VMware has announced the end of availability (“EOA”) of VMware vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x and VMware Management Assistant (“vMA”) versions 1 and 4, effective August 15, 2013. As of this date VMware vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x and vMA versions 1 and 4 will no longer be available for download from VMware and customers will no longer have the ability to download or generate license keys for use with these products.

If you are currently using or plan to use VMware vSphere ESX 4.x hypervisor or VMware Management Assistant versions 1 or 4:

  • Make a backup or keep an archived copy of these binaries and generate any necessary license keys in order to maintain or expand a vSphere ESX hypervisor version 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 environment PRIOR  to August 15, 2013.
  • Read customer announcement
  • Read the KB article #2039567
  • Read General FAQ below

This announcement does not require immediate customer action. It also does not impact any of the following:

  • vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.X and vMA support lifecycle.  The end of support life (“EOSL”) date remains May 21, 2014. VMware’s support lifecycle page can be found at: https://www.vmware.com/support/policies/lifecycle/enterprise-infrastructure/faq.html
  • Customer’s ability to use the binaries of vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 past August 15, 2013.  Customers retain the ability to use licensed binaries past the EoA or EOSL dates. However, they will not be able to download binaries or generate new license keys after the EoA date or obtain technical support and subscription after the EOSL date.
  • vSphere ESXi 4.X availability and support
  • vMA 4.1, 5, or 5.1 availability and support for all versions

If you have additional questions not covered here, contact your VMware or VMware Reseller representative.


FAQ


What is VMware announcing?

VMware is announcing an End of Availability (EoA) date for vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x and vMA versions 1 and 4 on August 15, 2013. After that date, VMware will no longer offer customers the ability to download or generate license keys for vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x or the vMA (version 1 or 4).


Why is VMware no longer offering the ability to download or generate license keys for vSphere ESX 4.x hypervisor or the VMware Management Assistant 1 or 4?

The EoA of the vSphere ESX hypervisor and vMA is part of a larger product evolution, and it allows us to increase our focus on the vSphere ESXi hypervisor, which offers a small footprint and provides the most robust hypervisor architecture on the market. It was also stated by VMware over several previous releases that only one hypervisor would be available in the future. The EoA of the vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x and vMA version 1 and 4 is the next step in this evolution. Customers are encouraged to use the vSphere ESXi hypervisor as well as leverage any service offerings currently available to make the switch in architectures if required.


Is VMware immediately ending technical support for vSphere ESX 4.x hypervisor?

No, VMware is NOT immediately ending support for the vSphere ESX hypervisor. Support for the vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x will continue to follow the standard support End of Support (EoS) process and standard lifecycle policy as described above.


What should VMware customers do if they still require the ESX hypervisor?

Customers are not required to take action at this time, but they may consider downloading additional ESX 4.x binaries or generating keys for use with ESX prior to August 15, 2013.


What should customers do if they need help with the migration?

Customers who require assistance in moving to vSphere ESXi may purchase VMware’s Professional Services Offering: vSphere ESX to ESXi Assessment and Migration. This service offering is ideal for large-scale migrations as it accelerates existing ESX transitions to ESXi through knowledge transfer workshops, thorough analysis of the environment plus an estimate for the effort required to migrate from vSphere ESX to ESXi. VMware partners also offer migration services.


More information on VMware professional services can be found at: http://www.vmware.com/consulting/


Will customers still be able to continue to generate license keys for 4.x?

Yes, customers will be able to generate license keys until the EoA date. After August 15, 2013, customers will not be able to download ESX 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 binaries or downgrade a license key to use with vSphere 4.x ESX when they make a current purchase of vSphere.


What is VMware Management Assistant (vMA) and what does it do?

The vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) allows administrators and developers to run scripts and agents to manage ESXi hosts and vCenter Server systems. vMA is a virtual machine that includes prepackaged software, a logging component, and an authentication component that supports non-interactive login.


Please visit http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vima  for further information.


Does this announcement apply to any vSphere ESXi versions ?

No. This only impacts vSphere ESX hypervisor version 4.x.


Why does this only apply to vSphere ESX 4.x?

All vSphere versions prior to 4.x will be End of Life (EoL) prior to the August 15, 2013 date. Virtual Infrastructure 3.5, which included ESX and ESXi hypervisors, is already scheduled for EoL in May of 2013.