CentOS up until recently (starting with 8) was an enterprise grade distro focused on “stability” and “security”.
While many of the packages do get a “feature freeze” and in that sense are older then other distros this goes to the “stability” commitment of the offering.
What many are not aware of is, RedHat who builds the packages (which are then ported down to CentOS) uses a “backporting” model to address the second commitment “security”.
Essentially when a new version comes out which addresses a long lived security issue, RedHat applies that patch to all affected versions of the software.
The argument to migrate away from CentOS 7 is two fold.
CentOS 7 will continue to get maintenance updates until June 30, 2024 however full updates ended during Q4 of 2020.
If security and stability is your focus it’s safe to keep CentOS 7 for a bit longer.
On the other hand, sometimes new features and functionality are important. If this is the case, moving up to a new version or in this case a different distro might be a better option.
Debian follows a similar policy to that of CentOS in terms of development cycles and focuses on building a stable and secure OS between releases instead of bringing the latest features throughout.
Whereas if you’d like more features but also stability and security – Ubuntu LTS may be the better choice. Ubuntu tends to add newer features and functionality all the time while still making an effort during the life cycle of the release to ensure stability and security are maintained.
Both Debian and Ubuntu (based on Debian) have a slightly shorter life cycle to CentOS however the new CentOS business model moves away from the focus on being an enterprise grade distro.
I hope this information helps!
*** As a long time user of CentOS I’ve made the choice recently to migrate to Ubuntu for my own multi-server cluster over the next 6 months ***
Peter Knowles | TPN Solutions
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