VMware SD-WAN/SASE Long-Term Support Release
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VMware SD-WAN/SASE Long-Term Support Release


Article ID: 326448


Updated On:





VMware SD-WAN/SASE is introducing a Long-Term Support (LTS) policy to enhance the operational efficiency of our partners and customers during the implementation of new software. LTS helps partners and customers pick the best software version. Additionally, by embracing LTS releases, partners and customers can:

  1. Ensure enhanced quality and attain increased stability.
  2. Gain visibility and predictability regarding the release schedule of software code.
  3. Experience deterministic timelines for the delivery of features and enhancements.

What is Long-Term Support:

Long-Term Support is a widely accepted industry term that signifies a stable software release designed to provide end users with a dependable environment for delivering their services. As new software code is added to releases, there is the potential that these changes may destabilize the release. To mitigate these risks, LTS releases are planned at greater intervals, ensuring that significant software or infrastructure features are thoroughly examined and subjected to additional comprehensive testing.

With the introduction of LTS, VMware has implemented similar changes with a focus on quality. Hence releases will be identified as either LTS or Short-Term Support (STS) releases. To further ensure stability VMware has also implemented the following structure:

  1. There will be 1 LTS release in a calendar year followed by 2 STS releases.
  2. Support duration for a LTS release will be 3 years from the date of release.
  3. STS releases will have a support duration of 1 year.
  4. Support duration for the releases (LTS and STS) will include all components of the solution. That is, support duration will be for VMware Edge and Cloud Orchestrator (VECO), VMware Cloud Gateway (VCG) and VMware SD-WAN Edge (VCE). 
  5. To manage the number of releases that VMware maintains in this new model, STS releases will have no maintenance releases (MR). Only LTS releases will have a pre-determined cadence of MRs on the LTS branch.
  6. LTS candidate releases will have 4 MRs during its 3 year lifetime.
  7. The 1st two MRs will be delivered every 4 months. After the first 2 MRs, once an LTS release is available, the cadence is increased to 6 months and the last MR will be released after 7 months.
  8. STS releases will have rollups, while on LTS releases these builds would be on demand as LTS releases have maintenance releases that contain bug fixes. (Please refer to the KB article VMware SD-WAN Software Release Types and Software Upgrade Strategy for Orchestrators and Gateways (89609) | VMware KB that defines maintenance releases and rollup releases.)


For VECO and VCG, the LTS strategy is applicable for on-prem and dedicated deployments. VMware hosted, shared, and private infrastructure would continue to be on the latest published release, which can be an LTS or STS release.

Edges can follow an LTS strategy for all deployment models of VECO and VCG - Shared, Private and Dedicated.

The table below summarizes the different releases and the rules associated to them


The diagram below shows the different major-minor releases, maintenance, and rollup releases.


 Timeline diagram above release dates are for illustration only

LTS Candidate vs LTS Release:



With this new model of 3 releases in a year, every release that reaches General Availability is a supported release. Only 1 of these releases will be the LTS candidate release. The LTS candidate release would have undergone the exact same rigorous qualification process as any. The LTS candidate release is that release which after 2 maintenance releases will be marked as the LTS release. At GA the LTS candidate release would have undergone the exact same rigorous qualification process as any STS release.. 


Note: A LTS candidate release is a fully supported release and customers may deploy this release as needed. 


From the time the LTS candidate release is made available, VMware SASE will continue performing additional testing and validation, along with bug fixes to deliver the LTS release.

  1. The timeframe for when an LTS Candidate becomes an LTS Release is 2 quarters. This ensures VMware has had sufficient time to resolve both externally and internally found defects in the LTS Candidate.
  2. Additional time is also needed to perform extended testing, such as longevity (30 day) solution and stress testing. 
  3. Improved test coverage driven by the identification of new test coverage areas and incoming defects resulting from quality engineering (QE) initiatives, including Top-N testing. Improved test coverage driven by the identification of new test coverage areas and incoming defects. LTS candidate releases will be implemented within VMware, in coordination with VMware IT. The VMware employee infrastructure will be upgraded to ensure added coverage.

To further de-risk stability, LTS candidate releases undergo exhaustive planning. 

  1. Early planning for LTS candidate releases ensures no infrastructure or OS changes are introduced. 
  2. No software architectural changes are made that have a widespread impact on the software. These changes will be introduced in STS releases to ensure they have had enough exposure before the next LTS candidate is made available.
  3. Both LTS and STS releases have identical test coverage, however LTS releases undergo extended 30 day longevity testing


Recommended release vs LTS release:

VMware SASE uses the “Recommended Release” tag to guide partners and customers on which release they should adopt, as defined in VMware SD-WAN Software Versions: Recommended Releases.  The LTS release strategy brings needed predictability to Recommended Releases. As a result, the intent is to deprecate the current Recommended Release methodology in favor of recommending LTS Releases after the first LTS Release (i.e. release 5.2.3) meets all the criteria of our current Recommended Release methodology.