job of documenting answers for commonly asked questions and yours is a fairly common question. If a rep from Cisco OR any other vendor tell you minimum hw/sw requirements, asking for documentation citing this .

A typical IOS-XE image name would read as <isr4300-universalk9.03.16.05.S.155-3.S5-ext.SPA.bin>

Here, notice two things:

1. The name string contains ext which is good. ext refers to Extended Support which loosely translates to 48 months of support from the first customer release date.

2. The number that follows S is 3-4 or higher. Higher the number, stable the IOS-XE code is. In the cited example, we S5.

Another IOS-XE name is <isr4300-universalk9.03.17.03.S.156-1.S3-std.SPA.bin>

Here, notice we see std which stands for Standard Support and S3.

I hope this helps ... Palani

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