Netsweeper Technical Support provides support for all Early Adopters (EA) and Generally Available (GA) releases. The main difference between an Early Adopter release and a General Availability release is that once a GA release is made for a product version, no more features will be added to that specific version of the product. Only stability and security improvements will be back-ported to a GA release. Netsweeper is committed to make sure both EA and GA releases are stable, and all features and fixes have been run through full Quality Assurance.
Customers who find issues or problems in an EA release will be recommended to first upgrade to the latest GA release if available. When no GA release is yet available, these issues can be quickly fixed even if the issue is with the requirements or how the customer wants the feature deployed. Once a release goes to the GA state, only stability and security issues will be resolved. Features and functionality will not be changed to meet or extend the feature to meet new requirements. This means that any customer running a GA release, can easily upgrade to a GA release of the same version with little to no risk. No features or functionality will have been added and as such this greatly reduces any associated risk.
Customers upgrading from an older GA release to a later GA release will need to perform full risk assessment since many features and functionality will have changed. These changes in features and functionality will cause the same risk as upgrading from a GA to an EA release. Netsweeper recommends that customers create a project plan in advance to consider how they plan on upgrading their deployment.
The following items are important for all customers who are considering running an EA release in a production environment:
- Customers planning a Netsweeper deployment should generally deploy a GA release unless they require features from the latest EA release.
- Variances found in an EA release are scheduled into the product release cycle and fixed in the next EA or possibly GA release.
- The EA release cycle is typically 2-4 weeks between releases.
- Variances found in a GA release are provided as a patch to the specific GA release only if the variance is ‘P1 Critical’.
- GA Patches can be provided as soon as the issue has been replicated and resolved by the development team. Typically, this is under 1 week.
- Customers who require EA release features, and must use an EA release in production, should always perform appropriate risk analysis and plan to upgrade to a GA release once it is available as the features and functionality change between EA releases.
- The EA release cycle is used to stabilize features and allow customers to provide feedback during feature development. Customers should take advantage of this release cycle and run EA releases in production environments to work with Netsweeper to deliver the best possible product features.
- From an initial EA release, it takes a minimum of six months to stabilize new features into a GA release.
- Netsweeper historically takes 5-6 EA releases before a specific version becomes GA. Therefore, upgrading to a 2.0.4 EA release is likely a better choice than installing a 1.0.7 GA and waiting for the 2.0 GA release to be made. The risk associated with the upgrade from 1.0.7 GA to 2.0.5 GA is higher than the risk of installing 2.0.4 EA and upgrading to 2.0.5 GA.
- If you are uncertain what release to use or need assistance with the risk assessment related to what release to use, please contact Netsweeper Technical Support for assistance.