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The end of life for CentOS Linux 7 has come and gone over the past weekend - on June 30, 2024. Originally announced by the CentOS Project more than 3.5 years ago, this event has a significant impact on IT environments around the world.

According to multiple reports, there is still a lot of CentOS Linux out there. Though the exact amount is uncertain, Lansweeper, a Belgian corporate network scanner vendor, shows that its network scans revealed that 26 percent of scannable Linux boxes are CentOS Linux 7.

That’s a lot of environments running on an EOL Linux that will no longer receive updates or patches from the upstream community when common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) arise. Those organizations will have to migrate to another Linux distribution or find another, more manual, way to improve the security of their systems to avoid potential exposure to attackers and breaches.

Of course, there are multiple options for impacted  organizations to consider. Some of these are unpaid, self-supported distros similar to CentOS Linux. Organizations weighing this option should carefully consider the time required for maintenance of those systems given their valuable, and often scarce, resources.

Planning for a migration

Depending on your specific environment, you may choose among a variety of routes to a successful migration. If you’re still working to determine the best path for your organization, take this free assessment. It's also important to remember that, because CentOS Linux was derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) sources, users migrating to RHEL can continue to use many of the same techniques and elements, while gaining more features, tools, support and value, with minimal training needed.

Red Hat has multiple migration paths for you to consider. There are 4 readily available conversion pathways whether you’re on premises or in the cloud, as well as a professional  services option to help simplify your migration based on your specific use case. For particularly large environments, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can help you drive your migration at scale, or you can choose from a worldwide ecosystem of certified partners.

Whether you have both CentOS Linux and RHEL running in your environment or only CentOS Linux, you can use our no-cost, fully supported tooling via Red Hat Insights or Convert2RHEL. This tooling analyzes your systems, performs safety checks, provides pre-conversion guidance and remediation recommendations, and even performs the conversion.

Affordable migration options

To make the transition easier and more affordable, Red Hat has developed multiple no-cost and low-cost offerings. 

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Third Party Linux Migration. This offering includes a competitive price and a simplified conversion process that maintains existing customizations, configurations and preferences on-premise or in the cloud. This includes up to 4 years of extended life cycle support for RHEL 7 once you convert, helping you maintain consistency in your environment until you’re ready to move to a more current release. 
  • Red Hat Developer Subscription for Teams. This gives organizations already running other Red Hat technologies access to RHEL at no cost for development use cases. It provides an opportunity to standardize on RHEL across departments, providing a consistent environment to build and test applications on the same platform used for production workloads. This offering is available by contacting your Red Hat account team or certified partner.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Microsoft SQL Server Workload Migration. SQL Server users running Windows or other Linux distributions can save on their migration costs while gaining the stability, improved security posture and support of RHEL for their critical database applications.

While migrating to a new operating system (OS) may seem tedious, it also presents an opportunity to reassess your organization’s needs and choose a platform that will better support your business and IT strategies now and in the future. RHEL provides a stable and reliable OS foundation with built-in security features so you can reduce your risk and be confident you’re better protected against new known vulnerabilities. Choose a long-term partner to work with you on your migration and plans for the future.

Talk to a Red Hatter today

Read more about how Red Hat Enterprise Linux is evolving with a new deployment method that delivers the platform as a container image and plans to support your future AI needs.

About the author

Melissa Lautzehiser is a Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat where she is responsible for the GTM strategy for Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the public cloud. 

Melissa has more than 20 years of experience in B2B technology marketing. Prior to joining Red Hat, she was sole proprietor of Marketing Matters, LLC, a product marketing consulting company for small tech start-ups. She has held various product marketing roles on both the distributor side and supplier side of the high tech ecosystem including director roles at Avnet Technology Solutions (now Tech Data), Exact Software, and NetSmart Technologies.

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