OpenNebula Subscription FAQ

We believe the best way to build software is to collaborate with the people who use software in the open. Open sourcing 100% of OpenNebula's features as part of our Community Edition, while offering a rock-solid Enterprise Edition to Corporate Users, enables us to focus on providing the most value to both community users and customers.

The FAQ below is designed to answer the most common questions about the OpenNebula Subscription model. If you have more questions, please have a look at our OpenNebula Subscription Guide and feel free to contact us.

Q: What is Included in the OpenNebula Subscription?

The OpenNebula Subscription model has been in place for more than 5 years, influenced by extensive customer feedback. Our enterprise subscriptions give you everything you need to run your production systems reliably and securely. In addition to the tested and hardened code, you gain access to expert SLA-based support, resources, security updates, and tools you can’t get anywhere else, ultimately saving you effort and expense in the long run.

Why customers want to purchase an OpenNebula Subscription:

  • Enterprise Edition – Tested, hardened, and production-ready version of OpenNebula for enterprise use.
  • Regular Updates – Maintenance versions of the Enterprise Edition with bug fixes and software patches with minor enhancements.
  • LTS Releases – Long Term Support stable versions that are maintained and commercially supported for a long time. 
  • Enterprise Tools – Additional tools to simplify upgrades and the maintenance of production clouds
  • Exclusive Contents – Access to exclusive knowledge base and critical notifications.
  • SLA-based Support – Secure and private support under a commercial SLA.
  • Professional Services – Access to Professional Services offered by OpenNebula Systems to streamline your cloud.
  • Assurance – Broad-based assurance in the form of warranty and indemnification

Q. How do Subscriptions Differ from Traditional Licenses?

With OpenNebula subscriptions there are no license or upgrade fees. And OpenNebula doesn't charge additional maintenance fees, per-incident support fees, or user access fees.

  • Pay-as-you-need model – With traditional software licenses, you incur up-front costs and lose value over time. OpenNebula’s subscription model lets you pay for the value as you are using it.
  • No expensive upgrades – Subscriptions take the pain out of buying software. Everything—including upgrades and updates—is provided in one all-inclusive price.
  • On-demand access – You get access to all supported versions of the software, bug fixes, proactive security updates, source code, and documentation.
  • Engage with experts – Access to a 24-hour network of knowledgeable OpenNebula support engineers that provide remote expertise and allow you to deploy with confidence.
  • Intellectual property assurance – Subscriptions help safeguard customers developing and deploying open source solutions by providing certain assurances to customers in the event there is an intellectual property issue with OpenNebula.

Q: What is the Difference between the Community and the Enterprise Editions?

The Community Edition (CE) is a full-featured version of OpenNebula released under Apache License 2.0. The Enterprise Edition (EE) incorporates additional bug fixes developed by OpenNebula Systems and software patches with minor enhancements. While we make all of our products open source, under Apache License 2.0, the packages of the Enterprise Edition are distributed under commercial license terms to customers with an active OpenNebula Subscription.

The Enterprise Tools available to customers are exclusive tools released with the Enterprise Edition to simplify upgrades and maintenance of OpenNebula clouds in production environments. 

Q: What Can I Use as a Community User?

The Community Edition of OpenNebula and its binary and source packages are distributed under the Apache License 2.0. The Community Edition of OpenNebula is updated and released every 6 months and maintained through the Community Forum. OpenNebula Systems does not produce maintenance versions of the Community Edition, only patch versions with critical bug fixes. 

All CE migration packages for versions prior the latest one are—and will be after each new major/minor release—publicly available for all types of organizations and deployments under Apache License 2.0 as part of the standard OpenNebula distribution. However, the CE migration packages for the latest version are distributed under a Software License Agreement for Non-Commercial Use. These migration packages can be requested and used by individuals and by organizations with non-commercial deployments or with significant contributions to the OpenNebula Community. CE migrators can be downloaded after submitting a simple on-line form and accepting the license (please, note they are only needed to upgrade to new major/minor versions of the software but not for maintenance or patch releases).

Please note that this means that if you are in the on the latest but one OpenNebula CE version, the migrators obtained in the on-line form are all you need to migrate to the latest version. However, if you are in versions previous to the latest but one, you need first to upgrade to the latest but one OpenNebula CE version, which comes with migrators to update from any previous version.

Q: What is “Non-Commercial” Use?

Non-commercial deployments include any type of deployment in non-profit organizations, experimental deployments to learn or test viability of the software, and those for personal use. The term "non-commercial” means using the software to deploy a product or system that is (a) not undertaken for profit, and (b) not intended to produce works, services, or data for commercial use, and (c) neither conducted, nor funded, by a person or an entity engaged in the commercial use, application or exploitation of works similar to the software.

In other words, you can get immediate access to the CE migrator package for the latest release if you are:

  • An individual using OpenNebula CE for private purposes
  • A nonprofit organization (NPO)
  • Any other organization using OpenNebula CE for evaluation purposes


Q: What if I Run a Commercial Deployment?

Being an open source project, we depend on active participation and contributions, especially from corporate users. That’s why, in exchange for the migration packages needed to upgrade to the latest release, we request a certain level of commitment to open source and to the project. If you are using our Community Edition in production but have made (or are about to make) a significant contribution to the OpenNebula Community, please submit this form with all the relevant information. Otherwise, if you haven’t contributed yet but are willing to do so, please reach out to our Community Manager to discuss the simple methods through which an organization can support the project, including case studies, webinars and other community actions.

Alternatively, you can contract one of our OpenNebula Subscriptions for Corporate Users, which comes with access to our Enterprise Edition, its migration packages and many other benefits for corporate users, or just wait until the next major/minor release is out. Remember that we offer an entry-level “Elemental” OpenNebula Subscription providing access to our Enterprise Edition that should satisfy the needs of businesses and organizations that operate development and non-critical deployments, and apply discounts for Education, Government and Non-Profit institutions and for companies that participate in our Customer Reference Program.

Q: What Can I Use as an Enterprise User?

While the source code of the Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula is distributed under the Apache License 2.0, the binary packages of the Enterprise Edition with the production-ready version of OpenNebula and the Enterprise Tools are distributed under a commercial license governed by the OpenNebula Subscription Agreement. The Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula is updated and released every 6 months and is maintained through the Customer Portal. OpenNebula Systems releases regular maintenance versions with minor features and bug fixes for the Enterprise Edition, as well as LTS versions to reduce the risk, expense, and disruption of software deployment. You can use these enterprise packages to build and manage a cloud infrastructure on a total number of hosts for which subscription fees have been paid.

The OpenNebula Enterprise Tools simplify maintenance, management and upgrade of the OpenNebula deployments. Although current features are limited to ensuring a smooth upgrade process, managing configuration files and generating diagnostics, it is evolving into the central control, maintenance and monitoring point of the installation.

Q: What Support Channels are Available?

Enterprise Support is delivered exclusively through our existing customer portal at We continue to maintain community discourse and GitHub for collaborating with the community at large.

Q: Do I Have to Purchase a Subscription for Every Cloud?

Yes, each cloud running the Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula requires an active support subscription. In a cloud instance, each managed host needs a valid subscription and all nodes must have the same subscription level. We also offer a "bits-only" subscription level for standard and premium customers running staging and development environments. 

Q: Do I Need the Enterprise Edition to Certify Platform Components?

No, both editions are fully compatible and any driver or extension developed and certified with the Community Edition will work with the Enterprise Edition. In particular the community and enterprise editions of major and minor releases are the same, the only difference is in the maintenance versions. We have done this to simplify our community contributors and technology partners to easily achieve compatibility for both editions. 

Q: Who Has Access to the Enterprise Edition of OpenNebula?

Our customers have access to the Enterprise Edition as one of the benefits of the OpenNebula subscription. Any organization can request a trial account to evaluate the OpenNebula subscription. Our Business Partners can also request access to the Enterprise Edition binary packages.


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