NVIDIA AI Enterprise Lifecycle Policy (October 26, 2023)
NVIDIA has introduced a new Enterprise Software lifecycle for NVIDIA AI Enterprise 4.0 and above.
This new Enterprise Software lifecycle reflects the changes to how NVIDIA AI Enterprise is distributed that were introduced in NVIDIA AI Enterprise 4.0. Starting with NVIDIA AI Enterprise 4.0, AI frameworks and SDKs are decoupled from software for the management and optimization of infrastructure and workloads. They are distributed in the following release branches in the NVIDIA NGC™ Enterprise Catalog:
- Feature Branch (FB) & Models
- Production Branch (PB)
- Long-Term Support Branch (LTSB)
- Infra Release Branch
The release cadence of each NVIDIA AI Enterprise release branch type is provided for general guidance only. The actual security update and release cadence can change at NVIDIA’s discretion.
An FB contains the latest versions of NVIDIA AI frameworks, workflows, pretrained models, and SDKs. Each FB is supported for 1 month. Bug fixes and security updates are made available in future FBs.
A new FB is released every month.
A PB contains production-ready branches of AI frameworks and SDKs to provide API stability and a secure environment for building mission-critical AI applications. Each PB is supported for 9 months. During the period that a PB is supported, it receives monthly bug fixes and security updates for high and critical software vulnerabilities.
A new PB is released every 6 months.
An LTSB contains selected AI frameworks and SDKs for highly regulated industries that require longer application lifecycle management. Each LTSB is supported for 3 years. During the period that an LTSB is supported, it receives quarterly bug fixes and security updates for high and critical software vulnerabilities.
A new LTSB is released every 30 months.
An Infra Release Branch contains software for the management and optimization of infrastructure and workloads. Each Infra Release Branch is supported for 1 year unless it is designated as an LTSB Infra Release Branch, in which case, it is supported for 3 years. During the period that an Infra Release Branch is supported, it receives regular bug fixes and security updates.
How often a new Infra Release is released depends on whether the new release is a Major Release or a Minor Release:
- A new Major Release is released every 6 months.
A Major Release is the first release in an Infra Release Branch, indicated by the x.0 release number. A Major Release typically introduces significant new functionality and can also contain bug fixes and security updates.
- A new Minor Release is released every 3 months.
A Minor Release is an Infra Release that updates a Major Release, indicated by the x.y version number. A minor release typically does not introduce significant new functionality but contains bug fixes and security updates.
An Infra Release is designated as an LTSB Infra Release:
- At least once in 2 years
- At least once for each hardware architecture
An Infra Release release will be designated an LTSB release within 6 months of its general availability. Customers will be notified if the current Infra Release is designated an LTSB Infra Release before general availability of the next Infra Release.
|Feature Branch (FB)||Production Branch (PB)||Long Term Support Branch (LTSB)||Infra Release Branch|
|Length of support||1 month||9 months||3 years||1 year
Can be designated as an LTSB Infra Release, which is supported for 3 years
|Minor release (bug updates and critical security updates)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Major release cadence1||Every month||Every 6 months||Every in 2.5 years (timed to coincide with new hardware architecture)||Every 6 months|
Software branch support and maintenance consists of bug fixes and critical security updates. The duration of support for an NVIDIA AI Enterprise release depends on the type of release branch to which the release belongs.
|Release Branch Type||Duration of Support|
|Long Term Support Branch (LTSB)||3 years|
|Infra Release Branch||1 year unless designated as an LTSB Infra Release, which is supported for 3 years|
|Production Branch (PB)||9 months|
|Feature Branch (FB)||1 month|
For PB and LTSB releases of some components that have dependencies on open-source software, NVIDIA provides an analysis of how known vulnerabilities in this open-source software might affect the container images for these components. The analysis can be accessed through the NGC Container Scanning UI and is downloadable as a Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange (VEX) file in CyclonDX format.
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