CentOS Updated by Rackspace FAQs

With the increase in price for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), we’ve been given an opportunity to bring open standards to the Rackspace Linux OS Dedicated and Managed Virtualization portfolio. CentOS Updated by Rackspace is now available for Dedicated and Managed Virtualization Servers, with the same level of expertise, patch management and technical support available for our RHEL OS offering today. CentOS (with CentOS Community Patching) is already available in the Rackspace Cloud.

Why CentOS?

RHEL and CentOS compatibility.

CentOS explains it best: “CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policies and aims to be 100% binary compatible (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork).” For more information on CentOS and similarities to RHEL, go here

What is the OS fee for CentOS Updated by Rackspace?

For customers hosting in one of our U.S. data centers, the OS fees for CentOS Updated by Rackspace in a Dedicated Server will start at $20 per month for a single-processor server ($50 for a quad processor servers) and $0.70 per day for Managed Virtualization. Included in this cost is Patch Management and Level 3 technical and escalation support.

Regardless of your OS choice, Rackspace is committed to offering you the same level of support, expertise and SLA guarantees across our Linux OS portfolio for Dedicated and Managed Virtualization Servers, whether you choose RHEL or CentOS.

Note: For servers hosted in one of our data centers outside the United States, please contact your account team for pricing infromation based on your specific server configuration.

*Prices apply to servers hosted in one of our U.S. data centers only and are subject to change. For the most-up-to-date pricing for your specific server configuration, please contact your Rackspace account team.

EnvironmentCompute SizeNew CentOS PriceOld RHEL Price
Dedicated Server 1 Physical Processor$20 per month$20 per month
 2 Physical Processors$20 per month$20 per month
 4 Physical Processors$50 per month$50 per month
Managed Virtualization1-4 vCPU$0.70 per day$0.70 per day
 5+ vCPU$0.70 per day$0.70 per day


If CentOS is open-source software, why is there a cost?

Although there is no licensing cost associated with unmanaged CentOS, Rackspace will provide the same level of support and SLA guarantees as the RHEL offering today, including Patch Management and Level 3 technical and escalation support, so there is a cost associated with the sourcing of patches, patch management and technical support.

Can Rackspace support CentOS Updated by Rackspace to the same level as RHEL?

Yes, but there are a few exceptions:

  • We will be unable to support the Oracle databases on CentOS because Oracle does not certify this configuration. These customers have the option to keep their current RHEL environment as is and pay the new RHEL licensing fees once the grandfather clause expires. New RHEL licensing fees will apply to all new servers ordered after June 1, 2013.
  • Customers who subscribe to RHEL Supplementary Channels for Java builds from RedHat, Adobe Flash Player or Xen drivers. In many cases there are open sourced options for these customers, but this must be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Customers with PCI or HIPPA compliance needs may need to consult with their compliance auditors to determine if they can remain compliant in a CentOS Updated by Rackspace deployment.

Will I be able to have clustering, storage, monitoring, etc? 

Yes, all of this is available with CentOS.

When can I start using CentOS?

CentOS options for Dedicated Servers and Managed Virtualization will be available to Rackspace customers in May. Today, both CentOS 5 and 6 are available as unsupported Operating Systems for Dedicated Servers and Managed Virtualization.

Will I be able to opt into Rackspace patching if I am using unsupported CentOS 5 & 6?

Yes, but you will need to order the service and pay the monthly service fee for access to patching, OS management and technical support. Please speak with your account team for assistance with making this happen.

How can I transition my servers from RHEL to CentOS?

The following options are available to you:

  • Get CentOS without re-kicking the OS: We will redirect these servers from the current Red Hat Patching Network to our new Linux Patching Management System and you will pay CentOS prices (the same as current RHEL prices).  If you choose this option, you will need to schedule a maintenance window with your support team and discuss the necessary steps in preparation for this transition.
  • Convert servers: You are able to set up a new server, move over your data, validate the application and complete a server-to-server conversion.
  • RHEL to CentOS conversion scripts: Rackspace support has a set of scripts that have been used to successfully modify the OS and patching configurations to convert and existing RHEL server into a CentOS server. Often this can be as simple as updating OS version information and package GPG keys. However, it is important to note that these scripts are not just an easy one-click move. Every conversion is different, and it is highly recommended that these scripts be well tested and that full data backups are done before any conversion takes place.
  • Move to the Rackspace Cloud: If we’re talking about changes, now is a great opportunity to talk about moving from Dedicated to Cloud. If you are interested in moving to the Cloud talk to your account team and they can assist with helping to make this happen. And of course, you also have the option to stay on RHEL and pay new pricing only for new devices ordered after June 1, 2013 – RHEL fees for existing Managed Virtualization or Dedicated Servers (ordered prior to June 1, 2013) will be grandfathered based on your contract status and expiration date. For additional details on the grandfather clause for existing Dedicated and Managed Virtualization Servers, please refer to the RHEL FAQs at this link: http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/article/new-red-hat-enterprise-linux-pricing-faqs

Will Rackspace assist or perform the running of the conversion scripts, or will this responsibility be placed upon me, the customer?

We will absolutely take the lead on helping you through this transition period. However, we are not responsible for your data on the server and recommend that you have a solid backup and recovery plan in place prior to the conversion. You will need to work closely with your account team to coordinate this change.

Will these conversion scripts be able to convert customers with more customized configurations? (i.e. clustering LVM, etc.)

Packages between Red Hat and CentOS are identical. The conversion scripts simply make a few changes to the configuration so it works “the CentOS way.”

Transitioning to CentOS is just not possible for my server. What other option do I have?

If you simply cannot change to a CentOS system we do have an option available. Through a partnership with SuSE, we can help you transition from a RHEL-based distribution to non-RHEL patching and support. The change to SuSE Manager patching is only available for existing RHEL servers deployed prior to June 1, 2013. The SuSE Manager change will not incur downtime when Rackspace support registers your server/s to the new patch management system. 

The impact date for RHEL pricing changes for existing Managed Virtualization and Dedicated Servers varies based on your contract status and contract expiration date. For additional details and dates, please refer to the RHEL FAQs at this link: http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/article/new-red-hat-enterprise-linux-pricing-faqs

Please reach out to your account team if you have any additional questions or would like to discuss how the Red Hat pricing changes specifically affect you and your monthly licensing fees, or to renew your contract before October 1, 2013 to take advantage of the grandfather clause for existing servers.

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