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Beyond PHP EOL: An Upgrade Dilemma

Artem Karasev

March 19, 2024 - Senior Product Marketing Manager

  • Extensive code rewrites for upgrading PHP impact operations and security.
  • Extended Lifecycle Support provides patches and fixes for PHP EOL, enabling you to avoid extensive code rewrites.
  • Saving resources and reducing disruptions allows businesses to focus on growth and innovation.

As technology progresses, maintaining outdated software becomes a considerable challenge for many organizations. Despite the EOL status of various PHP versions, a significant number of business-critical IT systems continue to depend on them. This dependence is increasingly problematic, especially as the EOL for operating systems that support these older PHP versions, such as CentOS 7, approaches. Organizations looking to migrate to newer, more secure operating systems are at risk of losing support for their PHP applications. This transition is not merely a matter of updating software but involves a series of complex challenges and decisions, particularly for businesses that must rewrite a substantial portion of their PHP EOL code to remain operational and secure.


The Challenge of Upgrading PHP EOL


The journey from PHP 5.x, which is still used by many organizations, to the latest PHP 8, is fraught with difficulties. Experts estimate that transitioning to the latest PHP version necessitates rewriting approximately 50-60% of existing PHP code. This task can be daunting for businesses heavily reliant on PHP for critical functions like sales websites, checkout systems, CRM systems, etc.

Upgrading entails more than just transferring applications to a new distribution; it requires identifying and fixing bugs across the entire codebase. This extensive debugging is necessary to return to a fully functioning website, a process that demands considerable investment of time and resources. 

Moreover, vulnerabilities at the language level pose a significant threat to system security. While upgrading the operating system can mitigate certain risks, securing the workloads – the applications running on top of the OS – is equally crucial. Ensuring the security of both the operating system and the workloads is a priority for businesses aiming to protect their data and maintain customer trust.


The Promise of Extended Lifecycle Support


The availability of Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) for older PHP versions and the operating systems supporting them offers a comprehensive solution to these challenges. Its primary advantage lies in providing a secure environment for outdated PHP versions without necessitating extensive code rewrites.

By opting for Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) services, like those offered by TuxCare, organizations can continue to operate workloads on older operating systems with PHP EOL code securely, receiving necessary security patches for both. This enables a smooth transition for non-PHP workloads to modern operating systems. Additionally, for organizations looking to utilize older PHP packages on newer operating systems to take advantage of new features, leveraging ELS for PHP ensures the security of these workloads.

The time and resources that would have been expended on rewriting and debugging code can instead be allocated to other critical areas of the business. ELS not only saves man-hours but also provides peace of mind by securing legacy applications against emerging threats. With ELS, organizations can now maintain their current systems while planning a more gradual transition to newer PHP versions, thus minimizing disruption to their operations.


Final Thoughts


Transitioning from PHP EOL versions is a complex process that requires careful consideration of both technical and business implications. The end of life of supporting operating systems, such as CentOS 7, underscores the urgency of finding a viable path forward. Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) services offer a practical solution, allowing businesses to secure their existing PHP applications while avoiding the substantial costs associated with a full code rewrite.

For organizations grappling with the challenges of upgrading PHP, ELS represents a strategic investment in their technological infrastructure. By ensuring the security and functionality of legacy applications, businesses can navigate the transition on their terms, focusing on growth and innovation rather than getting bogged down in costly and time-consuming code rewrites. As the digital landscape evolves, embracing solutions like ELS will be key to maintaining a competitive edge while safeguarding against the vulnerabilities of outdated technology.


Navigate PHP EOL: Stay Secure Without Rewrites
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Navigate PHP EOL: Stay Secure Without Rewrites
Learn how to secure PHP EOL applications with Extended Lifecycle Support. Avoid code rewrites and keep your systems safe and operational.
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