Red Hat Announces No-Cost RHEL For Small Production Environments

Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 20 January 2021 at 08:36 AM EST. 60 Comments
Following the announcement at the end of last year that CentOS 8 will be ending and instead focusing on CentOS Stream as the future upstream to RHEL, there have been many concerned by the absence of CentOS 8 past this year. In trying to fill that void, Red Hat announced today they will be making Red Hat Enterprise Linux free for small production deployments.

Red Hat has announced an expanded developer program where now the individual RHEL Developer subscription is supported for production environments up to 16 systems. Previously the program allowed free RHEL access only for "development" purposes but can now be used in production up to that 16 system limit.

Those beyond this "small-scale production" will still need to buy Red Hat Enterprise Linux licenses or seek out any of a number of different RHEL derivatives that already exist like Oracle Linux or coming out this year like CloudLinux's AlmaLinux and RockyLinux.

The 16 system limit handling is still done through the registration-based developer program and does include deployments to major cloud providers. These developer program changes begin on 1 February.

More details on the no-cost, small-scale production RHEL offering via Red Hat's blog.

This will at least appease those businesses currently running CentOS 8 on a handful of servers for production purposes. But there still are many large organizations out there currently relying upon CentOS (or not yet having moved off the likes of Scientific Linux) that will still likely be looking to either embrace CentOS Stream or evaluate the new options coming out as new open-source, free spinoffs of CentOS/RHEL. It will be interesting to see how this plays out but for now CentOS 8 remains supported until the end of this year.
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