There is a lot of confusion on how vendors retire their IT solutions. I’m going to try to clear up some of that confusion. The focus here is the IT hardware lifecycle, but many times software vendors follow a similar pattern.
First, let’s use some precise terms. I hear/read “EOS” all the time. Does EOS mean End of Sale? Or does it mean End of Support? As you’re going to read here, those two terms mean very different things. I also don’t like EOL, End of Life. Does a product go EOL when it stops being sold, or when it stops being supported? Again, two very different dates. When life ends is a sensitive subject, far too deep for IT hardware and software. If it isn’t clear what is being referenced, End of Sale or End of Support, you may end up SOL. I’ll use very clear terms in this article. Let’s get started.
With almost all vendors the product lifecycle process goes like this.