NVIDIA Virtual GPU Software Lifecycle on Supported GPUs

The NVIDIA vGPU software lifecycle is related to the NVIDIA GPU hardware product lifecycle. Specifically, NVIDIA vGPU software support is coupled to the lifecycle of the NVIDIA GPU it was released on. An active SUMS or software subscription is required to receive software support.

1. Relationship Between Hardware and Software Support

NVIDIA vGPU software is supported only on select models of NVIDIA GPUs. The market availability of GPUs that support NVIDIA vGPU software is communicated by OEMs. Each GPU that supports NVIDIA vGPU software comes with an OEM hardware warranty which is typically 3 years. The OEMs set the detailed hardware warranty terms, as well as market introduction and availability.

For information about which NVIDIA GPUs support NVIDIA vGPU software, see NVIDIA Virtual GPU Software Supported GPUs.

Each supported GPU is released with a version of NVIDIA vGPU software that is supported on the GPU. During the lifecycle of the hardware, there are multiple software releases, or "branches", which provide additional features, bug fixes, and security updates. Typically, the lifecycle of a GPU that supports NVIDIA vGPU software is longer than a single software release branch, such as, NVIDIA vGPU software 7.x.

2. Software Support Phases

The software support lifecycle of an NVIDIA vGPU software product release consists of a number of distinct phases.

There are three software support phases:

  1. Phase I: Full Support (FS)
  2. Phase II: Extended Full Support (EFS), which lasts for 3 years
  3. Phase III: Maintenance Support (MS), which lasts for 3 years

2.1. Phase I: Full Support (FS)

Phase I: Full Support starts at the release of the version of NVIDIA vGPU software on which the NVIDIA GPU is supported when the GPU is released. Each GPU is supported by a specific version of NVIDIA vGPU software when the GPU released.

Phase I: Full Support entails the following software support:

  • New features
  • Bug fixes
  • Security updates
  • Performance improvements
  • Support for new hypervisors and guest OSes
  • Other improvements and enhancements that can be technically supported by the hardware

2.2. Phase II: Extended Full Support (EFS)

Phase II: Extended Full Support (EFS) starts when NVIDIA publishes a notification of the start of Phase II (EFS) of NVIDIA vGPU software support on a particular NVIDIA GPU. Phase II (EFS) lasts for 3 years.

This notice typically happens on or around the end of OEM availability of the affected GPU. During the Extended Full Support phase, the GPU is supported in the same way as during Phase I: Full Support. However, in publishing start of Phase II, NVIDIA is giving customers extended notification of the final lifecycle of the NVIDIA vGPU software on that particular GPU.

2.3. Phase III: Maintenance Support (MS)

Phase III: Maintenance Support (MS) starts when Phase II: Extended Full Support (EFS) ends. Phase III (MS) is the final phase of NVIDIA vGPU software support on a particular GPU. Phase III (MS) lasts for 3 years after the end EFS.

When a GPU moves into the MS Phase, an NVIDIA vGPU software branch is identified as the last supported branch on the GPU. No future branches will be supported on that GPU.

Phase III: Maintenance Support entails only the following software support for the GPU at NVIDIA’s choice:

  • Maintenance
  • Bug fixes
  • Security updates

Phase III: Maintenance Support does not entail new features or technical support, and there is no ability to update or upgrade software.

At the conclusion of Phase III, the NVIDIA vGPU software enters the end of service life (EOSL). After the GPU enters EOSL, no active software support is provided by NVIDIA, except that self-help may still be available to users for a limited period.

3. Comparison of Software Support Phases

Phase I: Full Support Phase II:Extended Full Support Phase III: Maintenance Support End of Service Life
Feature enhancements Yes Yes No No
Support in major releases Yes Yes No No
Support for new hypervisor and guest OS releases Yes Yes No No
Maintenance bug fix support in minor releases Yes Yes Yes No
Security patches Yes Yes Yes No
Technical support Yes Yes No No
Self help through knowledge base articles Yes Yes Yes Yes

The following diagram shows the phases in the software support lifecycle of an NVIDIA vGPU software product release.



Diagram showing the phases in the software support lifecycle of an NVIDIA vGPU software product release.

4. SUMS Categories for the Software Support Lifecycle

  • Updates and upgrades:
    • Feature enhancements
    • Support in major releases
    • Support for new hypervisor and guest OS releases
  • Maintenance:
    • Maintenance bug fix support
  • Technical support:
    • Technical support
    • Self help through knowledge base articles

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