Migrate from CentOS Linux to a cloud-ready operating system

Choose an operating system that supports your cloud initiatives

Across industries, organizations are moving to the cloud to streamline costs, gain efficiency, and innovate faster. In fact, enterprises run 50% of their workloads and host 48% of their data in the cloud, and migrating more workloads to the cloud is a top initiative for 44% of organizations.1 

Even so, moving to the cloud can create additional IT complexity. Cloud strategies require careful planning to get the most from cloud investments while avoiding potential security risks, operational inefficiencies, and budget overruns.

Standardizing on a consistent operating system across your datacenter and cloud environments can help you overcome this complexity and simplify your cloud journey. With an open source development model that delivers flexibility and innovation, Linux® is an ideal choice for cloud environments. However, not all Linux distributions are the same, and your choice of distribution can have a significant impact on the efficiency, performance, security, and cost of your cloud and datacenter environments.

Organizations that use CentOS Linux—a freely available, community-supported Linux distribution — currently face a choice. The CentOS Project stopped providing CentOS Linux 8 releases and updates in December 2021 and will discontinue all updates and releases of CentOS Linux 7 in June 2024. As a result, CentOS Linux users must migrate to a new operating system to continue receiving updates, patches, and new features. While implementing a new operating system may seem tedious, it also presents an opportunity to reassess your organization’s needs and choose a platform that will better support your cloud strategy now and in the future.

A consistent, intelligent operating foundation for modern IT and enterprise hybrid cloud deployments, Red Hat® Enterprise Linux delivers optimal benefits for your organization. Because CentOS Linux is derived from sources published by Red Hat, you can continue to use many of the same skills, techniques, and elements while gaining the features, tools, support, and value you need to be successful in the cloud.

Standardize on a production-grade, cloud-ready operating system

Consistency is a key factor in successful cloud journeys. Standardizing on a single operating foundation across your datacenter and cloud environments can greatly simplify your path to the cloud. Rather than splitting operations and management into multiple domains, your teams can use a single set of tools and platforms to deploy, run, and move applications and workloads across multiple footprints.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux brings together your datacenter and cloud infrastructure to streamline operations, increase flexibility, and help you make the most of your cloud investments. This cloud-ready operating system provides a consistent, tailored experience across footprints, including physical, virtualized, hybrid cloud, multicloud, and even edge infrastructure. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is certified for use with all major cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud

While CentOS Linux is derived from sources published publicly by Red Hat, it is not the same operating system and does not offer the same enterprise features, tools, or support. Moving to Red Hat Enterprise Linux also gives you direct access to the latest enterprise-ready Linux innovation certified for use with Red Hat’s portfolio of software, automation, and management technologies. Cross-product integration, certification with a large ecosystem of partner products, and a choice of architectures and versions improve interoperability across hybrid and multicloud environments. Intense testing and hardening and a controlled, trusted software supply chain allow you to foster innovation without compromising reliability. Red Hat also partners with leading hardware, software, and cloud vendors to give you more choice, innovation, and stability. In fact, you can likely continue to use the 3rd-party products and tools you already have with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The business value of Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Compared to unpaid alternatives like CentOS Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux helps your teams get more done, faster, no matter where they work:2

  • 32% more efficient IT infrastructure teams
  • 42% faster identification of security risks
  • 23% faster development life cycles for new applications
  • 72% less unplanned downtime
  • 24% lower 3-year cost of operations
  • $17.31 million average higher net revenue per year per organization

Developing and testing applications in a different environment than you use for production deployment can lead to issues in production, and developers may not receive the tools, resources, and support they need to be most productive. Adopting a common platform—like Red Hat Enterprise Linux—for development, test, and production environments streamlines time to launch for new applications and reduces the risk of incompatibilities and issues at launch. Red Hat Enterprise Linux delivers easy access to reliable operating system images in the cloud as well as the toolchains, libraries, container tools, and runtimes needed to streamline the path from development to production. Updates are delivered via application streams, allowing developers and IT architects to experiment with the latest tools, runtime languages, and databases while still maintaining earlier versions of production applications.

Red Hat also offers developer-specific resources, programs, and subscriptions to help organizations develop on Red Hat Enterprise Linux more easily and cost-effectively:

Access expert support in the cloud

80% of enterprises cite a lack of resources or expertise as a top cloud challenge.1 The CentOS Project does not offer commercial support for CentOS Linux users, so you’ve likely been handling all platform support issues in-house, requiring more time and staff to operate.

Regardless of how you purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you’re backed by Red Hat’s award-winning support organization in coordination with your cloud provider’s support team. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the only Linux distribution supported by Red Hat. Red Hat works with cloud partners to provide expertise, knowledge, and, in some cases, joint support models to ensure you can successfully accomplish your goals with Red Hat solutions. You receive the same high-value experience whether you obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux directly from Red Hat or through your cloud provider.

Red Hat’s enterprise-grade support resources and tools help keep your business running. Technical expertise, guidance, and knowledge—including collaboration with specialty teams by phone or chat—are available 24x7.  Red Hat also offers personalized guidance and planning services to help you achieve your business outcomes faster. As a result, you can spend less time solving support issues and refocus staff on more strategic tasks. Accordingly, Red Hat Enterprise Linux users experience 72% less unplanned downtime than organizations that use unpaid Linux distributions.2

Access tools and resources through Red Hat Developer

The Red Hat Developer program provides tools, technologies, and a community of builders to help you solve problems, connect with colleagues, stay current, and lead your projects forward. 

Red Hat Developer Subscription for Teams is available at no cost for organizations already using Red Hat products and includes access to Red Hat Developer e-books, cheatsheets, and other useful content.

Streamline management across clouds with integrated tools

52% of surveyed organizations use a single operating system as part of their cloud management strategy.3 CentOS Linux does not include advanced management or remediation tools, so you probably manage these systems manually or with other in-house administration tools. Standardizing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux streamlines your operations and management. You can use the same set of management tools —like Red Hat Insights, Red Hat Satellite, and Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform—to administer and automate all of your environments, saving time and effort.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes access to Red Hat Insights, a unique suite of hosted services that continuously analyzes platforms and applications to help you better manage and optimize your hybrid cloud environment. Red Hat Insights uses predictive analytics and deep domain expertise to speed complex operational tasks from hours to minutes. With a focus on operations, security, and business outcomes, it proactively alerts administrators and stakeholders before an outage or security event occurs. 

Red Hat Insights works across on-site and cloud environments, allowing you to manage and optimize everything from a single interface. You can also create, manage, and deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system images across hybrid cloud environments more quickly and easily using the included image builder service. Build customized Red Hat Enterprise Linux images, save them as templates, and push them to multiple cloud provider inventories. Finally, to further simplify operations, you can link your Red Hat account to your cloud provider account and choose to automatically connect your cloud-based systems and workloads to Red Hat Insights and other Red Hat services upon provisioning.

Save time and effort with Red Hat Insights

Red Hat Insights helps you reduce the time spent on common management tasks:4

  • 91% less time to detect security vulnerabilities
  • 96% less time to detect known operational risks 
  • 89% less time to detect configuration drift

Maintain security and compliance across cloud environments

Security remains a top cloud challenge for 78% of enterprises.1 And effectively maintaining security and compliance in the cloud requires consistency. CentOS Linux does not include advanced security management tools, carries no governmental or public security certifications, and does not inherit any Red Hat Enterprise Linux certifications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides built-in security features, security certifications, and simpler ways to maintain compliance. A dedicated security team, scanning and remediation software, and ongoing access to new resources help you ensure continuous compliance. Automated security tools, regular updates and patch releases, and accessible expertise safeguard your environment. Certification to key security standards—including Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 and 140-3, Common Criteria (CC), and Secure Technical Implementation Guidelines (STIG) lets you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux across use cases with confidence. 

All active Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions also include access to live kernel patches for critical and important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) at no extra cost. Plus, Red Hat Insights lets you create Secure Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) policies, scan your systems for CVEs, and access remediation guidance using a single interface. Finally, best practice-based default settings configure your systems for increased security in the cloud from the start.

Certify for security

Certification to stringent security standards — including FIPS 140-2 and 140-3, CC, and STIG — lets you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux across industries and situations without compromising security.

Gain more control over your cloud spend

Managing cloud spend is a top cloud challenge for 82% of enterprises.1 Red Hat offers multiple purchasing options to align with your organization’s budget and requirements:

  • Purchase subscriptions from Red Hat and use them on site or in the cloud via Red Hat Cloud Access.
  • Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances from your cloud providers’ consoles or marketplaces.
  • Use your cloud provider committed spend programs and discounts for Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances in the cloud.
  • Use the Red Hat Hybrid Committed Spend program for discounted pricing and flexible payment options across cloud providers.

Migrate to a platform for the future

Red Hat offers several migration paths and programs to ease your transition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat’s Convert2RHEL tool lets you simply and quickly convert your CentOS Linux systems directly into Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. Convert2RHEL minimizes the need for costly redeployment projects and reduces administrative burden by maintaining existing operating system customizations, configurations, and preferences during the conversion. 

You can also engage Red Hat Consulting to help accelerate your migration. Red Hat experts bring proven knowledge and experience to your migration project to help you identify and convert key applications and workloads and mentor your team to continue confidently afterward.

Move forward with confidence

The discontinuation of CentOS Linux provides an opportunity to move to an operating system that better supports your cloud initiatives. Red Hat Enterprise Linux delivers an intelligent, production-grade operating foundation for hybrid and multicloud environments.

Choose your path forward at red.ht/centos.

  1. Flexera. “Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report,” March 2023.

  2. IDC White Paper, sponsored by Red Hat. “The Business Value of Red Hat Solutions Versus Non-Paid Open Source Alternatives,” March 2023. Document #US50423523.

  3. Red Hat. “Annual Linux market report for 2021,” January 2023.

  4. Principled Technologies, sponsored by Red Hat. “Save administrator time and effort by activating Red Hat Insights to automate monitoring,” September 2020.

Streamline your migration

The Convert2RHEL tool lets you simply and quickly convert your CentOS Linux systems directly into Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems so you can get started faster and with less cost and hassle.