If It Ain’t Broke…Do You Need to Fix It?
You’re probably aware that the End of General Support (EOGS) for vSphere 5.5 and vSAN is September 19, 2018. What does this mean? It means that VMware will no longer be providing maintenance updates, security patches, or bug fixes. Telephone support will no longer be provided, and limited assistance with low priority questions is only available through the self-service portal.
If your virtual environment is running well, you might be inclined to wait on upgrading until your next big IT project. After all, since VMware is offering Technical Guidance through 2020, and you might feel that’s enough to help you get by. But is it wise to wait? Probably not. Here’s why:
Risk. End of support means end of support. If you experience an outage, VMware support will not be able to help. Also, new hardware is not supported, so if you add new components into your environment, they may not work with your current version of vSphere.
Improved Security and Features. vSphere 6.7 includes the following:
VM Encryption. Designed to protect data at rest and in motion, this dramatically improves your security posture when combining it with data at rest encryption on your storage array (a default for all new CloudWave configurations).
Support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 for both hardware devices for VMware hosts as well as introduces virtual TPM (vTPM) 2.0 for VMs, enhancing protection and ensuring integrity for both the ESXi host and guest operating system.
Encrypted vMotion. Protects data in motion between on-premise, hybrid and public cloud instances.
Improved vSphere Client UI and vCenter Server Appliance. vSphere 6.7’s HTML5 web client is now faster and more complete. And vCenter Server appliance 6.7 fully supports high availability and offers a built-in migration tool.
There’s no direct upgrade path from vSphere 5.5 to 6.7 – if you’re running vSphere 5.5 you must first upgrade to vSphere 6.0 or 6.5, and then to vSphere 6.7. If the prospect of planning and executing your upgrade seems daunting, CloudWave can help. Our expert team is available to provide recommendations for planning and testing the upgrade, perform the actual upgrade itself, offer validation guidance, and create rollback procedures.
If you’re not able to upgrade before support ends on September 19, 2018 and are active on Support and Subscription, you do have the option to purchase a year of extended support at a time, for up to two years beyond the EOGS date. Visit VMware Extended Support to find out more. But if you do decide to move forward with an upgrade, and would like assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jayson Stokes is the Director of Solution Architects at CloudWave. He has been working with MEDITECH for over 15 years. He founded the virtualization practice for CloudWave (formerly PPI) in 2008, developed the product solution set, and created the only on-site customer VMware training focused on the MEDITECH market space.