We already knew about the new two-year release cycle, but there were also speculations about a new version. Well, here it is : "IBM plans to introduce a new version of the z/OS operating system, z/OS Version 2, with z/OS V2.1 to be released in the second half of 2013". This will also include a new scheme for z/OS support : "(...) beginning with z/OS Version 2, IBM plans to provide five years of z/OS support, with three years of optional, fee-based extended service (5+3) as part of the new release cadence".
Another item that's confirmed here is that "IBM plans to support an n-2 approach, where three consecutive releases are planned to be supported for coexistence, fallback, and migration". So, direct upgrades from z/OS V1.12 and V1.13 to z/OS V2.1 will be possible. The same goes for z/OSMF.
The next question that arises then is of course : what happens to the support of recent z/OS releases. Well, support for z/OS 1.12 is planned to be extended with one year and for z/OS 1.13 with 2 years. So z/OS 1.12 should be supported until September 30, 2014 and z/OS 1.13 until September 30, 2016. No changes however for z/OS 1.11. End of Support date for z/OS 1.11 remains September 30, 2012. But, as with previous versions, IBM also announces (ZP12-0032) a two year Lifecycle Extension support for z/OS 1.11 extending corrective support until September 30, 2014.
So, how will the release schedule of z/OS possibly look like. Mind you, it's an educated guess, based on statements of direction. And we know what IBM says about SODs, don't we ?
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If this is the schedule to follow, then there will be no entire overlap between End Of Support date of version n-2 and the End of Marketing date of version n.
To be continued . . .
Note : I made some corrections concerning the EOS dates