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jmp242 ZenossMaster 4,060 posts since
Mar 7, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

May 13, 2011 9:15 AM

Should we still recommend CENTOS?

I've never used CENTOS personally, but I've recommended it for quite a while for running Zenoss Core for free as the best OS to make sure Zenoss runs on it. However, it's now slipped many months for CENTOS6. As a recommended alternative, and the one I've used since v4 is Scientific Linux. They have a SL6 release, and have been pretty reasonable as a community. Posts like this one made me think it would be worth a bit of discussion for what OS to recommend running Zenoss Core on:

http://blog.2ndquadrant.com/en/2011/05/the-rise-and-fall-of-centos.html

 

 

--

James Pulver

Information Technology Area Supervisor

LEPP Computer Group

Cornell University

 

  • Shane Scott ZenossMaster 1,373 posts since
    Jul 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 13, 2011 9:54 AM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    Second. I'll admit that I've been considering this switch myself.

  • Matthew Kitchin (public) Rank: Green Belt 170 posts since
    Nov 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 13, 2011 12:08 PM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    Well that stinks. Zenoss has been our corporate standard for years. I've

    brought this up on another project I'm involved with that is primarily

    distributed using a customized CentOS based ISO.

  • Rank: Brown Belt 260 posts since
    Mar 30, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 13, 2011 12:58 PM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    Interesting news, thanks guys. I am on the edge though, as there still appears to be movement on Centos6. We'll see. Keep this post updated if you hear more news or evidence. Ive not heard of Scientific Linux before - your experience with it is good?

  • themactech Rank: Brown Belt 537 posts since
    Apr 13, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 13, 2011 1:58 PM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    When I first gave Zenoss a shot abouth 18 months ago, I didn't have any linux experience whatsoever.  So I went with Ubuntu since it was proabaly the most visible 'noob friendly' flavor out there.  I have only stuck with it because all my Zenoss implementations work perfectly on it.  I have since tamed CentOS for a transcoding device from one of our vendors, and also more recently RHEL for a StorNext MetaData Controller.

     

    Are there really any flavors of linux out there where Zenoss does not run properly on?  Seems to me it shouldn't make much of a difference.  Is there any benefit with going with a specific version?

     

    Manuel

  • Rank: Brown Belt 260 posts since
    Mar 30, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. May 13, 2011 2:06 PM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    I want to reflect some input from another engineer here at Zenoss:

    The reason for the delay is that for the first time RedHat has not released patched versions of the code but just individual changesets. In order for the CentOS guys to guarantee binary compatibility they have to merge the changes very diligently. CentOS 6 will most likely be release with the first release of RedHat 6.1 and will be CentOS 6.1, CentOS 6.0 will probably never exist.

  • David Nalley ZenossMaster 20 posts since
    Sep 21, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 13, 2011 2:32 PM (in response to Nick Yeates)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    That information seems to directly contradict what the CentOS folks are saying.

     

    To quote the news articles (and the centos mailing list has more)

    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2011/03/04/red_hat_twarts_oracle_and_novell_with_change_to_source_code_packaging/print.html

     

     

    "CentOS founder Russ Herold insists the change is not a big issue."

    Johnny Hughes, one of the core CentOS team, says it won't affect them materially at all since all they do is rebuild the kernel. :
    http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos/2011-March/107338.html

    Here's another core CentOS team member:
    http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos/2011-March/107347.html

    Plus the fact that Scientific Linux was able to compile a working kernel and get a release out without a problem seems to suggest that it's not a problem.

    *Note, I speak only for myself, and have no real inside information*
    I suspect that the problems at CentOS relate to the comparatively larger package set in EL6, and comparatively fewer packaging resources (people) available to them as compared to SL.

    I also note that the CentOS 6.0 packages have been pushed to CentOS's QA group:
    http://qaweb.dev.centos.org/qa/node/69


    Please list cites for the information you provided.


  • tec Rank: Green Belt 197 posts since
    Oct 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. May 14, 2011 12:40 PM (in response to David Nalley)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    HI

     

    I'm on the verge of deploying Zenoss as a production monitoring system and looked at Centos and other linux distributions.

    I'm going to have a production server vm and a development server vm on a vmware host. One one of the things I looked

    for was built in support for devices I need for my Zenoss configuratoin. Things like support for USB gsm

    modems. I found that Centos was somewhat lacking in this area and the kernel seems to be not as well maintained

    as other distributions. I decided on openSUSE 11.3.

     

    Just my 2 cents...

  • jcurry ZenossMaster 1,021 posts since
    Apr 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 16, 2011 5:52 AM (in response to tec)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    I have run Zenoss on open SuSE for about 3 years now - no issues until very recently.  The current problem with rrd file timestamps not being updated is a combination of the old version of Suse (10.3) and, I suspect, Zenoss's build of rrd in 3.1 ( http://community.zenoss.org/thread/15940 ).  I guess it's time to get on to a more modern SuSE.

     

    Cheers,

    Jane

  • jcurry ZenossMaster 1,021 posts since
    Apr 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. May 16, 2011 7:11 AM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    Just been checking the Zenoss installation guide and find most of the "supported" operating systems are obsolete!

    RHEL 4 and 5 - not 6

    CentOs 4 & 5 - see previous discussion - not Zenoss's fault

    SuSE 10.3 and 11.1 - both obsolete and unsupported

     

    Ubuntu 10.04 looks like your best bet for continuing Op Sys support - available until 2013 for desktop and 2015 for server

     

    Isn't it about time that Zenoss updated their support - especially for SuSE?

     

    tec - you say you went with open SuSE 11.3 - have you seen any issues???

     

    Cheers,

    Jane

  • nilie Rank: Green Belt 372 posts since
    May 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. May 16, 2011 11:44 AM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    We've chosen to install and run Zenoss Core on CentOS mainly for two reasons :

     

    - like SL, it is as close as possible to one enterprise class Linux distribution that is fully supported by the hardware vendor. You could go with any distribution but in a production environment, you'd want one that is as close as much to one that is well known and tested by your hardware vendor. If you're willing to pay, you have two options here, RHEL and SLES.

    - long time support. We have Linux servers originally installed with CentOS v4 that after 5 years were successfully upgraded to the final 4.9 version and they will work like that for one more year. Compare this to those unfortunate servers that at about the same epoch we installed with Fedora 3 or 4 and than now are iremediably long due for a complete install from scracth. Would I do it now with Fedora 13 or 14 ? I guess not.

     

    Do I care much if CentOS din't come out lightining fast with CentOS 6 ? Not that much since I'm not pleased by the perspective of reinstalling my server plus Zenoss (I don't trust an in-place upgrade between two major versions). If I have to install a new server, do I really want to have one different from the rest of the bunch, especially knowing that 5.6 will be supported for many years from now ?

     

    The beauty of having the latest and the greatest bells and whistles pales compared to the nightmare of troubleshooting obscure problems like, for example those shared with us here by Jane. In the end, you as sysadmin will chose the solution according to the level of pain you're ready to endure.

  • Matthew Kitchin (public) Rank: Green Belt 170 posts since
    Nov 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. May 16, 2011 12:04 PM (in response to nilie)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    FYI, I posted this topic on another list I participate in. Apparently

    one of the CentOS founders reads that list as well, and he responded.

    http://forum.sipfoundry.org/index.php?t=msg&goto=59744&S=9cba295f654efab3a791ee32eea9d54d

    See the fourth post down on the page.

  • briffle Rank: White Belt 47 posts since
    Mar 11, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. May 16, 2011 12:10 PM (in response to jmp242)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    CentOS 6.0 should be out in the next 2 weeks or so: http://qaweb.dev.centos.org/qa

     

    They first focused on 4.9, and 5.6.  (all 3 versions were released in a relatively close timeframe)  You might notice, Scientific Linux does not yet have 5.6 released.  They focused on 6.0 first, and are now working on 5.6.

     

    The CentOS project looks likey they are trying to make the process more streamlined and transparent.

  • Rank: Brown Belt 260 posts since
    Mar 30, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. May 16, 2011 12:40 PM (in response to briffle)
    Re: Should we still recommend CENTOS?

    Nice discussion here everyone. I think it has been shown that CentOs is still alive and kicking. Likely, Zenoss recommendation will remain on CentOS, though I do plan to keep a continued eye on it and open to discussion. I plan to look into our SLES offerings, as Jane said they may be aging. When considering production systems at infrastructure scale, who is our prime audience, we have to prioritize stability over release slippages.

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