When does migrating become business critical?

Not migrating to new versions of the software you rely on can open the door to all kinds of pitfalls, complications, incompatibilities, security vulnerabilities and even legal ramifications. This isn’t really a surprise to most sysadmin, devops or web architecture professionals - and shouldn’t be a surprise even to the average computer user, irritated by being prompted to update their operating system, their Flash player or security software.

Perhaps not every suggested update is critical - but sometimes it is absolutely essential that you make the move. When a piece of software changes significantly enough that its core functions are no longer supported and your workarounds grow to the point of unmanageable complexity, you’re developing yourself into a corner. This is especially true when you’ve been working from open source software, which is already supported by a community that effectively moves on when an older version is no longer supported. When an out-of-date, unsupported version of open source software is part of your business-critical infrastructure, you’re all the more liable for what happens if you don’t migrate.

Don’t linger on Varnish 3.0

Many Varnish users are still operating with Varnish 3, a version no longer supported by Varnish Software from 1. January 2017. But migration, despite its advantages and importance, may seem like an insurmountable challenge, whether your organization does not have the expertise or in-depth know-how, the time - or both - or possibly cannot justify approaching the risk threshold that migration without assistance constitutes. It could be, without an appropriate assessment and migration plan, disastrous.

But… it’s not a great idea to stick around on Varnish 3, and here are some reasons why:

  • As soon as it's no longer supported or maintained: You're on your own
  • Out-of-date and possibly unstable 
  • The longer you wait with the update, the harder it could become
  • Incompatibilities and vulnerabilities

Make your move to Varnish 4.0

That’s kind of the downside or potential problems of not migrating - but migration also offers a lot of benefits apart from the peace of mind and savings gained from not having to battle problems that arise from out-of-date software. 

Major changes were introduced between Varnish 3.0 and 4.0. The whole architecture was revised, meaning that there is a lot to gain from migrating:

  • Greater stability
  • Completely supported version
  • Better performance
  • Feature-complete

Varnish Plus Migration Assessment and Assistance

You don’t need to tackle the migration alone. With Varnish Plus Migration Assessment and Assistance, you will receive a tailored migration plan based on best practices and taking into account your specific Varnish instances and setup. This plan will include detailed instructions on how to migrate, any problems we foresee in your setup and configuration, and the expected timeframe and level of competence required to undertake the migration process. You can also migrate on your own or enlist Varnish experts to help as and where you need the help. Like everything Varnish, the approach is flexible to fit your requirements. We can deliver the migration assessment and assistance remotely or onsite, depending on what your project calls for.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the migration assistance service: rsingh@varnish-software.com

Learn more about Varnish Migration Assistance and Assessment and get in touch.

Photo (c) 2006 Calle v H used under Creative Commons license.