Keeping tabs on the support lifecycle is an often underrated and yet important task. At the very least, staying current is recommended from a security and stability perspective, while not upgrading an out of support product can lead to a vendor refusing to assist with an issue until the installed release has been upgraded.
Here we look at VMware products that are going end of general support Sep-Oct 2022. This year, it’s a busy time with quite a good number of major products being put out to pasture.
What’s going and when…
The following table shows products going end of General Support Sep-Oct 2022.
VMware App Volumes 2.18 (ESB)
VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.3
VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integration Edition 1.12.0
vRealize Operations Management Pack for MEDITECH 3.0
Telco Cloud Automation 1.x
vRealize Network Insight 6.0.0 & 6.1.0
Workspace ONE UEM Console 2102
App Volumes 4 2009
Dynamic Environment Manager 10 2009
vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.7
Cloud Director (App Launchpad 2.0/ Object Storage Extension 2.0)
VMware vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 (ESXi/ vCenter Server)
VMware vSAN 6.5, 6.6 and 6.7
VMware Cloud Director 10.2
vRealize Automation (Versions 8.2 – 8.6 inclusive)
vRealize Log Insight (Versions 8.2 – 8.4 inclusive)
vRealize Network Insight 5.3
vRealize Operations (Versions 8.2 – 8.5 inclusive)
The end of VMware vSphere 6.x support is a headline item, especially as this may tie into hardware vendor support with respect to older hardware. A two-year extended support package is offered by VMware, though there are some limitations – 3rd party Software packages will not be updated and Security patches are limited to one roll-up per year.
In combination with VMware vSphere, note that VMware vSAN releases also fall out of support. This is not much surprise given the integrated nature of VMware vSAN within VMware vSphere ESXi.
In some scenarios, where the hardware is already out of maintenance support, this should be triggering some concern, though this will depend upon what the platform is used for. Some customers that use older hardware as a Test/Dev platform or even to host VDI or other disposable resources may take a “run until fail” line. So long as the environment is protected from external interference, this is not necessarily an unreasonable approach, though increasingly risky as time progresses.
Monitoring, management and automation
It’s quite a cull of VMware vRealize product versions, especially when you consider that some are only a year old (For example, VMware vRealize Automation 8.6 was released in October last year).
In principle, many of the products leaving support can be upgraded through patching as they are mainly point releases rather than major upgrades, though mileage will vary by product.
End User Compute
The end of support for VMware App Volumes and Dynamic Environment Manager 2009 are exactly two years after release, so this fits in with the regular release cycles for these products. Upgrading these isn’t particularly difficult but recommended.
There are a considerable number of products leaving support and the recommendation to keep up to date holds. However, caution is advised when upgrading – firstly, identify products that need upgrading and then if/how they are dependent on each other. VMware’s Product Interoperability Matrix should be your first port-of-call to check the interoperability of products – checking both the current releases and the versions to be upgraded to. After that, plan the upgrade:
- What are the upgrade steps and running order for upgrades? Especially where multiple products require work.
- Is the estate otherwise healthy? It’s a risky prospect upgrading something damaged or broken.
- What downtime is required, if any, and is there any mitigating actions that can be taken?
- Prepare your rollback plan as well as have a communications plan – For the latter, informing stakeholders when actions will occur is critical, while the former will instil confidence when proposing the work to stakeholders and ensure you have an insurance to protect against failure.
To quote the saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail” – With most solutions being dependent on external moving parts, especially in the datacentre, failing to plan is a risky proposition. Unless you enjoy a long, painful night fiddling with servers, this is probably the biggest tip here!