Rich Alloway and Javier Perez from OpenLogic by Perforce discuss the upcoming CentOS 7 EOL and how to plan a CentOS 7 migration. Specifically, they explain why they recommend standing up a new system and then migrating data and services vs. upgrading in place with tools like LEAP or ELevate.

This video is from the OpenLogic webinar, “CentOS 7 End of Life: Why You Need to Start Planning for EOL Today” that aired on November 16, 2023.

In This Video

•    Javier Perez, Chief Open Source Evangelist and Sr. Director of Product Management, Perforce Software
•    Rich Alloway, Enterprise Architect, OpenLogic by Perforce

Watch the Full Webinar


Rich: We always recommend that systems are upgraded not in place, but between major releases. We prefer that a new system gets stood up and the data and services get migrated off of the old system and onto the new system.

There are tools that exist to do an in place upgrade, but we always recommend that backups be taken before any changes are made.

And preferably to test in a staging environment, in some kind of a lab, to make sure that these tools are actually even going to work for you.

LEAP and ELevate are two of the the most popular ones. They will allow you to upgrade, say, from CentOS 7 to Alma 8 or Rocky 8, you know, or even RHEL 8. But they only really work in a finite number of scenarios. So depending on the amount of customization that you have on your systems, these tools may or may not work.

And there's a good chance that the system will be left in kind of a hybrid state where there are going to be EL 7 packages installed as well as EL 8 packages, and that makes it difficult if you were to have trouble in the future. So if you open up a ticket with a support provider like Open Logic, and you send us an SOS report from your system, we're gonna see that there are EL 7 and EL 8 packages on this system. And that's gonna make it very difficult to replicate the issue.

It’s much easier if the system is fully one or the other. So if you do a non in-place upgrade, and you stand up an EL 8 system or an EL 9 system, and you migrate the services and data over and you have a problem that you weren't having on your CentOS 7 system, then it's much easier to narrow down what the problem might be, to possibly replicate the issue and to resolve it.

Javier: Any particular differences if it's on a cloud environment? We're talking about the same recommendations, right?

Rich: In cloud environments, it's much easier. Regardless if it's a public cloud or if it's an on premise type of cloud solution, the backups and restores are so much easier with that type of an environment than a bare metal environment.

Javier: And that's just to do the the upgrade on the operating system or the migration to another Linux distribution. Obviously from there, you know, you have to test on the different layers, right? To see if, for example, all the networking is still working or there are changes on the network configuration or maybe the applications that are running on top of that Linux distribution.

You have to make sure if they were using some low-level package, that it still runs, it still behaves properly. Right? It’s definitely interesting. Definitely not something that can be done without proper planning.

*Lightly edited for clarity

Need Long-Term Support or Help Migrating Off CentOS?

Extend your migration runway up to 5 years past end of life with CentOS LTS from OpenLogic. We can also help you explore CentOS alternatives and migration paths when you’re ready.

Additional Resources: