Migrate from CentOS Linux to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS

How to choose an operating system and cloud provider that support your business 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 cloud environments, 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 releases and updates as of 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.

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux is a consistent, intelligent operating foundation for modern IT and enterprise hybrid cloud deployments. Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon Web Services (AWS) 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 foundation

Consistency is a key factor in successful cloud journeys. Standardizing on a single operating foundation—like Red Hat Enterprise Linux—across your datacenter and cloud environments can greatly simplify your path forward. 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 between your datacenter and cloud.

When Red Hat Enterprise Linux is operating on AWS, your datacenter and cloud infrastructure unite to streamline operations, increase flexibility, and help you make the most of your cloud investments. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a cloud-ready operating system that provides a consistent, tailored experience across footprints, while modern cloud infrastructure gives you always-on capacity, integrated security, and flexible services. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is tested and certified for use on AWS. Red Hat and AWS work together to ensure that our collaborative solutions deliver the reliability, agility, efficiency, and security capabilities you need to be successful.

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 three-year cost of operations
  • $17.31 million average higher net revenue per year per organization

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 CentOS workloads to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon Web Services 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 cloud environments. Intense testing and hardening and a controlled, trusted software supply chain allow you to foster innovation without compromising reliability.

Red Hat and AWS also partner with leading hardware and software vendors to give you more choice, innovation, and stability. In fact, you can likely continue to use the third-party products and tools you already have with Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on AWS.

Support your developers wherever they work

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 foundation— like Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating on AWS — 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 on AWS 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:

These programs can be used both in your datacenter and in your AWS environment.

Access expert support from both Red Hat and AWS

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 AWS support teams. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the only Linux distribution supported by Red Hat. Red Hat works with AWS to provide expertise, knowledge, and joint support models to ensure you can successfully accomplish your goals with Red Hat and AWS solutions. You receive the same high-value experience whether you obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux directly from Red Hat or through AWS.

Red Hat’s enterprise-grade support resources and tools help keep your business running. Technical expertise, guidance, and knowledge are available 24x7. Red Hat also offers personalized guidance and planning services to help you achieve 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 makes Red Hat Enterprise Linux available at no cost for specific development use cases for organizations already using other Red Hat technologies.

Streamline management with Red Hat Insights, Ansible, and Red Hat Satellite 

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 and AWS 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 — including AWS — 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 your datacenter and AWS 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 your AWS inventory. Finally, to further simplify operations, you can link your Red Hat account to your AWS 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 hybrid 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 on Amazon Web Service delivers integrated, automated security capabilities throughout your infrastructure and software stack. Built-in operating system security features like scanning tools, security profiles, security standards certification, and a trusted software supply chain help you meet today’s high security and compliance expectations. Red Hat and AWS validate all Red Hat Enterprise Linux security profiles to ensure they run as expected on AWS infrastructure. AWS also includes advanced security features and a large number of compliance certifications and accreditations. AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes are built to stringent security requirements.

The Red Hat Product Security team monitors, identifies, and addresses risks quickly and provides tools and data to help measure security. Red Hat and AWS also provide security advisories for current issues and can work with you to resolve security problems when needed. Automated tools, regular updates and patch releases, and accessible expertise safeguard your environment. The Red Hat Insights compliance service helps you track your organization’s adherence to compliance requirements across your environments and provides remediation guidance to help you maintain compliance over time.

Certify for security

Certification to stringent security standards lets you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux and AWS across industries and situations without compromising security.

Gain more control over your cloud spend and get Red Hat Enterprise Linux from the AWS Marketplace

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

  • Purchase subscriptions from Red Hat and use them on-site or on AWS via Red Hat Cloud Access.
  • Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances from the AWS Marketplace.
  • Use your AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) funds and discounts for Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances on AWS.
  • Use the Red Hat Hybrid Committed Spend program for discounted pricing and flexible payment options on-site and on AWS.

Read the brief to learn more about these options.

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.

Read the blog to learn more about using convert2RHEL on AWS.

Migrate to a platform for the future with the Convert2RHEL tool

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.
If you're just getting started, the CentOS to RHEL on AWS Migration Assessment is a 2-week engagement that will provide your organization with clear strategies for planning and analysis of your migration. Red Hat experts will collaborate with your team to deliver detailed recommendations for the in-place conversion of systems from CentOS Linux to supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux based upon your existing infrastructure.

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 for Third Party Linux Migration with ELS on AWS makes Red Hat Enterprise Linux more accessible with a simplified conversion process at a competitive price. Organizations that need more time past the CentOS Linux end-of-life (EOL) date can get up to 4 years of extended life cycle support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 so they can maintain consistency in their environment until they are ready to move to a more current release. Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS delivers an intelligent, production-grade hybrid cloud foundation for innovation that supports business outcomes.
  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.

Build your skills path

Red Hat Learning Subscription helps your teams fill skills gaps and get the most from your Red Hat products with unlimited access to training content, labs, and videos.

Learn about the special low-cost offering on AWS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Third Party Linux Migration with ELS.