CentOS 7 End-Of-Life and what this means for you

CentOS 7 launched on the 7th of July 2014, after having a support cycle of nearly 10 long years, CentOS 7 has officially reached end-of-life status, lets take a look at what this means for you and what possible paths exist for you to upgrade to,

What does end-of-life mean ?

End-Of-Life is a term designated to officially mark the end-of-support for the operating system, this includes both security and standard updates.

Why upgrade away from CentOS 7 ?

While CentOS 7 has worked rock-solid for many many use cases, running an end of life operating system on a public internet facing service can be a bit dangerous as time passes, while “today” (1st of July 2024) the operating system might be secure enough, as time passes with the lack of security and other software updates, the operating system itself might become vulnerable to security issues.

What upgrade options do I have ?

Compared to the limited options available historically, these days a couple of interesting options exist when considering a path forward,

  • Using TuxCare
    • If moving away from CentOS 7 is not an option, then consider using a service like TuxCare which is involved in providing patches for end-of-life status operating systems, this allows you to extend the life cycle of your CentOS 7 installation, While this is a paid service it certainly provides you with time while evaluating newer options to upgrade to.
  • Moving to AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux 8
    • Since CentOS 8 had an even shorter lifecycle, it became even harder to consider which upgrade path to take going forward from CentOS 7, in the past couple of years, both AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux have proven to be stable alternates to upgrade forward to providing timely updates and the same solid platform as CentOS 8.
    • Upgrading forward is even easier by using the AlmaLinux ELevate tool which allows you to perform a in-place operating system upgrade which many users might be familiar with Ubuntu, Debian and other Linux based operating systems, while the process on CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8 or Rocky Linux 8 is a bit different it certainly does work in our testing.
      • Remember to always create a backup (or snapshot on our platform) before attempting any upgrades to have a easy roll-back option in case things go wrong.

Can CrownCloud help me plan my upgrade ?

Yes, certainly we can! If you are an existing customer of CrownCloud, we can extend this to you for free, please send us a support ticket with the software you run currently on your CentOS 7 based setup and we will evaluate and let you know if the same will work on an upgraded setup.

If you are not a customer of CrownCloud, drop us a email at support@crowncloud.net and we can work out a service plan for your organization to help your migration to a newer operating system/platform.

Closing Notes

CentOS 7 presented a solid upgrade platform in 2014, when moving away from the RHEL 6 based CentOS 6 platform, moving from the 2.6 kernel to the 3.10 kernel and introducing other modern utilities which have become standard like Systemd, NetworkManager and more, CentOS 7 was certainly a look towards the future of Linux.

While at the time of this article systems may still run fine on CentOS 7, it is worth evaluating the various operating system options available to plan a timely upgrade away from CentOS 7.

Thank you for reading & Stay tuned for more such articles,
-Team CrownCloud.

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