Currently there are the XGS and XG firewalls running the SFOS. For those who prefer the UTM operating system, the SG series is still available. However, the sale of XG firewalls will be discontinued soon, making it a bit clearer again when choosing a new firewall.
The history of XG Hardware
In November 2015, the first version of XG Firewall was launched and with it the Sophos Firewall OS (SFOS). However, the new operating system had a difficult time and was hardly usable at the beginning. The hardware was 1:1 the same as the SG hardware. The only difference was in the preinstalled operating system. We have described the beginnings from the UTM operating system to SFOS in the article Sophos UTM: End of Support to the end of 2021.
This was followed in September 2017 by revision 2 of the rack models, for both the XG and SG series. New desktop models were not long in coming and so the new 3rd generation XG/SG models appeared in April 2018. For the first time there were at least optical differences between the SG and the XG series.
Because the XG 85(w) and XG 105(w) did not offer enough performance to support SFOS version 18, Sophos released the XG 86 and 106 with more RAM as successors in April 2019.
With the introduction of the new XGS Firewall Series in April 2021, the era of the XG Firewall is coming to an end.
For all UTM users, the SG models from 2017 (rack models) and 2018 (desktop models) are still current and as far as we know there are no new devices planned.
XG series goes end-of-sale
XG Firewalls will continue to be sold until September 30, 2021. After that, there are only remaining stocks. This step does not come as a surprise, since the new XGS hardware has already been available for purchase for over 3 months.
Sophos only gives a bit more time for the accessories. Those who may need a new power supply, rackmount kits, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G or FleXi port modules for their XG Firewall at a later date can order these from us until the end of 2022.
❗ Caution: The accessories for the XG are no longer compatible with the XGS hardware.
End-of-life of the XG already at the end of 2024 🪦
For customers who have an XG Firewall in place, the end-of-life date is critical. This is because on that day Sophos will stop supporting the product and RMAs will no longer be processed. Sophos sets the end-of-life date for the XG series to 31.03.2025. This results in a last possible renewal on 31.03.2024.
The end-of-life date is particularly hard on customers who have recently purchased an XG Firewall. Especially the 100% promo from Sophos, which is still offered, has increased the number of new customers. Nevertheless, you should not panic right away. A lot of time will pass until the end of 2024, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sophos would be ready with an attractive XG to XGS promo at the appropriate time. 😎
End-of-life also for software versions
Recently, Sophos announced that from the end of July 2021, old software versions will no longer be supported. With the release of a new version, the predecessor automatically goes end-of-life.
This decision has a direct impact on the revision of an XG Firewall. Already today, the SFOS v18 cannot be installed on an XG 85(w) or XG 105(w). For all other XG models with revision 1 or 2, v18.5+ is the latest.
For this we have already written a blogpost some time ago, which pre-announces which hardware will soon be cut off from new features: Which firewall hardware will be cut off with SFOS v18 or v18.5?
Security Made Simple 😜
Until around 2019, Sophos’s slogan was always Security made simple.
But gradually this phrase disappeared from the data sheets and the website. Now you can find the slogan on the Cisco Meraki website. 😂
Sophos’s security may still be very user-friendly compared to other vendors, but for existing customers, the changes in recent months have been quite challenging. Even for us who are 100% involved with Sophos every day, it’s not always easy. Especially since Sophos is not exactly the world champion in communication and sometimes announces changes with only a few days’ notice.
Radical as Sophos’s latest decisions may be, they make sense for the following two reasons:
- Even Sophos, as a larger company, has limited resources and cannot maintain multiple generations of hardware and software.
- They want to further develop the platform and prepare it against new threats. This requires up-to-date hardware and software.
But every rule has an exception, and at Sophos that exception is called “UTM“. UTM customers have become comfortable in their armchairs and with these many changes around the SFOS platform, Sophos is only giving them more reasons to stay with UTM.
Those who have continued to rely on an SG with the UTM operating system since November 2015 have so far been spared all the stress that XG customers had to go through. Still, it’s no secret that the future at Sophos belongs 100% to SFOS.
So why does Sophos keep this platform running? Well, Sophos is also a company that wants to make money at the end of the day. Currently, the UTM community is still too large and valuable to upset. It is therefore only a matter of time before an end-of-life date is also set for the UTM.