on ZoneDirector firmware downloads, effective immediately. Current firmware has
inherent entitlement checks, but there is no longer any restriction for downloading
and upgrading from 188.8.131.52.8 and later ZD releases. Visit the Product pages, and
Downloads for your ZoneDirector controller platform.
The concept of verifying whether the ZoneDirector has an active Support Contract was introduced in the ZoneFlex 9.8 release. Once the ZoneDirector is upgraded to release 9.8 (or higher) it will try and remotely connect to a Ruckus Entitlement Server to retrieve an "Entitlement File" from Ruckus. The "Entitlement File" is a based upon the current active/expired status of the ZoneDirector Support Contract. The ZoneDirector must be connected to the Internet to automatically retrieve the file or the User has the option to manually retrieve and import.
In ZoneFlex release 9.8, the intention is to simply present the information back to the User. If the Support Contract has 90 days or less to expiry, a prominent warning message is displayed on the Web GUI. There is no active enforcement of this "entitlement" file in release 9.8 and the User will not be prevented from a subsequent upgrade to the next Ruckus release (for example, 9.9) and maintenance release (for example, 9.8.1). Once a Customer upgrades to ZoneFlex release 9.9 (or higher) for the first time, they are locked into enforcement. They will not be able to upgrade any more, if the Support Contarct and hence the “Entitlement File” has expired.
As a gesture of good will, Ruckus will provide a free one time 90 day valid Support Contract in the form of an 90 day “Entitlement File”, if our records do not indicate that the ZD has an active Support Contract. Of course if the ZD does have a valid Support Contract this will override the free 90 day one. This free 90 days is provided as soon as Ruckus “learns” about a ZD. This means that if a ZD is upgraded to 9.8 or higher and it is connected to the Internet, Ruckus will “learn” about the ZD and thus provide the free 90 days (if required). Alternatively, the User can go and manually retrieve. Even with the free 90 day file, warning messages will be displayed on the ZD WebUI. Once the free 90 days has expired, upgrades beyond 9.9 are prohibited.
So if there is no support contract, you will be able to upgrade to whatever comes out during the next 90 days? What will happen after that? Will there be a new release, without the entitlement check, during this 90 days grace period?
This announcement is really great news but leaves many questions in the air. I have read the announcement many times but am still unsure if it would be safe or wise to go to 9.10 (via 9.9) or just stick with 9.8.