Retiring PHP 7.3 in favor of PHP 7.4
PHP.net will end support for PHP 7.3 on 6 December 2021. As a result, Acquia is ending support for PHP 7.3 in favor of PHP 7.4 on Monday, 4 October 2021. At that time, we will remove PHP 7.3 and convert all remaining environments to PHP 7.4. This deadline will not be extended, as it is critical your application be upgraded to ensure its continued security.
PHP 7.4 provides significant improvements in performance and security over previous versions. We strongly recommend customers move to PHP 7.4 as soon as possible after appropriate testing. Backward incompatibility between PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4 is minimal and consists of bug fixes and security improvements.
Acquia Cloud Platform and Acquia Cloud Site Factory customers can perform self-service upgrades until 4 October 2021. This deadline is due to a number of factors:
- Many of our customers, rather than upgrade themselves, choose to allow us to perform their PHP upgrade for them. While we don't advise this approach, it is a reality that we will end up completing some of these changes as forced upgrades.
- For customers who have compliance certifications with requirements related to privacy and data security, ensuring these upgrades are complete prior to PHP.net's end-of-life is important in ensuring we help our customers meet their compliance deadlines.
- Further, we want to make sure that all customers are upgraded to PHP 7.4 or newer before PHP.net ends support for PHP 7.3, which in turn can leave customer's files and data insecure. We anticipate that security attacks will begin against PHP 7.3 immediately after security support from PHP.net ends. As a result, we are obligated to ensure that all customers and internal systems are updated and PHP 7.3 is removed from our platform prior to the PHP.net deadline.
Because many of our customers have high traffic events near the end of the year (e.g. financial closing, business/sales season spikes, holiday-related traffic, administrative end of year events, school registration or finals, etc.) we find that waiting to perform these events later in the year often hurts our customers more than helps them. As a result, we are asking customers to perform these upgrades themselves on or before 4 October 2021. After that, we will move forward with forced upgrades. We are leaving time between the end of our self-upgrade window and the holidays so that we have plenty of time to assist customers who run into issues with their forced upgrades prior to their busy holiday period.
Any Acquia-hosted application that is not running at least PHP 7.4 will be upgraded. Any application that is already using PHP 7.4 or newer will not be upgraded.
Q: Is there any action required on my part?
All environments for all applications must be upgraded to PHP 7.4 before Monday, 4 October 2021. Prior to that date, you should upgrade your non-production applications 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.
Acquia Cloud applications will be upgraded to PHP 7.4 automatically as part of regular maintenance, as communicated to customers by email.
Q: 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 Platform customers, you are able to create a CD environment to test PHP 7.4 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.
Q: I am using Acquia Cloud Site Factory. How do I upgrade?
Acquia recently released a self-service option for Acquia Cloud Site Factory applications. Customers with applications using Acquia Cloud Site Factory can now configure the PHP settings on their application. Please refer to our article, “Configuring PHP settings” for more information.
Q: How can I try out PHP 7.4 locally?
You can use the latest version of Acquia Dev Desktop which supports PHP 7.4. You can download the latest version from https://dev.acquia.com/downloads
Q: Will there be any downtime for my non-production environments or production application?
There will be a moment or two of interrupted service for some connections as PHP restarts. Any content cached by Varnish will not be impacted. Code changes may be required to ensure your production application operates as expected once you upgrade to PHP 7.4.
Q: 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 7.4.
Q: Are there any tools that can assist with this migration from PHP 7.3 to PHP 7.4?
Q: Is the upgrade to PHP 8 available?
PHP 8 is not currently available on the Acquia Cloud platform. We will update this page when it is made available.
Q: Are there other major software upgrades on Acquia Cloud coming soon?
We are committed to maintaining the security and stability of the Acquia Cloud platform. To do so, we are consistently 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 whenever this happens, in order to ensure your application runs smoothly while these upgrades and retirement efforts are underway. For more information on other upcoming retirements, please see our Software End-of-Life Schedule.
Q: 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.