Retiring PHP 5.6 in favor of PHP 7.1
PHP.net will end support for PHP 5.6 in December 2018. As a result, Acquia is ending support for PHP 5.6 in favor of PHP 7.1 on Monday, 1 October 2018. At that time, we will remove PHP 5.6 and convert all remaining environments to PHP 7.1. This deadline will not be extended, as it is critical your website be upgraded to ensure its continued security.
PHP 7.1 provides significant improvements in performance and security over previous versions. PHP 7.1 has been shown to have significant performance increases when upgrading on any version of Drupal. In some cases, PHP 7.1 performed twice as fast when compared to PHP 5.6. We strongly recommend customers move to PHP 7.1 as soon as possible after appropriate testing. Backwards incompatibility between PHP 7.1 and PHP 5.6 is minimal and consists of bug fixes and security improvements.
Is there any action required on my part?
All environments for all applications must be upgraded to PHP 7.1 before Monday, 1 October 2018. Prior to that date, you should upgrade your non-production websites to test for any incompatibilities in your application. We recommend beginning with your non-production upgrades as soon as possible to ensure you have time to test, prior to upgrading your production application. Once you have resolved any incompatibilities, upgrade your production environment before the end-of-life deadline. See Configuring PHP settings for instructions on changing your PHP version.
Cloud Edge websites will be upgraded to PHP 7.1 automatically as part of regular maintenance, as communicated to customers by email.
How would Acquia recommend I proceed with preparing for my PHP upgrade?
We advise upgrading your development environment first to detect any potential problems in your codebase. Then, we recommend using your staging environment to test any changes that might need to be carried over before upgrading your production environment.
For some Acquia Cloud Enterprise customers, you are able to create a CD environment to test PHP 7.1 before converting your production environment. More information about CD environments can be found at Acquia Cloud CD. If you do not have access to Acquia Cloud CD environments please contact your account manager for additional details.
Will there be any downtime for my non-production environments or production website?
There will a moment or two of interrupted service for some connections as PHP restarts. Any content cached by Varnish will not be impacted. Additionally, some Drupal 6.x contributed modules may not be compatible with PHP 7.1. Code changes may be required to ensure your production application operates as expected once you upgrade to PHP 7.1. For further details, see Common issues when upgrading Drupal 6.x and 7.x websites to PHP 7.1.
How does this impact applications currently running Drupal 8.x?
For customers with applications running Drupal 8.x, PHP 7.0 or better will be required by 6 March 2019. More information regarding Drupal 8 and PHP 7.0 support can be found on Drupal.org.
What issues are typically encountered when upgrading from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.1 when using Drupal 6?
Typical issues collected from our technical staff and customers will be shared in Common issues when upgrading Drupal 6.x and 7.x websites to PHP 7.1 as they become known. Please share any issues you may encounter with Acquia Support when you upgrade, and we will post them to the article if they are universal in nature.
Are there any other changes related to my PHP upgrade that I should know about?
None at this time. New Relic on the Acquia Cloud platform now works with PHP 7.1.
Are there any tools that can assist with this migration from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.1?
There is an external tool that can be used to audit codebases for migration to PHP 7.1 that may help with the conversion from PHP 5.6.
Are there other major upgrades coming soon?
We are committed to maintaining the security and stability of the Acquia Cloud platform. To do so, we are removing software that has reached end-of-life and adding new features on an ongoing basis. We work to provide as much lead time as possible, in order to ensure your application runs smoothly while these upgrades and retirement efforts are underway. For more information on upcoming maintenance upgrades, see our Software end-of-life schedule.
I have some additional questions and concerns. Who can I contact?
If you have any questions about this or any other maintenance, you can contact Acquia Support.