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TimescaleDB goes All-In on Cloud, Enterprise tier is now Free

How we are building a self-sustaining open-source business in the cloud era (version 2)

Nowadays, we’re asserting an update to the Timescale License, which governs a entire lot of the evolved parts of TimescaleDB, along with native compression, multi-node, continuous aggregations, and more. This update loosens restrictions and gives expanded rights to customers, reinforcing our commitment to our neighborhood.

Particularly, this update adds the “correct-to-restore”, the “correct-to-toughen”, and eliminates the paid enterprise tier and usage limits altogether (thus establishing that every belief to be one of our instrument will seemingly be on hand for free). These modifications will apply with TimescaleDB 2.0, which helps distributed hypertables for multi-node scale-out, slated for unlock next month.

Two years within the past, we first announced how we were constructing a self-sustaining originate-offer enterprise within the cloud generation, and that we had started constructing parts beneath a novel, offer-on hand license called the Timescale License (TSL).

At the time, the TSL turned into a radical thought: a offer-on hand license that turned into originate-offer in spirit, nonetheless that contained a prime restriction: combating companies from offering instrument licensed beneath the TSL ia a hosted database-as-a-service. We added this restriction, which handiest applies to <0.0001% of all seemingly TimescaleDB customers, to enable us to form a self-sustaining enterprise in a world that turned into transferring to the cloud. (And importantly, we did now not and fetch never re-licensed any of our originate-offer instrument, which remains to be licensed beneath the Apache 2 license.)

The TSL, delight in the Elastic License sooner than it, and delight in the Confluent Crew License (coincidentally launched around the same time), are examples of what we name “Cloud Protection Licenses.” These licenses attempt to sustain an originate-offer spirit, nonetheless gape that the cloud has increasingly more change into the dominant carry out of originate-offer commercialization. So these licenses defend the good of offering the instrument within the cloud for the first creator/maintainer of the project (who on the entire contributes 99% of the R&D effort). This “cloud safety” is what permits originate-offer companies delight in ours to change into self-sustaining within the cloud generation.

Nonetheless, since these licenses are now not formally sanctioned by the Originate Source Initiative (OSI), whom many search because the arbiters as to what’s and isn’t formally “Originate-offer”, these licenses are in general now not belief to be “Originate-offer” (capital O) (even supposing the OSI has had some controversy this yr, so this sentiment will seemingly be transferring). At the same time, many developers mute name these licenses “originate-offer” (decrease-case o) because they embody the same originate, clear, collaborative spirit.

Two years later, this experiment has proved a hit, exceeding our expectations. The Timescale neighborhood has persisted to develop to over 500,000 exciting databases this day. The TSL governs many of our novel evolved parts, along with native compression, multi-node, and continuous aggregations, and adoption of these parts has persisted without friction. The public cloud suppliers were deterred from offering these TSL parts for free (and are now reaching out to discuss earnings sharing agreements). And other OSS entrepreneurs fetch reached out for advice on easy guidelines on how to carry out equivalent licenses.

Genuinely, this experiment has gone so wisely that this day, we’re asserting an update to the TSL that enhances our commitment to our neighborhood. This update loosens restrictions and gives expanded rights to customers, along with:

  • Original: Honest-to-restore
  • Original: Honest-to-toughen
  • All enterprise parts are now free
  • No more usage limits
  • Simplified legalese

These modifications will high-tail into attach with TimescaleDB 2.0, slated for unlock next month.

In the rest of this post, we present why we’re making these modifications, what this means for customers, and why we own here is mandatory for the originate-offer alternate as an entire.

What is TimescaleDB?

TimescaleDB is the leading relational database for time-sequence files, engineered on top of PostgreSQL, supplied via free instrument or as an awfully-managed service on AWS, Azure, and GCP.

TimescaleDB gives massive scale (100s billions of rows and millions of inserts per second on a single server), 94%+ native compression, 10-100x sooner queries than PostgreSQL, InfluxDB, Cassandra, and MongoDB – all while sustaining all of the reliability, ease-of-utilize, SQL interface, and overall goodness supplied by PostgreSQL.

At the initiating launched in April 2017, TimescaleDB has near a obliging distance in fair 3.5 years, with hundreds of thousands of downloads and over 500,000 exciting databases this day. The TimescaleDB developer neighborhood this day entails organizations delight in AppDynamics, Bosch, Cisco, Comcast, DigitalOcean, Fujitsu, IBM, Rackspace, Schneider Electrical, Samsung, Siemens, Uber, Walmart, Warner Music, and thousands of others.

The event of the Timescale Crew is a clear signal that instrument developers want a novel database to rely on for his or her time-sequence files, and that increasingly more increasingly more are turning to TimescaleDB. But even with all this adoption, how does one form a sustainable enterprise, in particular given the predatory actions of some public cloud suppliers?

Enter “Cloud Protection Licenses,” delight in the Timescale License.

What are “Cloud Protection Licenses”, and why are they mandatory?

No longer that long within the past, the originate-offer enterprise model turned into straightforward: companies bustle your instrument, and when they need assist or evolved capabilities, they pay you for industrial toughen or enterprise parts. Right here’s the realm in which this day’s Originate-offer licenses were written.

However the realm has modified. Nowadays companies would reasonably pay somebody to bustle your instrument, thus obviating the need for paid toughen (and making promoting enterprise capabilities grand more challenging). The commonplace Originate-offer licenses enable anyone to totally commercialize your instrument without contributing any instrument pattern.

In other phrases, the upward push of the Cloud has decrease off the most fundamental enterprise model for originate-offer instrument.

Enter novel licenses delight in the Timescale License, Elastic License, Confluent Crew License, and others. These licenses, which we name “Cloud Protection Licenses”, attempt to sustain an originate-offer spirit, nonetheless defend the good of offering the instrument within the cloud for the first creator and maintainer of the project.

This “cloud safety” is what permits originate-offer companies delight in ours to change into self-sustaining within the cloud generation.

Some might perchance perchance well inquire, “Why accomplish a novel license – why now not only correct compete with public clouds by fair correct offering the valid product abilities on a stage playing discipline?”

The divulge is that the playing discipline is grand from stage. Nowadays, the final public cloud vendors (Amazon, Microsoft, Google) are trillion buck companies – the ultimate companies on this planet – and fetch a myriad of benefits that come up from that size, along with market attach, pricing energy, deep steadiness sheets, and (what many fetch even called) unfair enterprise practices (offer: Wall Avenue Journal articles from April 2020, September 2020). They lock neat prospects into pay as you high-tail, discounted, multi-yr enterprise-huge agreements, and give startups $100,000s of free credit rating.

But even with many of of thousands of workers and tens of billions of bucks in money, the final public clouds did now not form TimescaleDB, the Elastic Stack, the Confluent Platform, and limitless other originate-offer projects. These were constructed by independent teams dedicated to advancing scream-of-the-art work technology and serving developers worldwide.

Right here’s David vs. Goliath. The Insurrection Alliance vs. the Empire. Entrepreneurial teams taking on the ultimate companies on this planet with novel, innovative technology. Cloud Protection Licenses foster more innovation, and enable the originate-offer underdogs to compete in opposition to the final public cloud giants.

What did developers delight in and now not delight in concerning the preliminary Timescale License?

Ever since we launched the TSL, the response from the neighborhood has been overwhelmingly clear. But over time, the neighborhood has also supplied in truth priceless feedback – via GitHub, Slack, Twitter, Hacker News, Reddit, electronic mail, and so forth. – which we fetch incorporated into this newest update.

Overall, an amazing majority has been supportive of the conventional route of the TSL, figuring out that offering a managed service is increasingly more the most fundamental commercialization means for database and other infrastructure instrument suppliers:

“I own we’re too hung up on OSI originate offer licenses. The extra restriction within the timescaledb license that you just might perchance perchance well now not bustle a paid database as a service offering impacts infrequently anyone negatively (AWS). It impacts us all positively by offering a sustainable enterprise model to toughen extra pattern and toughen of an originate-offer product we utilize. Specialise in-take hang of if ever there turned into one. I’d do away with to search more originate-offer and closed-offer companies rating into story this model.” (Source)

But we also heard some requests for liberalizing just some of the terms of the Timescale License:

“One in all the crucial causes I in my thought utilize and toughen originate-offer is the freedom to now not handiest search (which the TSL gives) nonetheless to also now not wish to inquire somebody else and encourage them to carry out any modifications I wish to the instrument I utilize. Any chance the TSL might perchance perchance well furthermore be modified to incorporate this freedom too?” (Source)

“I design now not care if I will look the provision code if I am unable to in truth _do_ one thing else with it. If I am unable to bustle my modifications in production, it would now not guard me in opposition to dealer lock-in and it would now not give me the good-to-restore.” (Source)

We’ve listened to that feedback, and seemed at the attach we’re going as a company and the device in which our route traces up with our licensing. And, so we’re happy to allege modifications that take hang of some restrictions of the TSL (and simplifies it within the process).

Giving more rights to customers: correct-to-restore and proper-to-toughen

Being attentive to our customers and the conventional developer neighborhood, we’re happy to allege some modifications to the Timescale License that loosen restrictions and present expanded rights to customers, reinforcing our commitment to our neighborhood.

To be perfectly clear: These modifications fully give customers extra rights in how they’ll utilize and distribute TimescaleDB in more cases; these modifications design now not additional restrict any rights.

The two greatest rights we’re adding are the “correct-to-restore” and the “correct-to-toughen.”

First, customers now fetch what some name the “correct-to-restore” with TimescaleDB. If they detect any scenario or malicious program that they need mounted straight, they’ll acquire, repair, and deploy a repair domestically sooner than it will seemingly be released upstream.

2nd, customers can now add extra parts to TimescaleDB that would match their very have desires, and utilize their modified model for interior utilize, to form a SaaS service, or even when transport code to customers. Some name this the “correct-to-toughen.” Beforehand, they’d deserve to upstream this alternate assist to TimescaleDB sooner than deploying into production. That also supposed (as Hacker News readers identified) that proposed enhancements couldn’t be bustle and hardened in production sooner than being submitted upstream.

Beforehand, we had included these restrictions with ultimate intentions: we desired to incentivize developers to make contributions malicious program fixes and enhancements upstream, so as that the instrument would be improved for all people.

We also were fascinated by the factors, uncertainty, and toughen burden that can perchance well come up from customers operating modified versions; we use a big amount of time helping acknowledge questions for free in our neat and exciting Slack neighborhood, which now numbers almost 5,000 participants.

Nonetheless, after hearing from the neighborhood, we’ve almost about look after that the advantages of these rights outweigh their downsides.

👋 Goodbye to the enterprise tier (and going all-in on cloud)

There’s one other large alternate we’re making within the TSL: putting off the enterprise tier altogether. This formula that we’re now making all of our instrument, the entirety licensed beneath Apache-2 and the TSL, on hand for free.

In the previous, originate-offer companies in general relied on industrial toughen and an enterprise tier (identified as “originate-core”) for commercialization. Timescale turned into no a wonderful deal of.

But this yr, we fetch increasingly more centered on our managed cloud service as our main commercialization procedure, and promoting an enterprise model of TimescaleDB for on-premise deployments (both on prospects’ have physical hardware or on their very have cloud VMs) as our secondary commercialization procedure.

That fully-managed cloud service is now the alternate-leading service for time-sequence files, operating on all three main clouds and on hand in bigger than 75 regions. The event of our cloud enterprise has enabled us to carry out it the heart-piece of our enterprise.

This has simplified a key inquire that every originate-offer company has traditionally wrestled with: which of our parts must we “retain assist” from our free model and retain within the paid enterprise tier?

Before, we would fetch refined interior debates about novel parts: Unlock one thing to toughen our neighborhood and power adoption? Or restrict it to the enterprise tier to power earnings?

Nowadays we’re going all-in on cloud, and putting off any notion of paid enterprise capabilities from the Timescale License.

By going “all-in” on cloud, our more than just a few becomes less complicated: accomplish all parts on hand for free, so as that we can make investments in our neighborhood. Customers can then both self-address for free (along with utilize our originate-offer k8s helm charts), or utilize our managed cloud.

But this straightforward more than just a few – and our skill to “toughen our neighborhood” while keeping Timescale’s long-term viability –  exists precisely because we fetch the Timescale License, which restricts cloud vendors’ skill to offer TSL instrument unless they first attach a enterprise relationship with us.

So with this considering, earlier this summer, we moved most of our present enterprise parts into TimescaleDB’s free neighborhood tier. And with our upcoming TimescaleDB 2.0 unlock, we’re transferring the final enterprise parts to the free neighborhood tier.

Our fashioned Timescale License also allowed us to living doable “usage limits” on neighborhood parts. The considering turned into that, hypothetically, we might perchance perchance well at some future time wish to enable customers to make utilize of multi-node TimescaleDB as much as, dispute, 4 servers for free, nonetheless thereafter need an enterprise license.

Right here’s equivalent to how many SaaS services “tier” consumption beneath a wonderful deal of ranges of plans. But these usage limits were continuously hypothetical: we never released a TimescaleDB feature with usage limits. And internally, we never in truth cherished the thought that customers’ interior consumption might perchance perchance well “increase” to a stage the attach they’d no longer be in a position to make utilize of TimescaleDB for free (even supposing sized-based pricing is rather licensed to databases within the enterprise).

So this day, we’re also putting off any notion of neighborhood “usage limits” from the Timescale License.

The principle restriction we fetch preserved: no TimescaleDB-as-a-service

What we fetch preserved, nonetheless, is the first restriction combating other companies from offering TimescaleDB-as-a-Carrier within the cloud.

Along a equivalent vein, we also don’t enable parties to “fork and alter” the database and redistribute this forked model to others, which can perchance well encourage with a thought to rating a search at to circumvent licensing restrictions.

This topic isn’t hypothetical: Amazon, as an illustration, has attempted to fork both the code and neighborhood of Elastic by releasing its have questionably-named “Originate Distro for Elasticsearch” that re-implements just a few of Elastic’s key neighborhood parts and licenses them as an more than just a few as Apache-2 (while heavily monetizing these parts as section of its managed Amazon Elasticsearch Carrier).

As we shared earlier, this restriction is the heart of Cloud Protection Licenses delight in the TSL, and is what permits additional innovation.

Summary: What’s altering and isn’t altering

Let’s review the rights previously granted by the Timescale License, newly granted, expanded rights, and other folks which are mute disallowed:

Level to: To understand these modifications, it’s crucial to realise the thought of “Price Added Carrier or Product”, which is a key section of the Timescale License (and might perchance perchance well within the same trend be discovered within the Elastic License and Confluent Crew License).  

The notion of a Price Added Carrier or Product is that you just’re constructing one thing of price on top of TimescaleDB and now not only correct “reselling” it as section of a “database” or “database-as-a-service”.  (The formal upright definition might perchance perchance well furthermore be discovered here.)

This Price Added Product or Carrier can undoubtedly be industrial or proprietary; the TSL is in no device a “non-industrial” license. Many companies present SaaS services the usage of TimescaleDB as section of their service offering, or distribute industrial products embedding TimescaleDB. They fair correct can’t purely offer “TimescaleDB-as-a-Carrier,” which is why cloud vendors delight in Amazon or Microsoft can’t and don’t offer the TSL parts of TimescaleDB as section of AWS RDS or Azure Postgres.


  • “exercise”: Providing code/product via a instrument-as-a-service
  • “distribute”: Shipping code/product via instrument
  • “Price Added Carrier or Product”: Something of price on top of TimescaleDB and now not only correct “reselling” TimescaleDB as section of a “database” or “database-as-a-service”

Rights previously granted (and mute allowed) beneath Timescale License

  • Simply to bustle unmodified TimescaleDB for interior utilize
  • Simply to exercise unmodified TimescaleDB to offer a Price Added Carrier
  • Simply to distribute unmodified Source and Binaries as section of Price Added Product
  • Simply to alter TimescaleDB for interior pattern and making an attempt out, and subsequently upstream modifications to Timescale

Rights newly granted (previously disallowed) beneath Timescale License

  • Simply to bustle modified TimescaleDB for interior utilize
  • Simply to exercise modified TimescaleDB to offer a Price Added Carrier
  • Simply to distribute modified Binaries as section of a Price Added Product
  • Simply to distribute unmodified Source and Binaries, despite the indisputable truth that now not as section of Price Added Product

Rights mute disallowed beneath Timescale License

  • No correct to exercise TimescaleDB for external utilize, unless as section of a Price Added Carrier
  • No correct to distribute modified Source
  • No correct to distribute modified Binaries, unless as section of a Price Added Product

What does this mean for me?

For these who’re a recent or future user of TimescaleDB, these modifications mean that you just might perchance perchance well fetch more rights. But when it is advisable to construct TimescaleDB-as-a-service, you are mute restricted to handiest offering the Apache-2 model.

In traditional, by refreshing the Timescale License and focusing on our cloud service, we can proceed to make investments in our neighborhood by releasing our most appealing parts to be fully free to make utilize of.

And now these parts encompass distributed hypertables in TimescaleDB 2.0 for even higher scale. Beta customers fetch already been operating multi-node TimescaleDB in continuous day-to-day utilize for many months, along with a 22-server cluster by a Fortune 50 company ingesting bigger than a thousand million rows per day. We’ll be writing more about TimescaleDB 2.0 when it launches (soon!).

Nowadays, you might perchance perchance well deploy TimescaleDB on-premise or on your have cloud story, operating the instrument on bare VMs or the usage of our originate-offer k8s helm charts which automate excessive-availability/failover and continuous PITR backups. Without cost to make utilize of, and now free to even alter to your have utilize or for services or products you form on TimescaleDB.

Or, when you do away with, you might perchance perchance well let us bustle TimescaleDB for you, fully managed on AWS, Azure, or GCP in 75+ regions and with entry to a top-rated toughen crew.

And, join our 5,000+ member Slack neighborhood for any questions, to learn more, and to meet delight in-minded developers – we’re exciting in all channels and here to assist.

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