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Symantec Product Lifecycle and Support Stages Overview - Definition of Terms


The following explains the type of Support Services we will provide for our Licensed Software at various points during its life cycle. Note that these deliverables and timelines will apply only to Licensed Software that enters its “End of Life, (‘EOL’)” processes on or after November 6, 2006. If your Licensed Software has already entered its End of Life process prior to November 6, 2006, then the terms and conditions and timelines below will not apply. Instead, the existing applicable end of life and version support timelines provided for in your Support Agreement will continue to apply to your Licensed Software.

General: The scope of Support Services that we provide for any Licensed Software will depend on where it is in its product life cycle. From the perspective of providing Support Services, we treat a “Major Release” and its related “Minor Releases” and “Maintenance Packs” the same way. Typically, a Major Release will be issued every twelve (12) to thirty (30) months, depending on the product and its feature enhancement cycle. A Major Release reaches EOL when a new Major Release becomes generally commercially available (“GA”). In addition, in some cases we may decide to discontinue marketing a product, and may announce the date of the End of Life of that product as whole, and commence the End of Life processes for that product. In such case, the following paragraphs will also apply to that product’s Major Release and its related releases that are then generally commercially available. See below for information on the type of Support Services we provide to Licensed Software once it reaches its “End of Life.” We generally provide Support Services for each “Major Release” of Licensed Software for a period of up to seven (7) years from the date it first became GA, as described below. Note that we typically continue to allow customers to purchase licenses for a defined period of time following the date of End of Life.

"End of Life" or "EOL" means when we cease marketing or distributing a Major Release and its related releases of Licensed Software. The End of Life date starts the timeline and process leading to End of Support Life for that Major Release and its related Minor Releases and Maintenance Packs.

"End of Support Life" or "EOSL" means when we stop providing any “Partial Support” as well as any “Standard Support” for a Major Release or its related releases that have reached their End of Life, regardless of the Severity Level of the Problem, and regardless of the Support Services offering purchased.
At the end of the seven (7) year period described under “Partial Support”, the Major Release and its related releases will reach their “End of Support Life, (‘EOSL’)” and we will cease providing any Standard Support or Partial Support for those releases. Please note that as a general rule we will offer online self-help support in our Knowledge Base and accompanying documentation for most Licensed Software for a period of up to ten (10) years from the date the Major Release became generally commercially available.

"Maintenance Pack" means a release that provides cumulative Bug Fixes for a particular Major Release or Minor Release of Licensed Software, and typically does not contain new features or functionality. A Maintenance Pack may be available either as a download from the Symantec Enterprise Technical Support website or as a media kit. It is generally installed as an overlay - also known as a patch. Maintenance Pack nomenclature is tied to the related Major Release or Minor Release. For example, a Maintenance Pack relating to Major Release 1.0 would be designated as 1.0 MP 1, 1.0 MP 2, etc., and a Maintenance Pack for Minor Release 2.1 would be designated as 2.1 MP1, 2.1 MP2, etc. In general, a Maintenance Pack will be issued every three (3) to six (6) months.

"Major Release" means a new release of the Licensed Software that incorporates the last Minor Release (if one has occurred) and may include additional enhancements to the Licensed Software. A Major Release to the Licensed Software typically requires a new installation. Major Releases may include architectural changes, major feature changes, new platform support, and new operating system support. Unless otherwise defined via a specific communication, Major Releases are designated by the number to the left of the decimal point such as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc. In general, a Major Release will be issued every twelve (12) to thirty (30) months.

"Minor Release" means a new release of the Licensed Software that incorporates all previous Maintenance Packs and Fixes since the prior Major Release. A Minor Release is tied to the preceding Major Release and may contain new features, new platform support, new operating system support, and the latest Software Version Upgrades and Content Updates. Typically, a Minor Release requires a new install, rather than an overlay to the already installed Licensed Software. Unless otherwise defined via a specific communication, Minor Releases are designated by numbers to the right of the decimal point such as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. A Minor Release will typically be issued not more than once every six (6) months.

"Partial Support" is a more limited level of Support Services than you would receive under “Standard Support.” Partial Support is when our technical support engineer provides you with known Fixes/Patches/Workarounds, existing Maintenance Packs, or information from our technical knowledge base in response to your request for assistance. Partial Support does not include development of any new modifications to your Licensed Software. Nor will we attempt to reproduce the Problem or escalate issues through management channels or to our engineering resources. Such Partial Support will be subject to the availability of resources, and we may need to limit the time we are able to spend on the Problem.

At the end of the thirty (30) month period described under “Standard Support”, we will cease providing any Standard Support, and we will cease providing any Content Updates. Instead, we will provide “Partial Support” for all Cases at all Severity Levels. Partial Support will end seven (7) years from GA of the applicable Major Release.
There are other instances where we may begin to provide Partial Support for a product. As a rule, we will only provide Standard Support Services for a current Major Release of Licensed Software (for example, version 3.0) along with two prior Major Releases (say, versions 1.0 and 2.0). Where a Product is the subject of frequent feature enhancements, a Major Release will move through its End of Life processes rapidly, Therefore, we may need to shorten the timeframe for providing Standard Support for the older versions of those products, and will instead start to provide Partial Support. More specifically, when a new Major Release (in this case, version 4.0) is issued, we will cease providing Standard Support for the oldest version (1.0) and will only provide Partial Support for that version. However, using this example, we will continue providing Standard Support for versions 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0. As noted above, we will continue to provide Partial Support for that oldest version 1.0 until seven (7) years from its GA. We will also stop providing Standard Support and switch over to Partial Support where a Major Release has been GA for five (5) years and no further Major Releases have been issued. At the end of that five (5) year period, the Major Release and its related releases will be eligible only for Partial Support. As noted above, we will provide Partial Support until seven (7) years from GA of the applicable Major Release.

"Standard Support" We will initially provide “Standard Support” for all Cases at all Severity Levels for Licensed Software while the Major Release and its related releases are generally commercially available until the date of their EOL. We will then continue to provide Standard Support for all Cases at all Severity Levels for thirty (30) months following EOL. During this time, we will determine when it will be most effective to develop a new Fix, such as cases where there has been data loss, production system down, or significant security vulnerabilities identified, or other significant defects. For other types of Problems, we will typically either provide an existing Fix, or may provide Solution Delivery through a regularly scheduled Minor Release or Maintenance Pack, or we may consider the Problem in developing future Software Version Upgrade. Customers may also access Content Updates during this thirty (30) month period as well. At the end of this thirty (30) month period, we will stop providing Standard Support.



References:
Frequently Asked Questions: End of Life and changes in Support Deliverable for Symantec Business Products


Document ID: 2006120114002855
Last Modified: 01/12/2011
Date Created: 12/01/2006



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