In December of 2020, Red Hat announced that it will discontinue CentOS 8 by the end of 2021 and instead will focus on CentOS Stream going forward. Fortunately CentOS 7 will continue to be updated until 2024 and is therefore not affected by this change.
While CentOS traditionally has been a rebuild of RHEL, CentOS Stream will be more or less a testing ground for changes that will eventually go into RHEL. Unfortunately this means that CentOS Stream will likely become incompatible with RHEL (e.g. binaries compiled on CentOS Stream will not necessarily run on RHEL and vice versa). It is also questionable whether CentOS Stream is a suitable environment for running production systems.
Since CentOS 8 is among the Linux distributions that is supported with Bright Cluster Manager, we will have to make a decision in 2021 how we will proceed with CentOS.
Will Bright Cluster Manager support CentOS Stream?
At this point we have not made a decision on whether CentOS Stream will become a supported distributed for Bright Cluster Manager. However, considering that CentOS Stream is probably not a suitable platform for running a production environment, it is unlikely that CentOS Stream will be supported in the future.
What will happen to my existing Bright clusters that are currently using CentOS 8?
Unless CentOS Stream becomes a supported Linux distribution for Bright Cluster Manager, by the end of 2021 these clusters will have to be converted to an alternative RHEL 8 compatible Linux distribution. It is possible to do this by switching to a different package repositories and running a conversion script. Instructions will be provided in due time.
What alternative RHEL 8 Linux distributions are available?
Alma Linux became available on March 30th 2021. On June 22nd 2021 Rocky Linux also became generally available. Bright Computing is currently working on adding support for one or both of these CentOS alternatives. The goal is to be able to deploy clusters using either or both of these Linux distributions using Bright Cluster Manager 9.0, 9.1 and later versions. In addition, it will be possible to migrate an existing Bright cluster running CentOS 8 to one of these alternative Linux distributions.
When will it become clear what I should do?
For the time being it is fine to continue to use CentOS 8, since updates will be available until the end of 2021. Bright Computing will consider the alternatives available for CentOS in Q1 and Q2 of 2021 and will determine which paths are viable. Our goal is to add support for Rocky Linux and/or Alma Linux in Q3 of 2021.
If you have suggestions or questions that are not addressed by this article, please feel free to leave a comment. This article will be kept up to date with new findings and developments.