[CentOS] RHEL changes

Fri Jan 22 15:16:17 UTC 2021
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On 1/21/21 5:50 PM, Nicolas Kovacs wrote:
> Debian has an average of two years[*] per support. Oracle has ten like 
> upstream RHEL. Choice is pretty clear to me. [*] one year after 
> subsequent release, so an average of one to three years depending on 
> installation date

So, I want to address the "ten years of support" albatross.  On the 
surface, ten years of support sounds like a big win; it certainly did to 
me back when it was first introduced.  I have found that the reality is 
far more nuanced than that.  I have found in my own career that the "ten 
years of support" argument has made me lazy in keeping up with newer 
technologies and methodologies, stagnant in my own server and 
workstation deployments, and increasingly frustrated once the 
five-to-seven year point has passed in what I can't do or can't build 
because "ten years support!  Stability! Stability! Stability at all costs!"

For my uses and purposes, Fedora's six month cycle is too fast (I've 
been on that roller coaster before, no desire to go back to it). CentOS 
Stream's continuous release cycle is too fast, especially in the kernel 
ABI department.  I believe that, for my uses at least, a two-to-five 
year cycle is going to be the sweet spot.  And the fact of the matter is 
that CentOS and the ten-year cycle isn't nearly as stable as you might 
first think; install CentOS 7.0 on a test VM and carefully compare to 
7.9, especially on the workstation side with Firefox and Thunderbird!

Further, when it's budget time, updating stagnating services running on 
a stagnant OS becomes an easy mark for cutting from the budget, because 
"ten years!" - until those ten years are over and you find out that 
you've just delayed all the effort into one lump instead of spreading it 
out a little bit each year or two (or three to five).

But ten-year stagn^H^H^H^Hupport also makes me less marketable if I were 
to need to change jobs, especially if that ten-year stability has 
calloused my learning skills to the point that I feel personally 
threatened by major changes to, say, the init system underneath everything.

So, in my career, I'm not sure relying on ten-year support has been a 
good thing.  YMMV as I'm sure there are places where ten years of 
support really is critical; just not for me.