[CentOS] CentOS 8 future

Thu Dec 17 00:07:59 UTC 2020
Peter Eckel <lists at eckel-edv.de>

Hi Johnny, 

> $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.

I don't doubt your numbers, they sound perfectly reasonable to me. 

On the other hand: How many of the employees will be laid off or reallocated now that CentOS point releases are no longer published? How many of the servers will be shut down, how many service contracts will be cancelled? What's your estimate of the reduction in bandwidth that will be saved by replacing point releases by a stream of releases with more frequent updates?

> 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.

Too bad.

I've just completed a migration of about 30 servers from CentOS 6 to CentOS 8, expecting to get another 9 years of lifetime out of that (substantial) work. Now I have one year left of that, in which I need to plan what to do. One option is to go with the flow and switch to Stream, but I must admit that it's not my favourite one. Rocky, Lenix or maybe Springsdale would be the next best guesses. But given the fact that I migrated the whole setup process to Ansible it might be a good idea to jump off the cliff and switch to Debian or FreeBSD. As I said, I have one year left  which I plan to use for evaluation of options.

Two of my big customers will definitely not have that range of options. One of them is a RHEL shop with a tendency to try Debian, and last week they strongly thought about leaving the RHEL space entirely. The FOSS team there had made substantial effort over the last year to get CentOS on the list of company-approved operating systems (currently that's only RHEL and Debian), and now that work has gone down the drain completely. You can imagine how they feel now.

The other one is stuck with RHEL-based distributions (Oracle, you know) - but they consider switching to OEL with support as well. At least they'll get rid of the hassle with the RHN that way, which can be a pain in the backside.

I doubt those two are the only ones. My guess is this decision will backfire big time. I would love to stand corrected in one year's time, because I really like the RHEL way of doing things. Or rather, I liked it. Until last week. Still a great set of products, but the trustworthiness of Red Hat has taken a big hit for me, and for my customers as well.

Anyway, thank you and the rest of the CentOS team for all the great work you've done and are doing. It is appreciated, and it will not be forgotten.