Here’s a summary of the movements in VMware product line up in March and April 2023. There are a few interesting ones in this period including not one, but two releases of some products. This is based on the VMware Product Lifecycle Matrix.
What’s Going End of General Support and When…
The following table shows products leaving general support.
11th March 2023
VMware Bitfusion 3.0
16th March 2023
VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 (or not… see below)
22nd March 2023
VMware vRealize Automation 8.7
VMware vRealize Orchestrator 8.7
VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.7
23rd March 2023
VMware App Volumes 4 2103
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 10 2103
31st March 2023
VMware Fusion 12
VMware Workstation 16 Pro and Workstation 16 Player
1st April 2023
VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.3 & 8.4
VMware vSphere Replication 8.3 & 8.4
28th April 2023
VMware vRealize Automation 8.8
VMware vRealize Orchestrator 8.8
VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.8
VMware Cloud Foundation 3.11 (or not… see below)
VMware SDDC Manager 3.11
VMware Horizon 7.13
VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.5.0
In the sphere of core infrastructure, there are a couple of interesting items.
Right at the beginning of this period is VMware vSphere Bitfusion 3.0. For those unfamiliar with the product (and it is far from common), Bitfusion allows the virtualisation of GPUs (graphic processing units i.e. Nvidia cards) to provide a pool of shared resources for supporting artificial intelligence and machine learning. The version 3.0 release came out in March 2021 and so will be leaving general support after two years, so nothing too alarming. Release 3.5 replaced it in May of the same year, so it will be wiser to look at the 4.0 or 4.5 releases that came out from late 2021 onwards (the most recent being 4.5.2 in June of 2022).
VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication, both used in disaster recovery and migration scenarios, are products that are often used together (the former to co-ordinate replication using the latter) and so tend to be released in tandem. Seeing similar product releases leaving support is quite logical. These are supposed to be subject to the App Platform policy cycle that specifies a three-year cycle of general support. Release 8.3 came out at the beginning of April 2020, so this fits. However, 8.4 was released in March 2021, so it is surprising to see VMware end support here. The recommendation would be to move to the current release version, 8.6.
VMware Cloud Foundation falls under an N-2 policy with respect to VMware Support. Release 4.3 was released in August 2021 and has been superseded by both 4.4 and 4.5. However, there is a note on the Lifecycle Matrix announcements for vCF, stating that an exception has been applied and that the actual end of general support will now be the release of version 5.0. Something of a reprieve, however, a recommendation would be to upgrade to 4.4 or 4.5 where possible, primarily to ensure that the managed components (for example, VMware vSphere 7.0 U2c) are upgraded to more recent releases.
Monitoring, Management and Automation
Another double here – with both 8.7 and 8.8 releases of VMware vRealize Automation, Orchestrator and the Suite Lifecycle Manager being pulled from General Support. These are subject to Enterprise Application Support Lifecycle Policy which states that support is either for two years following general availability of the major release or for 12 months for the latest (point) release following general availability of the next release.
Release 8.7 (March 2022) and 8.8 (April 2022) came out in quite rapid succession, and so both fall into this period as part of the latter condition of the policy, given the release of vRealize Automation Cloud in February 2023.
Although Tanzu Grid is supposed to leave support, a note stating that an extension has been applied, so a reprieve for now.
End User Compute
In the End User Compute space, the expected quarterly releases (2103) for VMware App Volumes and Dynamic Environment Manager will be leaving support as per their two -year cycle. VMware Horizon Server 2103 is subject to a three-year cycle, and so remains in support.
VMware Fusion 12 and Workstation 16 were supposed to leave support at the end of last year. However, they were both given a stay-of-execution with an extension to the end of March 2023 to provide a grace period to upgrade to the current releases.
The big-ticket item here is the end of general support for VMware Horizon 7.13. This is the last Horizon 7 release to fall out of support. With the end of support for this often externally facing solution, it is highly recommended that action is taken now, while it is still in support.
This brings us to the end of the March/April update. Stay tuned to the Tech Focus blog for further news.