Companies that are still evaluating their options to replace CentOS 8 before it reaches end of life status should be in no hurry, as they can now get full support, including all important bug and security fixes. , well beyond its official end. -life date.
Last week, CloudLinux announced that the company’s TuxCare division, which offers extended support for select Linux distributions, announced that it now offers updates and support for CentOS 8 through end of 2025.
Late last year, Red Hat, which controls the CentOS brands, announced that the latest version of the Linux distribution will not be supported after December 31, although an earlier version, CentOS 7, will continue. oddly enough to be supported until June 2024. Going forward, Red Hat has stated that CentOS will cease to be a freely available downstream copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but instead move upstream of RHEL to function. effectively as the nighttime version of Red Hat’s flagship product.
This is important because many organizations use CentOS 8 to run critical production workloads precisely because it is feature-by-feature compatible with RHEL. According to StackShare, more than 2,600 companies are currently deploying CentOS Linux to some extent. And Jim Jackson, chief revenue officer for CloudLinux, told Data Center Knowledge, “We have customers who have over 200,000 servers on CentOS.
CloudLinux and CentOS
This is not CloudLinux’s first involvement in the CentOS 8 hubbub. On the eve of Red Hat’s announcement of the early end-of-life status of CentOS 8, CloudLinux announced AlmaLinux, a CentOS clone developed by the community that ‘he said he would spend up to $ 1 million a year to fund it. This has only been done since the eponymous flagship of CloudLinux, a hardened Linux distro for the hosting industry, has been based on CentOS since its inception.
With its release in March of this year, AlmaLinux has become one of many Linux distributions vying to fill the space freed up by CentOS, including Rocky Linux. – launched by Gregory Kurtzer, co-founder of the CentOS project – and EuroLinux, another RHEL clone that sees the demise of CentOS Linux as an opportunity to grow from a base mainly located in Poland, where the project’s headquarters are located.
This is also not the first time that CloudLinux has offered support for CentOS versions beyond their official end of life date, as TuxCare already supports CentOS 6, which reached end of life in November.
CentOS users reluctant to change
Offering extended support for CentOS 8 was not originally in the cards, Jackson said, as the company’s plans were to help customers move to AlmaLinux, which is now maintained by an open community. A separate nonprofit source from CloudLinux, although the company is still represented on the project board.
He said the plan change started after speaking with a customer with a large number of servers running a mix of Ubuntu 16 (another end-of-life distribution that TuxCare supports) and CentOS 8.
“They were talking to us about extending the lifecycle of Ubuntu and CentOS 8,” he said. “I was sort of guiding them to do an in-place conversion from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8, but they came back and said, ‘No, we’re not ready to take that step. We want to extend the life cycle of CentOS 8. ‘”
At this point, Jackson said, it occurred to him that this wasn’t the only customer who had expressed reluctance to switch from CentOS 8.
“We had other large organizations using CentOS 8 that just weren’t ready to move to a new distribution yet, even though AlmaLinux, Rocky and all of that stuff is there,” he said. “They are basically CentOS clones, RHEL forks designed to be completely binary compatible, but regardless of that there are a lot of big organizations that just aren’t ready to make that decision.”
The reluctance of some companies to switch to one of the Linux distributions specially designed to fill the void created by the demise of CentOS is understandable to Jackson.
“Even though these are full clones, they still see it as an important decision to make,” he said. “They’re waiting to see how things play out and who will really be the heir apparent. Let’s not forget, not too long ago, the end of life of CentOS 8 was in 2029, and then all of a sudden. suddenly it wasn’t, so there is a worry about moving on and having that happen again. I think it will take a little while for the community to get over that fear. “
“In the meantime, we can keep them going on CentOS 8 while they think more about it and see what happens,” he added. “Personally, I think AlmaLinux is going to look really good in the longer term and that they will probably eventually move there, but why not put them at ease on CentOS 8 while they make this move?”
CloudLinux TuxCare Extended Lifecycle Service includes 24/7 support as well as fixes for security issues and bugs that can be applied without requiring a restart.