McAfee has been talking to customers for a while about our upgrade paths for our EWS and MEG software, and we have made a decision to make some changes. Many customers want us to have software versions release slowly due to a need to QA (internally) or run the software through an extended change control system. Other customers want us to release software versions quickly, so that they can get all the latest features available as quickly as possible.
In the interest of accomodating all of these customers, we have made a decision to change our upgrade paths. We are adjusting our upgrade process to be more in line with that used by our McAfee Web Gateway upgrade path structure. For those not familiar with that structure, here's a brief explanation of how it works.
A mainline release of the software is a version of the software with a minor version number of 0 or 5. Thus 7.0 and 7.5 are Mainline releases of the MEG software. These versions can be upgraded directly from one to the next (7.0.x -> 7.5.x ->8.0 -> 8.5, etc.), and each successive version contains all the new features available at the time of release. Customers should expect to receive approximately one mainline release per year.
A controlled release version of the software is any version of the software with a minor version number which is not 0 or 5. Thus 7.6, 7.7, 8.1, 8.2, etc. would be controlled releases of the MEG software. Controlled releases are just like Mainline releases, except for a couple things:
- A controlled release is only fully supported until the next Controlled Release version within that release train is released (e.g. if 7.7 was released, 7.6 would no longer be fully supported), or until the mainline release at the front of that train goes End of Life (e.g. when 7.0 goes End of Life, any 7.6-7.9 versions of the software would also go End of Life).
- Controlled Releases come out much more frequently than mainline releases, and contain all the new features.
- It is possible to skip a controlled release, if desired, when moving on to a later release.
Note that Controlled Release versions of the software are complete per Dev and are subject to the same level of QA scrutiny that a regular Mainline Release would be. As noted above, a controlled release has full Dev and Technical support (will receive patches, hotfixes, and regular technical support) until one of those two conditions are met. Once the next controlled release in the train comes out or the parent version goes end of life, no more patches would be released, and technical support would be "best effort" for that older version of the software.
At this time, the first Controlled Release of the software, MEG 7.6, is currently expected to release sometime in early September.