With CentOS Linux 7 approaching its end of life (EOL) on June 30 2024, organizations using systems based on this version will no longer receive new features, patches, and critical vulnerability updates. If you're using CentOS Linux 7, it's imperative to transition to an alternative Linux distribution that delivers ongoing support and software security updates. While many enterprises have historically embraced both CentOS Linux and RHEL in their environments, there are often administrative costs associated with managing multiple operating systems. The optimal path forward is to standardize on a single operating system designed explicitly for production environments: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
To facilitate the standardization process, Red Hat has developed a tool called Convert2RHEL, which enables customers to convert CentOS Linux systems to RHEL. The Convert2RHEL command enables a smooth transition from CentOS Linux 7 (CentOS Stream 8 is not supported) to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, providing a seamless migration experience.
By standardizing your environment on RHEL, you unlock several benefits:
- Reduced administrative overhead: Standardization eliminates the need for managing multiple operating systems, streamlining administrative efforts.
- Proactive analysis with Red Hat Insights: Using Red Hat Insights, your organization gains proactive analysis capabilities to identify and address potential issues before they impact operations.
- Security resources: Access to a comprehensive range of security resources, such as Red Hat's CVE database, Security Advisories, and Security Labs, helps organizations stay ahead of evolving threats.
- Access to the RHEL partner ecosystem: Standardizing on RHEL opens doors to a rich partner ecosystem, facilitating easier and faster integration with complementary technologies and solutions.
- In-place upgrades and workload compatibility: RHEL enables in-place upgrades, allowing organizations to more easily update their infrastructure and migrate workloads with greater compatibility and minimized disruption.
- Enterprise-level support: Red Hat provides enterprise-level support, helping to more promptly resolve technical issues or challenges that may arise.
- Extended support for legacy workloads: Organizations can take advantage of extended support options for RHEL for continued support for older workloads that may require a longer migration timeline.
How to convert systems to RHEL at scale
While the Convert2RHEL tool can be utilized for individual or small-scale conversions, employing it at scale within an enterprise environment requires a well-defined methodology. These are the recommended steps:
- Identification of candidate systems: Conduct a thorough analysis of the environment to identify systems suitable for conversion.
- Backup: Before proceeding with the conversion process, it's crucial to make a backup of each system to ensure you have the ability to restore it to its previous state if needed.
- Pre-conversion remediations: Perform tasks necessary for a successful conversion, such as updating packages, or disabling configuration management tools.
- Convert2RHEL: Execute the conversion process using the Convert2RHEL tool. This may involve incorporating specific parameters tailored to your environment.
- Post-conversion remediations: After a successful conversion, carry out post-conversion tasks, including package updates and restarting configuration management tooling.
- Validate application functionality: Ensure that your core applications are running on the system as expected.
To streamline and orchestrate the conversion process, Red Hat offers essential tooling:
- Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform enables end-to-end orchestration of the conversion process, automating various tasks and driving greater consistency and efficiency.
- Red Hat Satellite is a robust software repository management solution that simplifies package management and streamlines the distribution of software across the enterprise.
Take the customer Infrastructure journey
Red Hat is committed to supporting your organization throughout your infrastructure standardization and modernization journey. We believe the customer journey happens in three key phases: Foundation, Expand, and Evolve.
During the Foundation phase, our experts collaborate with you to establish the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) by conducting a thorough platform analysis and implementing the necessary tooling and processes. This phase includes planning, architecting, and implementing your initial workloads in a pilot environment, while simultaneously setting goals for training your teams and setting the stage for your platform and automation move.
In the Expand phase, you scale out your use of SOE processes and tooling, enabling the growth of RHEL technology within your organization. This includes upgrading, standardizing, and refactoring additional workloads at scale. Red Hat's Ansible and automation capabilities play a vital role in this phase, empowering you to modernize your environment and tackle higher-order use cases. Automation allows for better management of your organization's diverse environments, while Red Hat Insights continuously analyzes your platform to predict risks, recommend actions, and track costs, driving more efficient management of hybrid cloud environments.
In the Evolve phase, you continue using the power of Ansible automation to drive further innovation within your IT operations. This phase encompasses automating responses, implementing ticket automation, and exploring cost-management capabilities. Larger automation use cases, such as automating patching, compliance, event-driven automation, DevSecOps, and cost-driven provisioning, come into focus during this stage.
Red Hat service
Embark on your journey to standardize and modernize your infrastructure with Red Hat. As part of our commitment to empowering organizations, Red Hat offers a range of services providing comprehensive support and guidance for building and integrating platforms leveraging both open source and proprietary technology:
- Through hands-on mentoring, Red Hat Consulting not only assists in the development of necessary skills but also fosters independence within your organization. We focus on streamlining processes, aligning teams, and creating uninterrupted collaboration between systems and applications. To get started, you can request a discovery session or reach out to our team today.
- Red Hat Technical Account Managers (TAM) serve as dedicated technical advisors, working closely with customers and partners to plan and deploy Red Hat software effectively and securely. TAMs act as a single point of contact, proactively resolving potential issues and advocating for your interests within Red Hat.
- Red Hat Training addresses skill gaps within organizations, fueling innovation and maximizing the potential of your team. Our comprehensive platform curriculum enables your organization to develop the necessary skills for long-term success with your infrastructure investments.