End Of Support Looms For Adobe Flash Is Your It Environment Ready

End of Support Looms for Adobe Flash: Is Your IT Environment Ready?

Arraya Insights | December 9, 2020

End of Support Looms for Adobe Flash: Is Your IT Environment Ready?

December 31, 2020 won’t just mark the end of what has been a trying year (to put it mildly), it’s also the day support will run out for a utility that was once a cornerstone of the internet. On that date, Adobe Flash will stop receiving updates and security patches. It’s an event that has been a long time coming – Adobe announced the end of support date back in July 2017 – although security conscious admins have likely been waiting a lot longer to say goodbye to the often-troubled Flash. Before they can finally close the book on Flash (and on 2020), there are some thing admins will need to consider first.

Despite it being something of a persistent security red flag, industry leaders, and the customers they serve, have found themselves struggling to quit Flash. The utility has remained a cog in a variety of solutions, found throughout the IT environments of organizations in all industries. This is something that, as of January 1, 2021, will need to change as Flash hits new levels of problematic.

Here’s how Flash end of support will impact solutions from a pair of the industry’s biggest providers and the steps admins should take to mitigate the fallout. 


Several popular legacy VMware offerings still leverage Flash, although each has a clear path forward for admins seeking to avoid leaning too heavily on unsupported software.

  • vSphere: Many vSphere iterations up to 6.7 shipped with support for a Flash-based management client built-in to the solution. However, 6.7 also brought feature parity between the Flash-based client and a new, HTML5-based management tool. VMware’s recommended approach is to migrate to the newest version of 6.7 (which is Update 3) prior to support running out for Flash. Organizations are then encouraged to embrace using the HTML5 client to run their vSphere environment. A few other points worth noting in regard to vSphere and Flash:
    • Addressing the Flash issue doesn’t require upgrading ESXi hosts to 6.7
    • Before moving to the most recent version of vSphere or to the HTML5 client, it’s important to audit an environment to fully understand the effect doing so could have throughout a technology footprint.     
  • Horizon: Earlier versions of Horizon (7.8 and under) included an Administrator utility based on Flash. An HTML5 alternative, dubbed Horizon Console, was first released with 7.8, later reaching feature complete status in 7.11. Admins are encouraged to upgrade to a more modern version of Horizon to avoid complications when Flash reaches end of support. 
  • Cloud Director: Versions of Cloud Director older than 10.0 featured Flash-based Provider and Tenant portals that were turned on by default. The 10.0 release reversed this and disabled these features by default in favor of HTML5 alternatives. Subsequent releases, including 10.1, have substantially built-out the HTML5 tools. VMware recommends upgrading to Cloud Director 10.1 or higher to take full advantage of the solution’s HTML5 capabilities.
  • There’s also a grab bag of other solutions in need of modernizing:
    • NSX for vSphere
      • Impacted versions: 6.4 and below
      • Suggested upgrade path: version 6.4.8
    • Site Recovery Manager
      • Impacted versions: 6.5 and below
      • Suggested upgrade path: version 8.1
    • vSAN
      • Impacted versions: 6.5 and below
      • Suggested upgrade path: version 6.7 Update 3
    • vRealize Orchestrator
      • Impacted versions: 7.5 and below
      • Suggested upgrade path: version 7.6
    • vRealize Operations
      • Impacted versions: 6.5 and below
      • Suggested upgrade path: version 6.6


Want to (mostly) get Flash out of Windows and don’t want to wait until December? Microsoft has a solution. Last month, the company released update KB4577586 which, when installed, will remove Adobe Flash from all versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server. And it goes a step further by preventing Flash from ever being reinstalled on said device. What’s more, this update can’t be undone. If for whatever reason Flash needs to be put back on a device post update, that device will need to either be reset to an earlier restore point or Windows 10 will need to be reinstalled from scratch.  

KB4577586 is a seriously powerful update, however, even it won’t fully close the book on Flash. Researchers found that KB4577586 only removed the version of Flash bundled in Windows 10 and managed through Control Panel. Flash components built into browsers like Microsoft Edge won’t be touched, although those are often disabled by default these days, reducing the risk they pose. Additionally, the update won’t affect standalone and manually-installed versions of Flash.

Microsoft plans a more complete eradication of Flash once the utility officially reaches its end of support date. In the meantime, the KB4577586 update can be installed from the Microsoft Catalog.

Next Steps: Preparing your technology environment for life after Flash

Adobe Flash was once a cornerstone technology, but it’s been a long time since it held the trust of those in the know. As such, this move by Adobe to cut support for Flash feels more like a formality than anything else. However, organizations will still want to make sure their environment is ready to seamlessly transition to a post-Flash world when the ball drops this New Year’s Eve.

Need help ensuring a smooth changeover? Arraya is here to help. We can help you modernize the core components of your data center to leave behind legacy, high-risk solutions like Flash. Reach out to our team today to get the conversation started.

Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.

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