December 8 2023

Red Hat encourages migration to RHEL for those wary of abandoning CentOS 7 which has reached End Of Life

The Insights tool aims to simplify the conversion process, but it will likely come at a cost

Red Hat has suggested that if customers are concerned about the upcoming end of support for CentOS 7, they might consider migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) through its Insights service.

Support for CentOS Linux 7 will end on June 30, 2024, a decision made by Red Hat towards the end of 2020. Now, the IBM subsidiary worries about the fate of those who still rely on the non-commercial Linux distribution.

Linux CentOS EOL

CentOS followed in RHEL's footsteps and was an alternative to paying a subscription to Red Hat for its software, if the customer was willing to forgo official support. In 2020, the project steered customers towards CentOS Stream, which is based on a development branch of RHEL and not ideal for production workloads.

The demise of CentOS spurred the creation of alternatives to RHEL such as Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux. However, Red Hat took steps to suppress RHEL clones earlier this year, closing access to RHEL's source code for these purposes.

What should all these CentOS 7 users do when end of support arrives? Red Hat listed several FAQs on the matter, which, oddly enough, did not include the obvious “Why did you do this?”

While Red Hat has long provided a Convert2RHEL tool, the addition of Red Hat Insights Tasks for system analysis and conversion is specifically aimed at customers looking to convert CentOS 7 systems to RHEL. The IBM subsidiary said: “This guided experience reduces the complexity, risk and time needed for your conversion to RHEL.”

Customers likely won't see a reduction in costs. Programmers can get a developer subscription to RHEL for free – if it's for independent use rather than for use in an organization – and there's a chance a subscriber could qualify for a developer subscription at no cost. However, to use RHEL in production, a “competitively priced” subscription is required.

Red Hat Insights simplifies the conversion process, even if we doubt “how will I migrate?” is the main concern of users when faced with the next end of support date. There are alternatives like AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, and for a fee, SUSE will keep the CentOS 7 lights on for a little longer.

This conversion tool is primarily for moving from CentOS 7 to RHEL, although Red Hat has stated that a future improvement would be to "consider additional, compatible Linux distributions as needed." It will be interesting to see what these distributions will be.

Still running on CentOS 7 and worried about its end of support in 2024? Now is the right time to consider an upgrade to a more advanced, compatible Linux version. Whether you're considering Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), AlmaLinux, or Rocky Linux, we're here to guide you through the migration process, ensuring a smooth and secure transition for your system. Don't let the end of CentOS 7 support compromise the security and efficiency of your IT infrastructure. Contact us today to discuss your options and begin your “CentOS 7 Upgrade” with our expert assistance. Our team of Linux systems specialists is ready to provide you with the best solutions to keep your IT environment updated, secure and performing. Don't wait, act now and prepare for the future with our professional assistance!

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