Notes on the Cloudera Open Source licensing model

Notes on the Cloudera Open Source licensing model


By David WORMS

Oct 25, 2019

Big Data
Cloudera Manager
Open source
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Following the publication of its Open Source licensing strategy on July 10, 2019 in an article called “our Commitment to Open Source Software”, Cloudera broadcasted a webinar yesterday October 24, 2019 called “Cloudera’s New Open Source Licensing Model”. Those are my personal notes.

Cloudera acknowledge that a lot of customers want to work with Open Source products and open standards. It is important to Cloudera to propose an open source ecosystem and community and to maintain his role and influence inside this community.

The licensing model being chosen is mapped after the one of Red Hat which is a proven and well understood model. All products will be licensed under an OSI approved licence, using a combination of the Apache Software License (ASL) and the Affero General Public License (AGPL). The AGPL license extends the GPL which was focused on distributing software to software which are available remotely. Any changes to AGPL code must be delivered back into the community.

The actual closed source product such as the Cloudera Manager and the Cloudera Data Science Workbench (CDSW) will be released as Open Source software after February 2020.

Access to binaries will be limited to only customers with a current subscription agreement starting mid-november of this year. The date corresponds to the release of the datacenter version of the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP). Any customer acquired since September has already engaged with the new terms. Current customers will be engaged on contract renewal.

Again, this is in line with the Red Hat model. However, the Red Hat distribution is popular enough to have the CentOS community to package the distribution available for free to the community. Cloudera explicitly said that it will not maintain a free version of its distribution comparable to CentOS and it is very unlikely to see it coming from a community initiative.

The binary and releases specific source code will be released behind a paywall which user will gain access with credentials bound to their subscription.

Currently, any version after CDH 6.3.1 and HDP 3.1.4 will be concerned and will not be publicly available.

For the partners, developer subscriptions are available through the portal and provide the right to use the Cloudera products for partner training, solution integration, development & testing, and demonstration purposes.

There hasn’t been much changes since July’s announcement. You can read Lars Francke post for an early and thorough analysis of the consequences of the new licensing model and its release strategy.

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