I’m sympathetic to HashiCorp. It can’t be easy operating at a net income loss of $200m a year.
But the new license effectively means that the free offering is equivalent to a freemium model, designed solely to drive enterprise sales.
This leaves the small and medium size businesses completely neglected. They have nowhere to go, within the HashiStack universe.
It’s unclear that an ecosystem around HashiCorp can thrive. I was personally excited about the HashiStack, and wanted to contribute tooling (like easier deployment, administration, and better observability), which would especially be useful for the segment of small and medium size startups.
But I don’t see that HashiCorp will cater to that segment, at all. It feels more like HashiCorp is going in the direction of Red Hat.
Maybe it makes sense financially, and god speed.
But I think it will (already have) killed anything that isn’t strictly enterprise-oriented.
And what about futur HashiCorp offering ? If I spend months migrating my services to Nomad/Consul/Vault using community versions because I’m not competing with HashiCorp now, how am I protected if in a few years, HashiCorp starts offering a service competing with mine ? Will I still be able to use Nomad etc. or will I be required to buy commercial licence (at a non public price afaik, so harder to plan)
Let’s assume I have been using terraform and vault internally in my company till last month in non-production environments which are not connected with your businesses. I want to build my production env. using hashistack which will also not be a rival to hashicorp field of interest. It would be totally different area of operation (let’s say automotive). Should I switch to the paid version of your products if it’s not your area of competition?
You can use the freely available versions of the HashiCorp products to manage your production environment internal to your organization.
However, if you choose to provide a HashiCorp tool as a hosted service or embed HashiCorp products in a solution that is sold competitively against our offerings, do reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with more details on your use case.
Would it be accurate to say that if any code that calls terraform as a command line utility from inside a codebase is said to be “embedding” a hashicorp product? Would that be the same if the user had to install terraform on their own?
Atlantis remains under an Apache 2.0 license. It is not in violation of BUSL.
Open source projects that are not embedding or hosting Terraform can use their existing licenses, pending they do not have a strong copyleft license. Our FAQ has more information about mixing BSL-licensed code in open source projects.
Code that executes Terraform, but does not host or embed it, does not violate the BUSL. However, if this code is used as part of a hosted service or embedded in a solution, it will require Terraform as a dependency. Please reach out to email@example.com with more details.
Code that calls Terraform as a command line utility, but does not host or embed it, does not violate the BUSL. However, if this code is used as part of a hosted service or embedded in a solution, it will require Terraform as a dependency. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with more details.
So, in the case of a hosted solution at a customer site: the user downloads terraform and the code is running the terraform command and processing the output to run a production workload. This would be in violation because the hosted solution is running the terraform binary?
What if the terraform versions were pulled directly from GitHub, on each run, instead of the versions being hosted? Does that create a license issue?
Embedded: Can you provide a few examples of how people might be “embedding” Terraform?
Competitors: As an IT organization that needs to find solutions for managing IaC via Terraform, is it safe to say that anyone or company who pays for a service to (please indicate which goes against the BSL license):
provides terraform versions (beyond 1.15), for deploying terraform code (the same that TFC does)
that manages gitops connectivity to auto-deploy terraform changes
hosts customer terraform code
stores plans as deployable units
Github (enterprise) as a competitor: If github pipelines are consumed in utilizing terraform specific docker files that run terraform init, plan and apply, would this arrangement break the BSL license?
Spacelift as a competitor: Is Spacelift SaaS deemed a TFC competitor? If so, what features of Spacelift are breaking the BSL policy.
What about the spacelift being self-hosted (the company hosts the internal tools). Does that prevent BSL license conflicts?
Atlantis as a competitor: I’ve seen it mentioned here already that Atlantis is still under the Apache 2.0 license. To be more specific, if we were to use Atlantis internally to deploy terraform for production and non-production environments, how would this not be breaking the BSL license? Atlantis has it’s own license, but other service companies could roll out their own license in the same fashion.
The next set of questions refers to companies that use internal staff (devops teams) to deploy terraform resources.
Let’s say the company uses a paid license of Jenkins for deployments which includes terraform deployments (init, plan, apply etc). Here are some additional assumptions:
Based on your detailed questions, I recommend reaching out to email@example.com with more information on your usage of Terraform so we can best and most accurately address your specific concerns.