[CentOS] CentOS 8 future

Wed Dec 16 00:41:32 UTC 2020
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

On 12/15/20 6:12 PM, Joshua Kramer wrote:
>> 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?

So don't trust them.  Move to something else if you think something is

> 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... 
$250K is not even close.  That is one employee, when you also take into
account unemployment insurance, HR, medical insurance etc.  now multiply
that by 8.  Now, outfit those 8 employees to work from home .. all over
the world, different countries, different laws.

 .. THEN buy 30 machines minimum (servers, not workstations) for
building and testing, buy a service contract for those 30 machines, host
the bandwidth required to sync out to 600 worldwide servers.

We need all the CI machines .. that is a bunch of blade servers for
that.  They need service contacts too.

In any event it doesn't matter.  The decision is made. If people don't
want to use CentOS Stream, then don't.  The decision is not changing.