[CentOS] CentOS 8 future

Wed Dec 16 00:12:46 UTC 2020
Joshua Kramer <joskra42.list at gmail.com>

> I don't think there will be a course change either, but for different
> reasons. The motivation isn't "cashing/selling out". It's... actually the
> stated motivation
> https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/faq-centos-stream-updates#Q2

First, I will note that I think the idea of creating *a version of*
CentOS that is called "Stream", with the intent that it leads RHEL by
a bit, is a GREAT idea, for exactly the stated reasons!

There's one problem I have with this asserted motivation.  Stream is
not being done as *a version of* CentOS.  It is being done as *THE*
CentOS, which means you're discontinuing point releases.  As far as
"maintaining CentOS point releases to follow RHEL"- this is what is
being discontinued.  How much money, in developer time and other
incidentals, does this cost RedHat per year?  Of course this is a
proprietary number.  But let's imagine that this number is $250k per
year.  Out of what was it, about $433M of profit (2019)?  So it would
cost RedHat 0.06% of profit to hire more developers to keep issuing
CentOS point releases.

What does RedHat "buy" in return for spending 0.06% of its profit on
maintaining point releases?
-Community trust and goodwill.  Those members of the community that
cannot afford RedHat licenses for whatever reason still know that the
#1 player in the Linux marketplace still has their back.  Then when
those folks move on to enterprises that can afford RH licensing (and
in some cases demand it), will select RedHat because of this trust and
goodwill.  They will be highly likely to recommend other RedHat
products- since it all "works together" and they'll know RHEL (i.e.
CentOS) well.  Also note that this trust and goodwill means
"convenience", even within enterprises that have a large budget with
RedHat.  If I have a project and I want to spin up 100 OS instances
just for the heck of it, I can.  I don't need to ask anyone, I don't
need to reserve or download any entitlement key files.  I don't need
to debug weird problems when entitlement key files don't work.
-Control of part of the ecosystem.  Those companies that build their
products to run on RHEL (or in RHEL containers) are able to (and
encouraged to) certify those products on RHEL because they are able to
use CentOS.

But more to the point, what does RedHat LOSE by saving 0.06% of its
profit?  The damage to community trust and goodwill far exceeds the
gains that would be realized if the status quo were kept in place.
Yes, it's true that many of the folks who used CentOS would never turn
into paying customers.  But due to this situation, you have thousands
of system administrators who are actively looking to completely
abandon the RedHat ecosystem altogether.  When it comes time to
recommend products... they aren't going to recommend RHEL.  They
aren't going to recommend JBoss, or Fuse, or 3Scale API management.
It's clear that RedHat can't be trusted with some parts of its
portfolio, so why should we trust ANY of its products?

If it is 100% factually correct that the ONLY motivation for killing
point releases is the stated motivation, then it's just a simple
matter of finding a spare $250k (or whatever that cost is) from the
almost-half-a-billion dollar corporate coin purse.  The return on
investment has been, and will continue to be, immeasurable... IF y'all
do damage control ASAP.


On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 12:06 PM Matthew Miller <mattdm at mattdm.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 01:48:21AM -0700, R C wrote:
> > I think that Centos, being that close to RHEL, should have had a
> > licensing scheme for personal use, small business use, just to make
> > things 'fair'.
> So, again, please stay tuned. Not for licensing schemes for CentOS, but for
> programs for these use cases for RHEL. See https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/faq-centos-stream-updates#Q10
> and please really do mail centos-questions at redhat.com with your use cases.
> This is answered by humans designing these programs, not by sales.
> > I don't think their (IBM/RHEL) course is going to change though,
> > redhat going "commercial" has been going on for a decade and a half
> > or so, and it looks like initial investors have a desire
> > cashing/selling out at this point.
> I don't think there will be a course change either, but for different
> reasons. The motivation isn't "cashing/selling out". It's... actually the
> stated motivation
> https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/faq-centos-stream-updates#Q2
> --
> Matthew Miller
> <mattdm at fedoraproject.org>
> Fedora Project Leader
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