I want to avoid to go into a discussion of what might be 'Agile' or not, but focus on the more formal concept of releases and sprints. Something I have been doing on several occasions, is use a time based concept as releases. This may be useful in a consultancy or any other environment where you rather have time based milestones instead of numbered releases.
I still use the concept of FixVersions in JIRA, but use months or quarters to label them. Examples may be "2016 | October" or "2017Q4". It works perfectly fine for the same purpose as a release: planning for work you need to get done by a given moment in time.
I think you can see sprints apart from releases. They help you plan, focus and visualize work on a shorter timeline and can be very useful outside a development environment as well. And if you don't need them, you can choose to plan in Kanban mode in Portfolio as well.
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