CentOS Hyperscaler Is Sounding Quite Promising For The Modern Enterprise

Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 9 February 2021 at 01:12 PM EST. 2 Comments
The CentOS Hyperscale effort is sounding quite promising for those riding CentOS Stream and wanting fresher packages in some instances and alternative defaults as a blend of CentOS Stream, Fedora / EPEL, and its own forthcoming package repositories.

The CentOS Hyperscale special interest group was formed by engineers from the likes of Facebook and Twitter with an interesting set of objectives. The Hyperscale SIG was approved last month and in the past few weeks progress is being made on getting it established. In some cases it's taking what has already been carried out internally at large enterprises like Facebook and making it suitable for upstream CentOS / widespread public consumption.

Davide Cavalca of Facebook presented at last week's CentOS Dojo at FOSDEM virtual event on this SIG's efforts and also Facebook's motivations for getting involved. Greater than 75% of the servers at Facebook are running on CentOS Stream 8 paired with various EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) and backports from Fedora. But besides using CentOS Stream, Facebook has been modifying their own build internally with changes like using the upstream Linux kernel on their CentOS systems.

The focus with the CentOS Hyperscaler effort is on faster-moving package backports via an opt-in repository that will provide drop-in package updates/replacements. While living more bleeding-edge, these updates are intended for being stable and production use. Among the many packages slated for the Hyperscale repository are more recent versions of systemd. The focus is on package upgrades with the desire for new packages being satisfied by going through Fedora and then to the EPEL repository instead for new packages.

Another focus with the Hyperscaler SIG is to provide policy and configuration alternatives around areas like supporting the legacy IPTables, alternative file-systems (Btrfs), CGroups V2, etc. It's not expected initially but support for alternative Linux kernel builds via the Hyperscale repositories are also anticipated such as tracking Linux LTS kernel releases for those wanting something different from a RHEL compatible kernel or what is provided by Fedora.

Beyond having the stable/production repository, an "experimental" (testing) repository is also anticipated for wider-scale testing of other features such as the work currently being done by Fedora / Red Hat on enabling DNF/RPM copy-on-write.

See more from the presentation embedded below.

Other CentOS Dojo talks are also available via the CentOS Blog.
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