CENTOS Linux is Dead: A Warning to the KeyCloak Community

Red Hat surprised the open-source world with its announcement that it is pulling the plug on CENTOS. But should anyone be surprised? At the end of the day, why does it make sense to offer a product that undermines your business model? On the one hand, you have a huge investment in Red Hat Enterprise Linux that generates a ton of revenue. On the other hand, you have an underfunded effort working on an open-source project that generates no revenue. You don’t need an MBA to figure out what the smart financial decision is here.

But is there an analogy that relates to identity and access management? Is there a product where IBM has a huge investment in another profitable product, where a little under-financed open-source project undermines the business model? Hmmm, what about IBM Security Verify Access and Keycloak?

The writing is on the wall. Keycloak makes no business sense. IBM doesn’t need two access management platforms. The current IBM access management platform has more features that are valuable to businesses. It has more integrations with current IBM products. It has more documentation, “red books”, training, engineers–more of just about everything else you’d want for a product.

It’s just a matter of time before we see a similar “surprise” announcement for Keycloak.

This is one of the reasons we moved the core Gluu software to the Janssen Project. When one company controls the destiny of a project, the project’s fate is subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that may befall that one company. Enlightened despotism is efficient. But it is not democratic. At Gluu, we have moved to consensus-based governance to ensure that whatever happens to Gluu, the project will survive. We didn’t spend the last 10 years building an open-source identity distribution to see some bean counters decide to change the license and close the repository.

Janssen is just getting started. In 2021 we’re going to work hard to fill in the gaps to make it a world class, cloud-native identity platform. Heed the writing on the wall. Ditch Keycloak, and join us!