Software Upgrades are Important but Challenging. Should You Upgrade to vSphere 7?
Software upgrades can be disruptive, and businesses often defer them for extended periods of time. That unfortunately can open the business up to other disruptive situations, including ongoing vulnerability to malware and loss of product support. Rather than rushing into deploying a new release as soon as it’s available or deferring it until it becomes critical, software upgrades should be treated as projects and deployed in alignment with business strategies and business priorities.
That means beginning with requirements. For vendor product upgrades, the functionality of the upgrade is fixed, but the requirements need to be assessed against business needs. If the upgrade includes new functionality or problem fixes the business requires, obviously there will be more urgency to deploying the new release. New releases can simply bring you up to date with technology and ensure you continue to receive vendor support.
Also consider the complexity of the upgrade and any prerequisites. Some upgrades may require new hardware or other products to be upgraded in parallel. New functionality or changes to existing functionality can break other applications unless they are modified. These requirements can make the upgrade a bigger project than the business can commit to immediately.
Another concern is whether the upgrade process is simple and straightforward or whether it will create a lot of downtime or put other business applications at risk. This can make it challenging to find an appropriate time to complete the upgrade project.
With VMware now offering vSphere 7, businesses should perform that analysis to decide whether the time is right for them to upgrade. The answer will be individual, based on each business’s current technology infrastructure and its business needs.
For organizations that have been challenged by patch updates and that recognize the vulnerability that result from not applying patches, the simpler patch management included in vSphere 7 is a good reason to perform the upgrade. Organizations with security concerns that go beyond patch management will appreciate the policy-driven security model of vSphere 7, along with features such as ADFS identity federation. Those businesses that have concerns about performance issues that derive from virtualization will find improvements that benefit even latency-sensitive applications.
Organizations that rely on containers to make workloads manageable will find support specific to containers in the release of vSphere 7 with Kubernetes. Operations management is simplified as VMs, clusters, and containers can all be managed through vCenter. All the new features in vSphere 7 are available in the Kubernetes-enhanced version, as well.
For help assessing whether the new vSphere release is right for your business or technical support to perform the upgrade, contact Prescient Solutions. Our IT consulting and managed services help businesses throughout the Chicago and Schaumburg areas derive maximum benefit from their IT investments.