vSphere 5.5 was released almost 5 years ago to the day, Sept. 22nd 2013. Today VMware officially ended support for it and they recommend you upgrade to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7. Despite this I know there is still a large number of customers still running 5.5 for various reasons regardless of the EOS for it. End of support doesn’t mean those customers will be jumping to 6.x anytime soon, VMware does provide the option for customers to purchase extended support in one year increments for up to two years for those that really want to hang on to vSphere 5.5 for as long as possible.
In addition VMware is still offering Technical Guidance for 5.5 for another 2 years, this allows customers to open online support requests, no phone support is provided though. VMware doesn’t recommend Technical Guidance for critical applications and you must be on a supported configuration. VMware will not provide support for new hardware, updates, patches or bug fixes, they only recommend it for customers with stable environments and workloads.
So in reality the clock hasn’t completely stopped on 5.5, it will be ticking still for 2 years before it is completely dead. I know there are various reasons why customers are staying on 5.5, the whole if it ain’t broke leave it alone, more favorable Oracle licensing, big environments that will take a long time to upgrade and other reasons. I have heard that 6 months ago more than half of VMware customers were still running vSphere 5.5, that is a significant user base and is a bit worrisome that so many are camped out on pretty old release. There is a lot of great stuff in vSphere 6,0/6.5/6.7 that make for compelling reasons to upgrade, in particular you can start using VVols in vSphere 6.0 although 6.5 or 6.7 is recommended.
So happy Endday vSphere 5.5, well kinda, it’s more at retirement age right now instead of being ready to be buried quite yet.