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VMware vSphere 6.0 End of Life – March 12, 2020

The new Year 2020 is started, and we are expecting many products will announce and release their new versions, features, etc. Same time there some products that will go for the end of life, vSphere 6.0 end of life is coming along very soon.

Many organizations are already migrated their VMware infrastructure from vSphere 6.0 to 6.5 or 6.7, however, there are many customers still using. This to inform everyone who all are using vSphere 6.0 March 12, 2020, is the end of support.

vSphere 6.0 End of Life

What will happen if the product is the end of life, you must think about that situation. One major trouble you will face is on the support part. If there is a production outage and, you won’t be able to get the level of support that you might expect when having an issue with an unsupported product.

As per VMware Support policies, End of Support has the following is documented

“A product has reached its end of support life when it is no longer generally supported by VMware. End of support life for a specific product is either end of General Support or end of Technical Guidance, if available for that specific product.”

Once End of support is reached, you have the options available is to check VMware knowledge base and technical guidance.

Technical Guidance

First, let’s clear up a common misconception about Technical Guidance. Specifically, it does not mean that the product becomes instantly unsupported. I hear this word thrown around a lot for products out of the general support phase, but it’s misleading to do so. VMware Support will still help in the event of an issue in an environment running these products. There are, however, some serious limitations to how far this goes now that it is outside of General Support. Many times, these cases will end up requiring an upgrade anyway. Based on the above, we find two important takeaways and what I have experienced personally. VMware is a great company – they try to help people running their products. However, while they will do the best effort to help, support is going to be severely limited in an “end of support” condition.

“Technical Guidance is available primarily through the self-help portal and telephone support is not provided. Customers can also open a support request online to receive support and workarounds for low-severity issues on supported configurations only. During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted. This phase is intended for usage by customers operating in stable environments with systems that are operating under reasonably stable loads.”

Technical Guidance for vSphere 6.0 is available until March 12, 2022, primarily through the self-help portal. For more information, visit the VMware Lifecycle Support Phases.

What’s Next?

With all of the above details, the best option is to plan to migrate from vSphere 6.0 to vSphere 6.5 or vSphere 6.7. And by upgrading, you will have proper support from VMware and you don’t have to worry about a production-impacting scenario with vSphere 6.0.

vSphere 6.5 or vSphere 6.7 ?

This is one of the important points that you have to consider for an upgrade path, there are many things you have to consider for this. As we know that the latest release of vSphere has many new features and enhancements which are really great for many VMware Infrastructures. Consider the below points for plan an upgrade of the vSphere Platform.

Hardware Compatibility

You have to check this as mandatory all the servers or storage are not supported by the latest version of vSphere so to use the latest version you may have to buy new hardware and that will be not possible for every organization so you may have to go with not latest but the support available lower versions.

  • The physical server you are planning to upgrade is supported by the which vSphere version.
  • Underlying Storage and application such as SQL failover cluster support with vSphere version

Software Interoperability

VMware solutions that you have interoperating with vSphere or third-party software solutions that may be integrated with your current vSphere 6.0 environment, example monitoring and backup solution or any other VMware solutions.

You can check the support matrix from a VMware perspective in the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the End of General Support for vSphere 6.0, which includes vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 6.0 and vCenter Server 6.0. To maintain your full level of Support and Subscription Services, VMware recommends upgrading to vSphere 6.5 or vSphere 6.7. VMware has extended the general support for vSphere 6.5 to a full five years from the date of release, which means the general support for vSphere 6.5 will end on November 15, 2021. The End of General support for vSphere 6.7 will also be on November 15, 2021. For more information on the benefits of upgrading and how to upgrade, visit the  VMware vSphere Upgrade Center.