If you are going to run Linux, take a moment to consider that Community ENTerprise Operating System (CentOS) has proven to be the most popular, superior, lightweight, fast and reliable operating system for your web server. CentOS is an enterprise grade, free open source project with the same functionality, performance and stability as the paid operating system Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). CentOS shares nearly 95% of the features of the commercial RHEL with the major difference being the lack of IBM System z port and limited variants for virtualization. The other differentiator for most IT admins is that the Centos.org site lacks the polish of Red Hat and does not have as many supported applications, finished projects or management skills. That said, there are many outstanding benefits to CentOS 7 discussed below.
Benefits of Adopting CentOS 7
CentOS 7 is compatible with the upstream vendor’s redistribution strategy and gains full industry support with security updates and training material. In fact, CentOS is the only OS compatible with the popular cPanel web hosting control panel.
When CentOS 7 is properly configured, and running on quality hardware, it is a very stable server operating system, with very few (if any) problems. There is reduced risk of crashes and errors, as it runs only stable versions of packaged software.
With CentOS Linux distribution you can get the advantage of open source server software such as Apache Web Server, Samba, Sendmail, CUPS, vsFTPd, MySQL, and BIND.
You may improve performance and load-balance resources by configuring computers to work collectively, with a group of servers sharing a common file system, and offering high-availability applications.
CentOS 7users have access to updated enterprise-level security features, including a powerful firewall and the SELinux policy mechanism. With a new CentOS install, users get long term support for six years, with security updates and critical patches maintained for a decade after the initial release.
CentOS 7 platform enjoys superior long-term stability with fewer bugs and security holes as compared to other distributions on the market, which is why it does not need new releases or hardware upgrades as frequently.
What’s New in CentOS 7 Build 1511?
The CentOS Project proudly announced its third major rolling release of the CentOS Linux 7 series, CentOS 7 (1511) for 64 bit x86 compatible machines, on December 14, 2015. It is based on RHEL 7.2, with varied new features and software updates, such as the addition of a Kerberos HTTP proxy for identity management, ECC support for TLS connections in OpenJDK 7, and EC ciphers in pre-installed packages, as well as updates to the Atomic packages, NSS also now enables TLS1.1/1.2 by default
CentOS 7, just like the Linux based OS ,has moved to systems with 64-bit processing and memory addressing. That said, 32bit libraries will allow you to run 32bit applications if needed. This advanced stable build of the Linux distribution now fully supports the virt-v2v command-line tool, TLS connections in OpenJDK 7, TPM 2.0 driver, nanosecond timestamps support in tcpdump, the GNOME 3.14 and KDE 4.14 desktop environments, X.Org Server 1.17 display server, LibreOffice 4.3.7 office suite, and OpenLDAP 2.4.40.
Additional Important Changes
In addition to what has been mentioned above there are other important changes worth highlighting.
- Bugs can be reported directly to bugs.centos.org in CentOS 7, since release 1503 (abrt>= 2.1.11-19.el7.centos.0.1)
- Command checksums can be verified on sudo now
- NSS no longer accepts DH key parameters < 768 nor RSA/DSA certificates with key sizes < 1024 bits,
- Increase in the maximum number of SCSI LUNs
- dd can now show transfer progress
- Updates to the networking stack (i.e. VXLANs, Data Center TCP, TCP/IP Stack, IPSec)
- Includes virtualization and hypervisor technology projects such as Xen, oVirt, Docker, for light-weight isolation with sandboxing features
- Update to the libATA, FCoE and DCB storage drivers
- Storafes such Gluster Project, Ceph, OpenAFS, SCST included in the main repos
- Storage, network and graphics drivers have been updated
- Anaconda now supports NFS when adding additional repos during install
- You can update simply by running “yum update” command in a terminal emulator
With all these upgrades and changes, it is no wonder that CentOS remains one of the most popular Linux distributions for web servers, with its speed, stability and improved performance over its peers. When it comes to enterprise level operating systems, you could not ask for anything better.