VMware offers cloudy upgrade lifeline to legacy vCenter users

But warns 'upcoming major release of vSphere' will break some plugins

It's not often that a double dot release of a product adds significant functionality, but VMware did just that on Thursday with version 4.4.1 of its Cloud Director Availability product, which adds the ability to migrate aged and unsupported versions of vCenter to the cloud.

"Due to various reasons, a considerable number of organizations still rely on legacy VMware vCenter Server versions in their datacenters even though they have been out of support for a long time," wrote senior technical product manager Nikolay Patrikov, who reckons the complexity of cloudy migration/upgrades is the reason some stick with unsupported product.

Cloud Director Availability 4.4.1 makes it possible to shift vCenter and ESXi versions 5.5 U3, 6.0 U2, and 6.0 U3 to clouds. The migration process is billed as "simple", but Patrikov's post outlines a few steps that will require considerable care and attention.

He also points out that moving an unsupported setup to the cloud does not mean restoration of support!

While VMware has given a lifeline to users of the vCenter versions mentioned above, it's also warned more of its customers they have some pain coming.

In a July post product line manager Todor Raykov made the exciting disclosure that VMware plans an "upcoming major release of vSphere".

The Register understands that release will be vSphere 8.0.

Raykov explained the upcoming release will deprecate the local plugin architecture introduced with vSphere 6.5.

Only remote plugins will work with the upcoming release, which is nice because they also work with VMware cloud on AWS and "the emerging VMware-supported clouds."

"They are the technology VMware will invest in to broaden the extensibility options of vSphere and increase plugin adoption on premise and in the cloud."

Sounds promising.

And speaking of VMware in the cloud, the company yesterday detailed commitment-based contracts its partners can use to sell you the company's wares in the VMware Cloud on AWS service.

The contracts allow customers to buy licenses from a self-serve portal, and don't necessarily require purchase of credits up-front – monthly invoices are another payment option. ®

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