Server Platform Product Support Lifecycle Policies and Definitions

SUSE provides thirteen year product lifecycle for most products in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 12. Some products, such as SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 or 9, may have a ten year product lifecycle. Please check our product support lifecycle table for information about your specific product lifecycle.

  General Support Extended Support
  Years 1-5 Years 6-7 Years 8-10 Years 11-13
Self Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maintenance Patches Yes Yes Yes Partial1LTSS 2
Technical Support Yes Yes Yes Partial3LTSS 4
Security Patches Yes Yes Yes LTSS 5
Defect Resolution Yes Yes Partial6 LTSS 7
Service Packs Yes Yes No No
Additional Hardware Enablement and Software Enhancements Yes Partial8 No No

1 Access to previously released patches with an active subscription.
2 Access to patches for earlier product versions possible with optional Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS).
3 Limited migration and configuration assistance provided with standard or priority subscription.
4 More comprehensive installation, migration, configuration and break fix technical support available with optional LTSS.
5 Only available with LTSS.
6 Limited to severity level 1 and 2 defects.
7 Only available with LTSS. Limited to severity level 1 and 2 defects.
8 Discretionary, based on customer and partner requests.

Server Platform Product Support Lifecycle.

SUSE combines ten years of general support, with an additional three years of extended support, to offer customers a thirteen year lifecycle for most of the latest enterprise Linux platform products. Enterprises benefit from stable code streams which help lower risk and extend the useful life of their IT investments.

This applies to the following products:


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Modules

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, SUSE introduces modular packaging. The modules are distinct sets of packages grouped into their own maintenance channel and updated independently of service pack life cycles. This allows you to get a timely and easy access to the latest technology in areas where innovation is occurring at a rapid pace, like cloud. The modules are:

Module Name Content Lifecycle
Web and Scripting Module HP, Python, Ruby on Rails 3 years, with 18 month overlap
Legacy Module Sendmail, old IMAP stack, old Java, etc. 3 years
Public Cloud Module Public cloud initialization codes and tools Frequent releases*
Toolchain Module** GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) Yearly delivery
Advanced Systems Management Module CFEngine, Puppet and the new Machinery tool Frequent releases

* “Frequent releases” means that if a public cloud provider changes the initialization code or upload tool it requires, you don't have to wait for a new release of the module. The SUSE team providing the packages will update the module to keep pace with cloud requirements. We follow a similar model in the Advanced System Management Module.

** Because SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 already contains a new version of the toolchain stack, SUSE will release the first version of the Toolchain Module mid-2015.

General Support

SUSE provides ten years of general support for most core server platform products (see the list in section Server Platform Product Support Lifecycle), starting the day they first become generally available. During this time period, SUSE provides patches for improving stability, enhancing performance, and addressing security vulnerabilities, and service packs that enable new hardware and software features, through basic, standard and priority subscriptions.

In addition, SUSE offers installation, configuration, migration and break-fix technical support through standard and priority subscriptions, during the first ten years of the product's life.

As a general rule, patches are delivered through software repositories, and provided for currently available product releases.

Extended Support

SUSE provides an additional three years of extended support, after general support for its platform products ends. During this period, customers with basic, standard and priority subscriptions are granted access to previously released maintenance patches.

Customers with standard and priority subscriptions also receive limited migration and configuration assistance during this extended support period.

Long Term Service Pack Support, an optional fee based offering, can be purchased to continue receiving maintenance and security patches for a specific product release, as well as get more comprehensive installation, migration, configuration and break-fix technical support, during this extended support period.

Self-Support

SUSE offers a variety of product specific and general self support resources so that you can help yourself. A knowledgebase, support forum, documentation and free tools are available during the entire lifecycle of our platform products. More+

Maintenance Patches

Keeping your systems up-to-date helps ensure maximum performance and security. Through Customer Center, SUSE proactively notifies its customers when patches are available for their systems, as well as provides powerful tools to update them quickly and easily.

Maintenance patches are delivered to customers with active subscriptions, during a product's general support period. During a product's extended support period, customers with active subscriptions continue to have access to software repositories, where previously released maintenance patches are posted. More+

Customers that would like to continue receiving new maintenance patches for a particular product during its extended support period, can do so by purchasing Long Term Service Pack Support.

Technical Support

With major support centers worldwide staffed 24x7x365 with expert Linux engineers trained in servicing mixed IT environments, you'll get the help you need, when you need it. Customers with standard and priority subscriptions can initiate service requests through Customer Center, or by sending an email or calling their support contact. More+

Comprehensive installation, migration, configuration and break-fix technical support is offered during a product's general support period to customers with standard and priority subscriptions.

Limited technical support (migration and configuration assistance only) is provided to customers with standard and priority subscriptions, during a product's extended support period (years 11-13). Customers wishing to receive more comprehensive technical support during a product's extended support period, for a specific product version, can do so by purchasing Long Term Service Pack Support.

Security Patches

Keeping your servers secure is our utmost priority. SUSE software includes many features, such as authentication methods, encryption, intrusion prevention and detection, and backup, that make it inherently secure. But because errors are always possible (both deliberate and accidental) that can affect your systems' security (including design flaws, programming errors, and back doors), SUSE treats security as a continuous process. More+

SUSE promptly reacts to security incidents and delivers premium quality security patches during a product's general support period.

Customers purchasing Long Term Service Pack Support can continue to get security patches during a product's extended support period.

Defect Resolution

In certain cases, PTFs (program temporary fixes) may be created to address specific issues reported by customers. These PTFs may eventually become incorporated into service packs. More+

During the latter years of a product's lifecycle, PTFs are generally only created for more severe or critical customer issues. Customers wishing to receive Severity 1 and 2 defect resolution during a product's extended support period can do so by purchasing Long Term Service Pack Support.

Service Packs

Service Packs are up-to-date product versions which contain enhancements, as well as all maintenance and security patches released since its prior version (if there is one), packaged into a single, convenient, installable image. SUSE generally releases service packs every twelve to eighteen months. Once a new service pack is released, customers have six months to upgrade to this latest service pack, and continue to receive current patches and fixes.

If you need more than six months to design, validate and test your system upgrades, Long Term Service Pack Support can provide an additional twelve to thirty-six months in twelve-month increments, giving you a total of three to five years of support on any given legacy service pack.

Additional Hardware Enablement and Software Enhancements

Our forward looking development model enables SUSE to deliver innovation to our customers faster. Customers get new features and functionality faster than if we were to rely strictly on backporting code. Through our SolidDriver Program, we deliver partners tools that make it easier for our customers to use the latest industry standard hardware, and better exploit its capabilities.

SUSE prioritizes hardware enablement and software enhancements in the earlier years of a product's lifecycle, to encourage the growth of the ecosystem surrounding our platform. In the latter half of the product lifecycle, SUSE shifts its focus towards optimization and extending the useful life of customers' existing investments.