Announcing an extension to Couchbase Server version 5.x’s maintenance period to provide our customers more time for upgrade planning.

At Couchbase we are constantly reviewing what we can do to help our customers navigate through these challenging times. This is particularly true of our Support organisation where our primary responsibility is providing assistance and guidance when our customers need it most.

Upgrades – Achieving the Right Balance

One of the more delicate discussions we often have with our customers is around which is the most appropriate version of our software to be running. There are many conflicting forces in play – the desire for the latest, greatest features, fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements – all whilst maintaining compatibility with the customer’s environment and application. These benefits are contrasted with the efforts and energy associated with performing an upgrade: qualifying the new version, arranging maintenance windows, navigating organisational change control. Another major consideration is foregoing the institutional trust accrued from a long period of stability running a particular version. We are incredibly proud that many enterprises trust Couchbase to run their most mission critical workloads. However it does mean the classic adage “if it ain’t broke…” holds particular sway.

In conversations with our customers, we try and balance all of these considerations. We are reluctant to provide a recommendation to upgrade unless there is considerable justification. One obvious instance is when a release reaches the end of its maintenance period. We always want to be in a position where customers have access to essential fixes on the version they are running.  When we released Couchbase Server version 5.0 in 2017, we increased the Support lifespan of the product to 4 years. The intention was to provide certainty that enterprises could remain on a given major family for a longer period of time. That 4 years comprises 30 months of full maintenance followed by 18 months of best-efforts support. 

5.X Maintenance Extension

5.X was due to exit its maintenance period at the end of April. This would typically trigger a number of conversations where we start advocating towards upgrades for those customers that require access to fixes. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, of course we appreciate there are other priorities right now. As such, we are taking the small measure to provide an additional 3 month window to allow customers more time to plan. This extends 5.5.x maintenance through the end of July 2020. After this it will continue to receive support without maintenance until October 2021, when its original 4 year support lifespan is scheduled to end. You can find dates for all releases on our Support-Policy page. We recognize that this is just a small gesture and if there are other areas we can help, please let us know at support.couchbase.com

 

Posted by David Haikney, VP of Technical Support, Couchbase

David Haikney is the VP of Technical Support for Couchbase. He heads the Engineering Lab in Manchester with teams responsible for developing next-generation features for Couchbase Server and delivering exceptional support to Couchbase's EMEA customers. He has a software development background in the areas of high performance, virtualization, and storage and holds several patents for code optimization and hypervisor security.

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