Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Red Hat extending its Developer program and RHEL subscriptions

In a quick move, Red Hat announces extensions to its Developer program and RHEL subscriptions including more incenses and production availability

It didn't take long. After communicating the end of the CentOS Linux project and announcing their plans to focus on CentOS Stream going forward, a big part of the community was left without alternative on Linux enterprise software. Soon two emerging clones appeared: Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux.

Turns out that now, Red Hat has announced important changes to its developer subscription. Let's take a look at what that means for those looking for an alternative for their now soon-to-be phased-out CentOS Linux servers.

What changed

To understand why this is important, it's important some context. This is how RHEL and CentOS used to be built:

Fedora -> CentOS Stream -> RHEL -> CentOS

Since the communicating the end of CentOS, this is the new workflow:

Fedora -> CentOS Stream -> RHEL

Two new the new programs added to RHEL

To cover that gap, two new programs were announced: no-cost RHEL for small production workloads and no-cost RHEL for customer development teams.

No-cost RHEL for small production workloads

With the updated program Red Hat now allows the Individual Developer subscription for RHEL to be used in production for up to 16 systems. For comparison, before the program limited its use to single-machine developers and no production availability. That's a big gain for developers and small organizations who now will use RHEL more comfortably as a development platform and potently deploy them to production (no support included) for up to 16 systems.

The program was also expanded so you can You can also use the expanded Red Hat Developer program to run RHEL on major public clouds including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. You have to pay only the usual hosting fees charged by your provider of choice; the operating system is free for both development and small production workloads.

For more information about the program, check this page.

No-cost RHEL for customer development teams

In addition to the updates mentioned above, a new program called no-cost RHEL for customer development teams was created. Via this program, it will now be easier for customer development teams to join the Red Hat Developer program and take advantage of its benefits. Development teams can now be added to this program at no additional cost via the customer’s existing subscription, helping to make RHEL more accessible as a development platform for the entire organization.

For more information about the program, check this page.


This updated Individual Developer subscription for RHEL will be available by February 1st, 2021.

Other programs coming

The announcement however still mentions the company is working on a variety of additional programs for other use cases, which should be communicated by mid-February. It's expected that it should cover large CentOS shops deploying more than 16 production servers.

Commitment to CentOS Stream

To finish, Red Hat re-stated their commitment on Fedora and CentOS Stream as innovation and stability pillars for upcoming RHEL releases. They say:

We’re making CentOS Stream the collaboration hub for RHEL, with the landscape looking like this:

  • Fedora Linux is the place for major new operating system innovations, thoughts, and ideas - essentially, this is where the next major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is born.

  • CentOS Stream is the continuously delivered platform that becomes the next minor version of RHEL.

  • RHEL is the intelligent operating system for production workloads, used in nearly every industry in the world, from cloud-scale deployments in mission-critical data centers and localized server rooms to public clouds and out to far-flung edges of enterprise networks.

Final Thoughts

This is definitely good news for orphaned CentOS Linux sysadmins. However, most of us wonder why didn't they announce this at the same time they communicated the deprecation of CentOS. Anyhow, developers and smaller companies could definitely benefit from this updated model and migrate their workloads directly to RHEL instead of using alternative CentOS clones such as Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux. Assuming they still trust Red Hat.

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