Rocky Linux optimized for Google Cloud arrives

Looking for a CentOS 7 replacement? Google Cloud suggests you look at Rocky Linux.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
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Rocky Linux is on a roll. A few days after Rocky Linux 9 arrived, Google Cloud recommended Rocky Linux as a replacement for CentOS 7

Now, CentOS 7, unlike CentOS 8, which got an abrupt end of life in December 2021, will still be supported until June 30, 2024. But that's soon enough for big companies like Facebook, Disney, GoDaddy, RackSpace, Toyota, and Verizon, which had depended on CentOS, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, to look at alternatives. And Rocky Linux is 100% compatible with RHEL.

This news comes after Google announced a Rocky Linux customer support partnership with CIQ. This company is Rocky's official support and services partner. Now Google has announced the general availability of Rocky Linux Optimized for Google Cloud

Google and CIQ created this collection of Compute Engine virtual machine (VM) images together. They're designed to give you optimal performance when using Rocky Linux on Compute Engine to run your CentOS workloads.

These new Rocky images contain customized variants of the Rocky Linux kernel and modules that optimize networking performance on Compute Engine infrastructure while retaining bug-for-bug compatibility with Community Rocky Linux and RHEL. In particular, Rocky is pre-configured to use the latest version of the Google virtual network interface (gVNIC). The high bandwidth networking enabled by these customizations will be beneficial to virtually any workload and are especially valuable for clustered workloads such as High-Performance Computing (HPC).

How fast are these high bandwidth VM instances? With 80 or more Virtual CPUs (vCPU), you'll get egress bandwidth speeds of 32 Gigabits per second (Gbps). With Tier 1, it jumps up to 100 Gbps. That's more than fast enough for most HPC uses.

Rocky Linux Optimized for Google Cloud can come with day-one support and GPUs. For customers building multi-cloud deployments, Google recommends the community Rocky images. Rocky Linux 8 Optimized for Google Cloud is available for all x86-based Compute Engine VM families. It will soon also be available for the new Arm-based Tau T2A

Going forward, Google will publish both the community and Optimized for Google Cloud editions of Rocky Linux for every major release. Both sets of images will receive the latest kernel and security updates provided. Rocky Linux 9 images will be available shortly. 

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