Anaconda is Launching Long-Term Support
Jan 25, 2022By Stephen Nolan
This new commercial offering will provide extended support and security fixes for a subset of Anaconda-built packages.
I am pleased to announce that Anaconda will be launching Long-Term Support (LTS) for Python conda packages as a commercial offering in the coming months. With over 90% of the top 10 Fortune-ranked finance, retail, and technology companies using our distribution, Anaconda is the most trusted source of enterprise-grade Python packages.
LTS builds upon our premium package repository (repo.anaconda.cloud), which we released in 2020 to give commercial customers a safer and more secure way to utilize open-source software (OSS), as well as access Anaconda’s dedicated support and professional services.
With this new Long-Term Support option for select Anaconda packages, customers can be confident that their use or embedding of today’s cutting-edge Python software technologies will not leave them exposed in the future.
Read on for an overview of LTS, details about its benefits, and why Anaconda is uniquely positioned to offer LTS for Python packages.
The Long-Term Benefit of Long-Term Support (LTS)
At Anaconda, when we compile Python packages and assemble the Anaconda Distribution, one of our top priorities is maintaining backward compatibility. This prevents our users from experiencing broken workflows and deployments. However, the open-source ecosystem moves quickly, and many projects deprecate older versions within just a few years due to the limited capacity of their volunteer project teams. The unpredictability of these volunteer support windows gives some commercial users pause and may prevent them from adopting or using Python in application areas that are otherwise a perfect fit.
Anaconda is offering LTS to bridge this gap: For a select subset of Python conda packages (and their dependencies), we are offering an extended maintenance period of up to 10 years, over which we will provide bug fixes for security, stability, and performance.
These packages and their dependencies will be maintained in an LTS channel. Anaconda’s package build team will conduct complete compatibility and security testing, including package builds and updates that maintain fidelity to their upstream projects’ instructions and recommendations. If a critical security vulnerability arises for an LTS package, Anaconda will backport vital bug fixes and security patches to supported versions of packages (within a certain scope of feasibility). When it is not possible to backport code changes, Anaconda is committed to providing LTS customers with an alternative solution.
How Long-Term Support (LTS) Can Help You
LTS packages are particularly necessary for heavily regulated industries with software approval processes or for applications not in active development that still need security fixes. The industries that stand to benefit from LTS range from finance to manufacturing, medical devices to AI for self-driving cars, and more.
Anaconda’s LTS allows organizations to stabilize the development of sensitive codebases by minimizing disturbances from frequent open-source package updates. This can reduce downtime for production systems and accelerate software development by avoiding breaking ABI (Application Binary Interface) changes, all while still mitigating critical security vulnerabilities.
Partnering to Best Support Enterprise Software Needs
Anaconda’s mission is multifaceted, and one of our core tenets is to steward open-source innovation by fostering communities and championing open standards for data and computation.
Our investment in open source extends through our hiring practices, project support, Dividend Program contributions, and community partnerships. And soon, LTS will be part of how we give back—ensuring that our commercial customers can innovate and stay secure using the packages their critical software relies on.
Anaconda is uniquely positioned to provide extended support because of our expertise in package building, vulnerability evaluation and remediation, and our relationships with the Python community. Additionally, our deep community and upstream involvement and relationships allow us to work with contributors to ensure that the proper fixes happen. We’re thrilled to share more about our LTS offering soon, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out below.
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