Avaya’s strategic direction update is Aura development has moved to a DevOps Model. Enables customer to flexible deployment models including on-premise, Cloud or Hybrid for those who want latest features to enable their digital evolution.
Avaya launched R10.1 in December 2021, with this release some of the common terms associated with Avaya’s Enterprise offering are changing. To provide clarity we in this article when we refer to the Avaya Aura Platform are referring to all the components associated with Avaya’s Aura suite.
Avaya Aura Platform components are:
- Aura Licensing: Power, Core, IPT Enhanced, IPT Basic and Analog
- Avaya Aura Communication Manager (CM)
- Avaya Aura Contact Center Elite (CC Elite)
- Avaya Aura Session Manager (SM)
- Avaya Aura Branch Session Manager (BSM)
- Avaya Aura System Manager (SMGR)
- Avaya Aura Presence Services (PS)
- Avaya Aura Device Adapter (AADA)
- Avaya Aura Application Enablement Services (AES)
- Standalone Web-based Licensing Manager (WebLM)
- Avaya Aura Session Border Controller for Enterprise (ASBCE)
- Avaya Aura Web Gateway (AAWG)
- Avaya Aura Media Server (AAMS)
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What this means for organizations running Avaya Aura R8.x?
Following Avaya’s Product Lifecycle Policy with this new release means that previous release Avaya R8 transitions to End of Manufacturer Support. Organizations running Avaya Aura Release R8 will have will enter End of Manufacturer Support on March 6, 2023 (Avaya reference). At this date the ability to add licenses and the Buy to Current offer to the new target date of March 6, 2023. Ending bug fixes, service packs, patches and security updates.
The Avaya Team extended the planned end of support date due to the delay of the Avaya S8300 Server Software, as well as the security impact of Log4j and ongoing pandemic.
Applies to the entire Aura Suite including Communication Manager, Avaya Call Center Elite
Our recommendation for enterprise running Avaya Aura R8.x:
- If you are running Avaya Aura R8 schedule an Aura Migration session to identify the costs/timelines asap to identify the best path forward. Avaya Aura R8 customers will increased risks and unable to grow their UC/Phone/Contact Centre needs after March 2023.
- If you continue to need to run R8 beyond March 2023, ensure you add any required licensing capacity prior to March 2023 to meet your growth needs.
Avaya Aura R10.1 Details:
Now back to more details on the Avaya Aura 10.1 Platform.
A shift from an ownership (CAPEX with perpetual licenses) to usage (OPEX subscriptions licenses) model has taken place with R10.1, providing new options. The Avaya Aura Licensing is available to be purchased in the following ways:
- Avaya OneCloud Subscription
- Customer or your Partner manages the Avaya Aura Platform & Infrastructure/IaaS it runs on.
- It can run On-Premises, in a data centre, or in Public Cloud/IaaS environments or a mixed Hybrid environment.
- Avaya OneCloud Managed & Private
- Avaya manages the Avaya Aura Platform & Infrastructure/IaaS it runs on.
- It will run in Avaya’s Private or Public Cloud environment
- Avaya Perpetual Licensing
- One-time capital purchase (CAPEX) of licenses
- Then Annual Support is available as Annual or multi-year Software Assurance programs to provide Avaya Support, Software and Security Patches.
- This license model was temporarily unavailable but was enabled again for customers to purchase in the 2nd half or 2022.
Software release cycles
Avaya will enable Enterprise customers to move to a regular and predictable maintenance cycle with three types of updates:
- Security Updates: are Update to Linux and Kernel. Released every 2 months effective December 2020
- Service Updates: include corrective fixes and interoperability. Released every 4 months effective February 2021
- Innovation Updates: adds new functionality in the last quarter of calendar year.
With these routine cycles customers can plan and set routines for when updates should take place in their Avaya Aura environments.
With Aura R10 the following 3 deployment models are available for customers:
- Avaya provided Hardware on ASP130 Servers or S8300E for turnkey solution: Avaya supplies VMware 7.0, RedHat 8.4 OS and component applications deployed on Avaya ASP130 & S8300E supplied servers. Avaya will no longer make AVP available and has migrated to Standard VMWare for all Avaya provided servers.
- Customer or Partner Supplied Servers for VMware: Avaya supplied RedHat 8.4 OS and component applications for deployment on Customer supplied VMware supplied as OVA.
- Software Only Deployment: Avaya supplied component applications (Software Only).
The following is a table that outlines the models with more details including the Customer supplied Operating System or IaaS environments Avaya Aura supports:
As you can see above Avaya Aura can be hosted in the following Cloud environments: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM BlueMix and IBM Cloud for Financial Services (FIPS-140-2 Level 4).
With the flexible choice of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or On-Premise hybrid (mixing) of environments is supported. Supporting Cloud models can support new use cases for organizations to scale their Avaya Aura UC or Contact Centre to the businesses needs. An example is using components in Cloud IaaS like Amazon AWS to meet temporary needs like a lab or temporary scaling up in the business. Another use case is to add resiliency, adding a CM Survivable Core (ESS) in the cloud to an existing premise base system to add failover in the event of a site outage.
Top Reasons Customers are moving to the current release of Avaya Aura
- Virtual Workers and Agents Enablement:
- Globally motion to enable users and CC workers to perform their tasks at home and other locations. Enhance internal and external collaboration with lower costs.
- Regulatory and Compliance Requirements
Provides enhanced level of data security that address current global challenges.
- Business Expansion
Add Enterprise business communication to new users and/or locations with the same user experience across multiple locations.
- Migrate to Cloud
Pay as you use financial model. Increased ability to integrate Aura with back office and customer services applications in the cloud. Aligning with organizations Cloud initiatives.
- Maintain Support
Communication is critical to the business and customer want to maintain the best support options and service levels.
New Features Avaya Aura R10 Platform
The following are some of key new features or innovations:
- Internet Friendly Gateway, allows deployments of G450/G430 Gateway in remote locations without VPN or MPLS enterprise links, Gateways connect directly to Avaya ASBCE
- Support for Chrome and Edge Browser for system administration
- A Data Privacy Guideline for each product and Support for Data Privacy Regulations, including log retention and OS-level encryption on SMGR, SM, CM, AES and G4xx Gateways
- Improved Client / Endpoint Resiliency, policy based assignment of SIP users to SMs
- New SIP capabilities, SIP clients can register to 2 SM in 2 data centres/IaaS + BSM (supporting 4+1 Registrations) and adherence to new (and future) standards like SIP Shaken/STIR remediation.
- Enhanced Security with introduction of common version on RHEL 8.3, TLS 1.3 & Open SSL1.1.1
Reduced Costs and additional High Availability with the new release includes:
- Avaya Aura Utility Server Eliminated, now Avaya firmware downloads will be delivered via Avaya Aura Device Services.
- Fewer Session Manager instances needed, each instance supports more clients
- Fewer Communications Manager instances needed, with increases in trunk, SIP agent, SIP Trunks members and TLS Connections.
- Ability to replace Avaya G450/G650 DSP resources with Avaya Aura Media Server, to allow migrations to AWS and Azure IaaS environments when using SIP Trunks.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Why is Avaya Aura moving from perpetual to subscription or cloud delivery only?
As Avaya continues to move to a cloud first business model, offering cloud and OPEX models as the primary model. Another factor is that the Communications software industry has moved away from perpetual licensing to better provide updates and security features for their software. The Avaya OneCloud Subscription offer has been a tremendous success and offers our customers an easy-to-implement steppingstone to the cloud. As a Cloud First company, Avaya will focus its development activities going forward on Cloud and Subscription based solutions to ensure all our customers are gaining the benefits that cloud solutions can provide.
- Why is there no Avaya Aura Release 9?
As Avaya moves to Cloud delivery the release numbers become less and less important to customers and the most current version will always be available to customers in subscription and cloud models. Moving away from release numbers and model years has become an industry standard in the Communications Cloud field.
- Will Avaya continue with the Avaya Software Investment Protection Policy to enable CS1000 systems to migrate to the Avaya Aura Platform for perpetual / CAPEX upgrades?
For Customers with CS1000 systems, consider migrations to the Avaya Aura Platform as a OneCloud Subscription offer, leveraging the Investment Protection Program (IPP), OneCloud Subscription offer and offers for Devices.
- Upgrade Advantage (UA) entitles upgrades to the new Major Release. Why can’t I use UA to upgrade to the new Aura Platform and keep perpetual licenses?
The R10.1 release of the Aura Platform will be offered through Avaya’s OneCloud Subscription or OneCloud Private Cloud offers. Aura Perpetual licenses will no longer be Generally Available in the market. UA will provide the best Investment Protection Program (IPP) for customers when moving to the Aura Platform. Additionally, Subscription and Private Cloud offers packages include Software upgrades to major releases.
- Can Avaya Call Center Elite licenses be added to a R8 without upgrading to R10.1?
Adding Avaya Call Center Elite licenses to Aura R8 will be available until the “End of Manufacturer Support” date which is currently targeted for March 20, 2023. See the Aura End of Support document for latest target date.
- What does it mean when a product goes End of Manufacturers Support (EoMS)?
Aura follows Avaya’s Lifecycle Policy which defines the different levels of support throughout a products lifecycle.
- What Avaya gateways or servers are supported on R10.1?
Gateways supported are G430 & G450 as well as AAMS (software gateway)
G650 Gateways will have limited support. There will be no design level support or new bug fixes as G650 Gateway is End of Manufacturer Support.
Servers supported are Avaya ASP130 & S8300E
Update your plan for Aura
- If you are reviewing your Unified Communications (UC) or Contact Centre (CC) plans for your Avaya Aura environment, then the following should be considered:
- Companies should consider migrating their endpoint to SIP with continued feature & reliability enhancements with SM. H.323 will not longer have Innovations Updates (new features)
- Avaya G650 Media Gateways went into End of Manufacturer Support by Avaya in July 2021. Assess and plan for eliminating risks to your operation. G650’s will have limited support in a future release of R10.x.
Schedule time with BrantTel Networks to assess your Avaya Aura environment and build a migration plan and roadmap to meet your organizations Telephony, Collaboration and Contact Centre needs. We can assist with planning, migrating, supporting and operating your Avaya environment.
References and links:
- Compatibility Matrix to see the supported Avaya product releases, connect with BrantTel Solutions experts to help verify the dependencies
- Solution Capacities: https://support.avaya.com/downloads/ / Avaya Aura Communication Manager 10.1 / Systems Capacities Table
- Avaya Latest TN Circuit Pack, Server and Media Gateway Firmware and Software Update and compatibilities reference: https://support.avaya.com/downloads/download-details.action?contentId=C20090710154815434625607&productId=P0001