August 15, 2023

HashiCorp's BSL licensing changes: what they mean for Spectro Cloud customers

Anton Smith
Anton Smith
Director of Product

HashiCorp, the company behind Terraform, Vault and other products popular in the open source community, has altered its licensing. To quote: 

“HashiCorp is changing its source code license from Mozilla Public License v2.0 (MPL 2.0) to the Business Source License (BSL, also known as BUSL) v1.1 on all future releases of HashiCorp products”.

Essentially, the BSL permits free use of source code, including commercial use, except where it’s used to provide an offering that competes with HashiCorp.

In HashiCorp’s announcement it notes that many other tech vendors have moved to licenses such as BSL, and this news follows last month’s furore about Red Hat’s “open source betrayal”. So understandably there is some concern in the community about the implications of these vendor changes and what they mean for the future of open source.

At Spectro Cloud, while we are a commercial software vendor, we continue to actively support the open source community, and sponsor multiple open source projects such as the MAAS CAPI provider,  Kairos and LocalAI. When we open-source projects, we generally prefer to use MIT or Apache 2.0 licenses. 

But we respect any company’s decision to alter its licensing, and we believe that the BSL is a sensible and pragmatic middle ground that maintains open source principles while protecting HashiCorp from having its investments used against it.

Palette: One platform for all your Kubernetes clusters

The BSL’s main limitation is against companies competing commercially with HashiCorp’s products. So let us be clear: the new licensing changes from HashiCorp do not affect any of the products offered commercially by Spectro Cloud. Our core product Palette does not constitute a competitive offering to any of HashiCorp’s products, such as Hashicorp Cloud Platform.

Palette is a groundbreaking product focused on enabling users to manage the complete lifecycles of their Kubernetes clusters, across a wide range of cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, GCP, VMware, and bare metal (MAAS), with full control over a selection of Operating Systems such as Ubuntu and RHEL. 

In short, we empower organizations to define their own perfect Kubernetes stacks, from bare metal all the way to deployed applications, and then deploy and manage those stacks at scale. 

We are proud to be a certified integration partner, listed on the HashiCorp page for Vault and Terraform. Spectro Cloud customers can use Palette to deploy Vault as part of their Kubernetes clusters. Customers can also make use of Terraform to interact with Palette, and to that end we maintain a Terraform provider. We use several libraries from HashiCorp, none of which are mentioned in its changes to BSL.

What’s next?

Spectro Cloud fully respects the licensing requirements of all projects, and we actively monitor and publish all open source technology integrations used in our products. We will continue to do so transparently, ensuring that our customers have peace of mind knowing that Spectro Cloud and Palette are free of any licensing issues.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to your Spectro Cloud account manager or hop on to our community Slack.

Using Palette
Subscribe to our newsletter
By signing up, you agree with our Terms of Service and our Privacy Policy