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Cloudera Licensing Policy FAQs

Last updated: July 10, 2019

Executive Summary

As the enterprise data cloud company, Cloudera is fully committed to delivering on arguably the most important pillar of an enterprise data cloud - being an open platform built on open source.  

Open source conveys real strategic benefits to Cloudera and our customers. The community innovates more broadly than any single company can. Open source creates standards and makes them easy for customers to adopt. It empowers developers to build on the platform, by exposing its implementation. And it insulates customers from lock-in and bad vendor behavior. 

After careful consideration, we are adjusting our licensing policy to bolster these strategic benefits. Cloudera’s new licensing policy will be built around the following key principles:

  • Our software will be available under an OSI-validated license - either the Apache License, Version 2 (“ASL”), or the GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3 (“AGPL”).

  • Customers and developers will be able to access and download our products under a subscription agreement with Cloudera.

  • The subscription agreement is separate and distinct from the open source software license and will include terms governing the provision of support, consulting, and training services.

  • Our source contribution policy will continue to be “upstream first”.

Implementation of our new policy will be as follows:

  • Starting September 2019, a subscription agreement will be required to access supported Cloudera products and maintenance releases.

  • Around February 2020, all products will be licensed under the terms of an OSI-validated license – either ASL or AGPL. This specifically includes all previously closed source products – Cloudera Manager, Navigator and Data Science Workbench – as well as the new CDP Private Cloud and CDP Data Center software. 


1. Why are we making these changes to our licensing model now?

Open source has been central to the values and cultures of both Cloudera and Hortonworks.  Prior to the merger, however, the two companies didn’t distribute their products under open source licenses in the same way.  Aligning the licensing models of Cloudera and Hortonworks was a necessary step to completing our merger integration process.

2. Does the new licensing policy change Cloudera as an open source company?

We are committed to 100% open source. With more than 700 engineers in the new Cloudera, our company writes a prodigious amount of open source code.  We’re also an innovative open source company with more than a dozen new open source projects launched since the founding of the two companies. We take our open source leadership role seriously, and recognize the need to align the Hortonworks and Cloudera licensing models as an opportunity to renew our commitment to free software.

3. What is the difference between a License and a Subscription Agreement?

As used in this FAQ, a “license” means the legal agreement governing a customer’s use of Cloudera software, such as the ASL or AGPL.  In contrast, a “subscription” means the terms governing customer access to that software, as well as the support, consulting, and training services that may accompany it.


1. How are current and older versions of products impacted?

There is no change to licensing for any current or older versions of any existing software products. Users that have downloaded versions of products for free (or paid) may continue to use those versions under the terms of the applicable license.

2. Will Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) be 100% open source?

CDP will fully implement the new licensing model with the initial releases of CDP Private Cloud and CDP Data Center.  The latter is an on-premises, bare metal version of CDP that is a straight upgrade from CDH or HDP. Subscription agreements will be required to access the binaries and access Cloudera-hosted, release-specific source repositories.  All software will be licensed under either ASL or AGPL, per our policy stated above.

3. Will Cloudera provide source code for CDP software to customers?

Yes, source code will be provided pursuant to the applicable open source license.  Customers that have an active subscription agreement for CDP Private Cloud software or CDP Data Center software will have the ability to access CDP source repositories that Cloudera hosts.

Subscription Agreement 

1. What does the Subscription Agreement include?

The subscription agreement includes certain terms of use including those governing access, support, and technical expertise such as consulting and training services.

2. Will this change require new contracts to be signed by current customers?

No. Current customers will not need to sign new contracts as a result of this change. Existing subscription agreements will be leveraged, and click-through terms or a new order form containing terms to address the new policy will be required for accessing Cloudera products.

3. Will Cloudera offer Developer or Trial software Subscriptions?

Customers and developers will be able to access our products with a subscription agreement with Cloudera.  We will have partner development subscription agreements for developers through our Cloudera Connect Partner Program, and free (unsupported) short-term trial subscriptions through

Open Source Licensing 

1. How does this change impact the Open Source Community?

We believe in staying true to 100% open source licensing, and protecting the interests of our customers, employees and shareholders.

2. What products or components are covered by AGPL?

Today, DataPlane Services and applications (DLM, DSS, DAS, etc.) and certain DataFlow components are licensed under the AGPL. Moving forward, the bulk of CDP and the Cloudera Runtime will be licensed under the ASL.  We will share information about which components are licensed under ASL versus AGPL as we get closer to the release of CDP software, later this year.

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