Cool Solutions

What’s an Interim Release then, eh?


September 29, 2007 6:56 am





We’ve just released ZENworks 7 SP1 IR1 and it’s available from – these patches are currently in beta, and if all goes well, they will move out of beta status in a week or two. If you download them you’ll be sent an email inviting you to give your opinion of the patch, and thus can help when it’s time to decide if the patch is good enough to move from beta status.

So why “Interim Release”, why not another “Hot Patch” ? The resources needed for testing a set of patches varies considerably from Hot Patch to Interim Release, and from Interim Release to Support Pack. If we only put out Interim Releases or Support Packs, we’d only be able to release patches on a much more infrequent basis. It’s always a balancing act between getting patches out in a timely fashion, and putting them through a rigorous testing regime. I know we don’t always get it right, but we try to!

We look forward to getting your feedback on this set of patches…

I’m leaving the UK for two weeks vacation in Mexico, at a cookery school in Oaxaca now, so look after yourselves, and I look forward to seeing your comments when I get back.

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  1. By:Joetje F

    Very interesting how you work internally, but you should hide this level of complexity for users. For me, there’re only two kind of releases: one that can be installed in a production environment (SP/IR/HP/whatever) one that cannot (beta). But because Novell makes it so confusing, I’m actually not sure about this anymore.

  2. I think for us it falls along the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  3. By:Eric

    I’m confused. You say this interim release is beta, yet it doesn’t have the beta flag/marker on it at “Patch Distribution Type: Public” means non-beta to me. Am I missing somewhere (other than here) where these patches are labeled as beta?

  4. By:Ron van Herk

    Apologies for the confusion. There have been some changes on the system we use to publish patches, we’ve removed the separate indicator for beta patches and will use the status “optional” for this. I will try to find some more info on this and put a blog post out about this change.
    The IR1 is optional, after a few weeks it will change to recommended or mandatory.

  5. By:Kevin Appel

    In regards to the IR1, I am currently using IR1 and have noticed a major bug related to mirroring packages. For some reason when mirroring SLES10 and SLES10toSP1 catalogs, it will download a package such as version, then next run downloads version.1, next run downloads version, etc. So this IR1 is basically a beta release, will there be hot patches available for the IR1 to release issues such as the one above? Or will IR2 be the fix?

  6. By:Martin Irwin

    And, while we’re on the subject of patches. What about service packs? Why aren’t they coming out as often?

  7. By:Michael Bell

    When I first installed Zen it was a magnificent product no bugs or problems. Then the day came where I received 90 Dell 745 units which I could not image. I then had to use a hot patch to fix the problem. I am now at the latest IR1 and from the time I installed the first hotpatch to now I have had nothing but problems. Either DTS.NLM or IMGSERV.NLM will ABEND one or more of my servers once or twice a day. PXE will stop working correctly, and other strange anomalies. Albeit it does work fine every once in awhile, yet it seems to be the times where it is least critical. Just my two cents, sorry for the rant.

  8. By:Shaun Pond

    Like I said, it’s a balance between frequency and confidence: I understand and appreciate your situation, but not all customers are tied by the word “beta”, so hopefully it will help some.

  9. By:Shaun Pond

    agreed absolutely, except when we make a patch “minimum”, which in effect means “please don’t call us about a problem unless you’ve applied this fix first”

  10. By:Shaun Pond

    and we do appreciate the issues that imaging drivers cause – those of us who work in support are painfully aware of the problem, and once again, it’s this balancing thing.

  11. By:Shaun Pond

    if you mean zlm7.5 IR1, then yes, HP1 for this is already out

  12. By:Shaun Pond

    In a word – resource.

  13. By:Shaun Pond

    Have you either a) posted about this in the support forums, or b) raised a SR with Novell, so we can help to fix this?

  14. By:Johnny

    Although the imaging resource files are a pain… I must say that i find zenworks to be one of the greatest products out there.
    The amount of control put into my hands as sysadmin is astonishing. There are problems of course … But still zenworks is awsome!