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NOTE: This FAQ was updated on April 5, 2017.
The Microsoft Azure Lifecycle Policy is categorized as follows.
Azure Virtual Machines Lifecycle Policy
The Microsoft software supported on Azure Virtual Machines (Infrastructure as a Service) as described here follows the existing Mainstream and Extended Support phase of the Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating System Policy outlined here.
Azure Services Lifecycle Policy
All other Azure services follow the Modern Lifecycle Policy outlined here.
Support for custom applications using open source on Azure
For all scenarios that are eligible for support through an Azure purchased support plan, Microsoft will provide commercially reasonable efforts to support custom applications and services built using open source software running on Azure as discussed in the Support Scope section of the Azure Support FAQ Website.
Azure Cloud Services Lifecycle Policy
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services (Web and Worker Roles/Platform as a Service), allows developers to easily deploy and manage application services while delegating the management of underlying role instances and operating system to the Azure platform. The Lifecycle Policy details for the Guest OS provided by Azure Cloud Services is outlined below.
Guest OS family
"Guest OS family" refers to a version of the underlying Windows Server operating system that is used in Azure Cloud Services.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services will support no fewer than the latest two Guest OS Families for deploying new Cloud Services. Microsoft will provide notification 12 months before retiring a Guest OS family in order to smooth the transition to a supported Guest OS family.
For more information about supported Guest OS families, please refer to this site.
Guest OS version (patch level)
"Guest OS Version" refers to the MSRC (Microsoft Security and Response Center) patch level for a given Guest OS family. Microsoft Azure regularly updates every Guest OS family with the latest security updates released by MSRC.
Microsoft Azure will support the latest two guest OS versions for each family. Customers using the automatic update option always receive the latest Guest OS version as it is rolled out. Microsoft will provide a 60-day grace period for customers using the manual update option before they must adopt one of the supported versions in order to continue using the cloud service under the terms of the Microsoft Azure SLA.
Microsoft Azure SDK policy
Microsoft Azure SDK is the core building block that helps developers author cloud services using the Microsoft Azure Service Runtime Programming model, debug using emulators on the local machine, and deploy to Microsoft Azure data centers in the cloud.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services will support no fewer than the latest two SDK versions for deploying new Cloud Services. Microsoft will provide notification 12 months before retiring a SDK in order to smooth the transition to a supported version.
The Microsoft Azure SDK policy covers Microsoft Azure SDK authoring tools, REST APIs, client libraries, command-line utilities, compute & storage emulators, and Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio.
For all implementation details of Azure OS retirement please refer to the Azure Guest OS Releases and SDK Compatibility Matrix MSDN page here.
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