Questions before switching

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scronline
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Questions before switching

Post by scronline » 2005/12/31 22:00:55

As a small ISP/consulting firm I find that I have various needs. In the past I stupidly chose to build my infrastructure on Gentoo and I'm in the process of removing that from my datacenter. It wasn't a problem at the time, but after quite a few changes it went so badly downhill that doing any kind of updates (including security) usually brings on about 2-4 hours of diagnostic and repairs as to why something stopped working and fixing it. That's obviously a problem for a 24/7 operation.

In the past I've used Slackware, Redhat (pre RHEL), Fedora, Suse, and obviously Gentoo. I know I'll never find something that's one solution fits all since that just won't happen, but I do need a solution that I can rely on to fit most needs but unlike huge corperations myself, and my clients can't afford $1500 server licenses every 3 years. Fedora is too "bleeding edge" considering even silly little things like PHP4 isn't available in Fedora Core 4 without doing some serious voodoo to resolve interdependancies.

Anyway, enough of the foreground, on to the real questions. I just finished installing CentOS 4.2 on a test server and I've been playing around with my normal test applications. So far I'm pretty pleased with what I see. However there are a few questions I felt I needed to ask before committing myself to another 6 months of migration.

1) Since CentOS is based on RHEL how does the support work? Is it pretty much considered RHEL for hardware and so forth? If so, which version? Does it match version number to RHEL? Is this ES or AS server?

2) I'm going to assume the upgrade process is similar to RHEL since the install and everything is pretty much the same thing.

3) How long after release of a new version of RHEL is a new version of CentOS available on average?

4) CentOS specific support, I noticed there are several forum posts that have gone unanswered. Are there people that actually look on the forums or is it completely user based support?

5) Donations - As an active Linux user I support in more ways than just monetary. Usually browsing support forums to help other users or with other things such as mirrors, space, whatever the case might be. I noticed in the donation section that you state "USD/install/year". The more installs the lower the value. The question here is, is that per machine? and is that automatically renewed each year? I'm assuming Yes and No. Even though I use F/OSS for my customers/clients I do usually have them donate to the project, I feel it's only right when it's saving them huge amounts of money in licensing fees.

Anyway, answers to those questions would be greatly appreciated.

scronline
Posts: 28
Joined: 2005/12/31 21:09:24
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Re: Questions before switching

Post by scronline » 2005/12/31 22:16:41

After updating the kernel and going after the source I received a 404 error. I hope this kind of thing isn't something that can be expected often. Source for the kernel is pretty important.

kernel-2.6.9-22.0.1.EL.src.rpm...
An error has occurred:

An HTTP error occurred:
URL: http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/updates/i386//SRPMS/kernel-2.6.9-22.0.1.EL.src.rpm
Status Code: 404
Error Message: Not Found

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WhatsHisName
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Questions before switching

Post by WhatsHisName » 2006/01/02 20:14:16

1) See http://www.centos.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=3 :

“...CentOS 2, 3, and 4 are built from publically available open source SRPMS provided by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor...”

RedHat objected to even using their name on this site, hence the “North American Enterprise Linux vendor”. As I read it, CentOS4, for example, has been stripped of the so-called proprietary content (e.g., the RedHat logo) present in the RHEL4 source, but is intended to be functionally identical to RHEL4.

2) From a practical point of view, CentOS should upgrade just like any modern RedHat/Fedora linux would. Whether it is easy to upgrade RedHat/Fedora is a separate question.

3) Depends. It’s not something that I would loose a lot of sleep over.

4) Well, I’m a user, but don’t know about everyone else. There is a link on this site for eventual commercial support: http://www.centos.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=12

5) Per system. Using “Send Money” in PayPal should be a one time deal.

*) Pick a different mirror and/or download format: http://www.centos.org/modules/tinycontent/index.php?id=13 Or you may have hit the server during maintenance. My rsync logs showed a lot of errors over the “winter solstice” holidays, so I assume there was a lot of maintenance going on at most sites.

scronline
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Joined: 2005/12/31 21:09:24
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Re: Questions before switching

Post by scronline » 2006/01/03 01:58:43

Thank ya. I assumed those were the answers. Support isn't a huge concern for me, but I figured it should atleast be asked. Everything else is exactly as I suspected, but thanks for confirming that for me. As I said, I've been pretty pleased with what I'm seeing thus far. The devs deserve quite a few kudos for their fine work.

I still have some testing to do before I move forward, but it's looking like CentOS is the way to go. Again, Kudos to the devs and thanks for your answers.

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