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moving_from_rhel_to_centos_or_oracle_linux [2020/05/22 17:41]
sgriggs
moving_from_rhel_to_centos_or_oracle_linux [2020/05/27 17:16] (current)
sgriggs
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 +==== Disclaimer ====
 +
 +This article should be considered an opinionated editorial rather than any type of unbiased review. As a potential Red Hat refugee, it'll give you a lot of useful info. However, It's not supposed to be an impartial product review of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The author'​s opinions are merely his own views. There is little love lost for Red Hat here. Let me say that I love Linux but do not like Red Hat due to overwhelmingly bad experiences with their business practices, technical decisions, and product feedback cycle. That alone severely inhibits any impartiality. ​
 +
 ==== Moving from Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to CentOS or Oracle Enterprise Linux ==== ==== Moving from Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to CentOS or Oracle Enterprise Linux ====
  
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   - Red Hat requires every install have a subscription no matter what it's used for (dev, test, UAT, doesn'​t matter)   - Red Hat requires every install have a subscription no matter what it's used for (dev, test, UAT, doesn'​t matter)
-  - Red Hat charges too much money for support. ​They will charge you $300 for a subscription to Red Hat and can't even call their support at that level. You just get "maybe we will respond if it's convenient"​ email support from their offshore teams. It's not worth $30 much less $300 and customers feel squeezed. +  - Many believe ​Red Hat charges too much money for support. ​At this time, they will charge you $300 for a subscription to Red Hat and one can't even call their support at that level. You'll probably ​get "maybe we will respond if it's convenient"​ email support from their offshore teams. It'​s ​my opinion that level of support is not worth $30 much less $300 and customers feel squeezed. 
-  - Many of the useful and interesting features such as clustering, glusterfs, and virtualization have been broken into separate and expensive layered products. ​This defeats some of the reason to run Linux in the first place, turning it into an expensive walled garden.  +  - Many of the useful and interesting features such as clustering, glusterfs, and virtualization have been broken into separate and expensive layered products. ​Most sysadmins feel this defeats some of the reason to run Linux in the first place, turning it into an expensive walled garden.  
-  - Red Hat's kernel patches require a reboot. Oracle Linux with ksplice doesn'​t have this issue (but it's a for profit ​feature in OEL, just FYI). +  - Red Hat's kernel patches require a reboot. Oracle Linux with ksplice doesn'​t have this issue (but it's a pay-only $$$ feature in OEL, just FYI). 
-  - Red Hat began the move to Lennart Pottering'​s Systemd init replacement. For some, that move has been a painful disaster that has made administration more difficult and application management ​more problematic. For many, the move was unacceptable.+  - Red Hat began the move to Lennart Pottering'​s Systemd init replacement. For some, that move has been a painful disaster that has made administration more difficult, driven complexity up, and forced ​application management ​into problematic ​directions. For many, the move was an unacceptable ​move backwards.
   - Some customers dislike Red Hat's update schedule, considering it to be overly frequent and aggressive. ​   - Some customers dislike Red Hat's update schedule, considering it to be overly frequent and aggressive. ​
-  - Patches and even trivial packages aren't available unless your subscription is up to date. If not, you have a partially broken system. +  - Patches and even trivial packages aren't available unless your subscription is up to date. If not, you have a partially broken system ​because you can't install even simple things like timezone updates or small unix CLI tools.  
-  - Red Hat sales people ​tend to aggressively threaten and browbeat their customers ​rather than working with them on balancing entitlements.  +  - Red Hat sales people ​have been known to act in ways customers ​can feel is too aggressive.  
-  - Red Hat training ​is very dubious and scammyThey make up tests with "​gotcha"​ questions that you'll only learn if you take their $2500 - $3000 dollar classes, but those factoids are only to keep knowledgeable sysadmins from passing their $250 test without paying the trollbridge fee for the classes.  +  - Some consider ​Red Hat training ​practices to be overly monotizedFor example, it appears very likely that they make up their RHCE and RHCSA tests with "​gotcha"​ questions that you'll only learn if you take their $2500 - $3000 dollar classes, but those factoids are only to keep regular ​knowledgeable sysadmins ​(who learned from on-job-training) ​from passing their $250 test without paying the trollbridge fee for the classes.  
-  - Red Hat has been bought by IBM who has begun the process of strip mining ​the company ​and moving ​everything they can offshore. ​Quality ​is dropping. +  - Red Hat has been bought by IBM who some suspect to have begun the process of strip mining ​Red Hat intellectual property ​and moving ​their staffing ​offshore. ​Many feel quality ​is dropping. For others, IBM's lack of profitability and recent 22-quarter losing streak also has shaken faith in the company in some opinions.  
-  - Red Hat has a history of making poor technical choices. Example: they eschewed XFS and badmouthed ​it for years refusing to support it, then started using it as the default in RHEL7 enigmatically. Now they cheerlead for it.  +  - Much criticism has been directed at Red Hat for making poor technical choices. Example: they eschewed XFS and badmouthed ​XFS for years refusing to support it, then started using it as the **default** in RHEL7 enigmatically. Now they applaud ​it.  
-  - RHEL follows Fedora and bad decisions in Fedora (of which therea are MANY) filter into RHEL eventually. ​The history of this happening in the past has definitely put some customers off and made them gunshy about upgrades.  +  - RHEL follows Fedora and thus any bad decisions in Fedora (and most sysadmins would never choose a desktop distro like Fedora that has a long history ​of controversial decisions) filter into RHEL eventually. ​Fedora are the folks who pushed first on "​great"​ ideas like: systemd, dbus, Pulseaudio, XML config files, udev, python scripts instead of C-based tools, GNOME3, ​and other "​replacements"​ which many system operators consider to be **much worse** than the thing they replaced  
-  - Red Hat isn't excited about BTRFS because the main developer works at Oracle. This could lead to more stagnation with Red Hat's already stagnant choices for filesystems. It's missing inline compression and deduplication without either BTRFS, ZFS-on-Linux,​ or ReiserFS v4.x.+  - Red Hat isn't excited about BTRFS because the main developer works at Oracle. This could lead to more stagnation with Red Hat's already stagnant choices for filesystems. It's missing inline compression and deduplication without either BTRFS, ZFS-on-Linux,​ or ReiserFS v4.x, then it's really got no good option for getting any of those nice features
  
 These are the reasons folks usually migrate when they are facing internal struggles. ​ These are the reasons folks usually migrate when they are facing internal struggles. ​
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   - It becomes too expensive to keep dev/​test/​UAT/​training machines licensed with a subscription.   - It becomes too expensive to keep dev/​test/​UAT/​training machines licensed with a subscription.
   - The sysadmin gets tired of being cut off from OS packages and patches every time entitlements expire.   - The sysadmin gets tired of being cut off from OS packages and patches every time entitlements expire.
-  - Sysadmin frustration with the licensing portal or "Red Hat Satellite"​ package caches which are simply there for to prevent Red Hat being able to cut you off from your package repository any time they please. They still don'​t ​prevent Red Hat cutting you off from updates. ​  +  - Sysadmin frustration with the licensing portal or "Red Hat Satellite"​ package caches which are simply there for to prevent Red Hat being able to cut you off from your package repository any time they please. They still do **not** ​prevent Red Hat cutting you off from updates. ​  
-  - The management gets tired of some of Red Hat'​s ​rude salespeople ​or their aggressive ​tactics ​& threats+  - The management gets tired of some of Red Hat's salespeople ​and their sales tactics. ​
   - The customer needs clustering, ksplice, storage or OS virtualization,​ containerization or other features Red Hat can't provide, does poorly, or overcharges for.  ​   - The customer needs clustering, ksplice, storage or OS virtualization,​ containerization or other features Red Hat can't provide, does poorly, or overcharges for.  ​
  
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 The main way to decide on a migration target is to consider the reason why you want to ditch Red Hat. If you plan to keep Red Hat's tools and structure but you are just tired of paying so much, then [[https://​www.centos.org|CentOS]] and [[https://​www.oracle.com/​linux/​|Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL)]] would both solve your problems. ​ The main way to decide on a migration target is to consider the reason why you want to ditch Red Hat. If you plan to keep Red Hat's tools and structure but you are just tired of paying so much, then [[https://​www.centos.org|CentOS]] and [[https://​www.oracle.com/​linux/​|Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL)]] would both solve your problems. ​
  
-If you are completely tired of Red Hat (and as an RHCE I totally understand) and want to run away screaming ​to another Linux distribution that offers your more for less and doesn'​t follow Fedora ​like a lemming, then I'd suggest trying a Debian or Devuan based Linux distribution. These are more significantly different from Red Hat's ways of doing things. Folks just sick of Red Hat's methods and mentality can jump ship to [[https://​distrowatch.com|any number of distros]] and be happy. If you want to abandon Linux completely, then perhaps consider one of the BSD distributions such as [[https://​www.freebsd.org|FreeBSD]]. ​+If you are completely tired of Red Hat (and as an RHCE I totally understand) and want to switch ​to another Linux distribution that offers your more for less and doesn'​t follow Fedora, then I'd suggest trying a Debian or Devuan based Linux distribution. These are more significantly different from Red Hat's ways of doing things. Folks just sick of Red Hat's methods and mentality can jump ship to [[https://​distrowatch.com|any number of distros]] and be happy. If you want to abandon Linux completely, then perhaps consider one of the BSD distributions such as [[https://​www.freebsd.org|FreeBSD]]. ​
  
 Check out the features below which are the ones our customers cite the most as being in play when considering a Red Hat migration. ​ Check out the features below which are the ones our customers cite the most as being in play when considering a Red Hat migration. ​
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   - You are tired of every system needing a subscription even to have basic package functionality. **Solution:​** Just update to any other Linux distro (or BSD) from Red Hat except for SuSE Enterprise (which has some of the same problems). ​   - You are tired of every system needing a subscription even to have basic package functionality. **Solution:​** Just update to any other Linux distro (or BSD) from Red Hat except for SuSE Enterprise (which has some of the same problems). ​
-  - You want a way to escape from Redhat without doing a huge dump-and-load migration on every box. **Solution:​** Upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Linux. They have a tool that will convert Red Hat machines into OEL machines [[https://​linux.oracle.com/​switch.html|without having to completely wipe out the OS and start over]]. It's quite slick and it infuriates Red Hat. +  - You want a way to escape from Redhat without doing a huge dump-and-load migration on every box. **Solution:​** Upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Linux. They have a tool that will convert Red Hat machines into OEL machines [[https://​linux.oracle.com/​switch.html|without having to completely wipe out the OS and start over]]. It's quite slick and it's existence ​infuriates Red Hat because they know it's a very easy way to abandon them
   - You want better choices for advanced filesystems. Solution: Move to Debian, Devuan, Ubuntu Server, or FreeBSD and use either ZFS-on-Linux (or native ZFS in FreeBSD) or migrate to BTRFS when it stabilizes. Also, see if you might be able to get a specific feature by combining [[https://​wiki.gentoo.org/​wiki/​LVM#​Features|LVM2 features]] with other filesystems. For example, Reiser4 has compression support and LVM2 has thin provisioning and advanced caching.   - You want better choices for advanced filesystems. Solution: Move to Debian, Devuan, Ubuntu Server, or FreeBSD and use either ZFS-on-Linux (or native ZFS in FreeBSD) or migrate to BTRFS when it stabilizes. Also, see if you might be able to get a specific feature by combining [[https://​wiki.gentoo.org/​wiki/​LVM#​Features|LVM2 features]] with other filesystems. For example, Reiser4 has compression support and LVM2 has thin provisioning and advanced caching.
   - You want to move to a distro with a stable upgrade path. **Solution:​** Switch to FreeBSD if possible or use a less buggy distro like Oracle Enterprise Linux (though it still has some nasty landmines during upgrades we've seen, it's better than RHEL's terrible "​backup everything and hope real hard." upgrade procedure).   - You want to move to a distro with a stable upgrade path. **Solution:​** Switch to FreeBSD if possible or use a less buggy distro like Oracle Enterprise Linux (though it still has some nasty landmines during upgrades we've seen, it's better than RHEL's terrible "​backup everything and hope real hard." upgrade procedure).
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   - Access to advanced storage technology Red Hat doesn'​t yet support. ​   - Access to advanced storage technology Red Hat doesn'​t yet support. ​
  
-Personally, I'd also include "the satisfaction of telling your ultra-rude & aggressive salesperson that you no longer even run Redhat and please stop calling and threatening to audit or otherwise hassle you." In my personal case, I had around 600 RHEL machines convert to Oracle Enterprise Linux and Red Hat's only response was to threaten to do a forced software audit. Since we'd completely migrated every machine, it would have been a very short audit (as in "Would you like a cup of coffee before you go?", but they never actually did it (probably because they knew they had no leg to stand on). +Personally, I'd also include "the satisfaction of telling your rude & aggressive salesperson that you no longer even run Redhat and please stop calling and threatening to audit or otherwise hassle you." In my personal case, I had around 600 RHEL machines convert to Oracle Enterprise Linux and Red Hat's only response was to threaten to do a forced software audit. Since we'd completely migrated every machine, it would have been a very short audit (as in "Would you like a cup of coffee before you go?", but they never actually did it (probably because they knew they had no leg to stand on and we used the easy OEL migration to make it happen quickly). 
moving_from_rhel_to_centos_or_oracle_linux.1590169277.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/05/22 17:41 by sgriggs