CentOS - Reliability and security wrapped up in one easy to install package!
Aaron Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 30, 2018

CentOS - Reliability and security wrapped up in one easy to install package!

Score 9 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with CentOS

CentOS is used by our organization to host many services organization wide services. We have various public facing web sites that utilize PHP, MariaDB, and DotNet Core that are hosted on CentOS servers. We also utilize a few CentOS servers to host applications such as UniFi's controller software, Zabbix for infrastructure monitoring and problem alerting, as well as DNS services. We also run FreePBX for our entire organization wide phone system, which is also based on CentOS.

CentOS gives us a secure and very reliable OS to host these services on commodity hardware for a very little financial impact.
  • Quick and easy installation process with sensible and secure defaults.
  • Its very stable and reliable.
  • Very easy to install 3rd party software via upstream repositories.
  • SELinux that helps to harden CentOS can sometimes get in the way of 3rd party software and working around it can be a trying process.
  • We've been able to run CentOS on various commodity hardware successfully. This can mean tremendous savings if running in virtual environments where automatic fail over or clustering is involved. Downtime is minimal for any hardware failures in these scenarios.
  • Since CentOS does not need to be licensed in any way, savings can be large. With latest versions of Windows Server, a single OS license can run into the thousands where there is no licensing cost with CentOS.
While Ubuntu Server has a lot of the same pros as CentOS, it can sometimes take a little more work to get the same level of hardening that you can get out of the box with CentOS. However, Ubuntu offers a much better desktop experience than CentOS.

Windows Server is also very reliable and a fully patched and maintained Windows Server can also be reliable and secure, it does not offer the same performance as Windows has a lot of overhead if you are using the fully graphical environment in Windows. Additionally, the licensing costs can be extremely prohibitive with Windows Server.
CentOS is very well suited for server infrastructure, especially if it's a public facing service. However, if it is being evaluated for a desktop experience, there are better options.