How Bonsai handles Elastic's license changes from ES 7.11.
Last updated
June 13, 2023
Note: The situation is still evolving, and we don’t have exact answers to every question our users have about how Elastic’s switch to the SSPL will affect Bonsai. This FAQ is a living document, and will be updated as new information and decisions are available for sharing.

On Thursday, January 14th, Elastic announced that Elasticsearch 7.11 and on will be dual-licensed under the Elastic proprietary license, and the Server Side Public License (SSPL). Formerly, Elasticsearch had been released under the Elastic and Apache 2.0 licenses. The switch to SSPL is meaningful for several reasons, and there is a lot of uncertainty about what it means for us and our customers. You can read Elastic's FAQ on the subject here.

Last updated: 20-Jan-2021

What's the Bottom Line for Me as a Bonsai Customer?

Bonsai customers have nothing to worry about. Bonsai has multiple ways of continuing to be an Elasticsearch host under the SSPL, and we're exploring which option makes the most sense for everyone involved. The switch to SSPL is noteworthy, and it's worth reading Elastic's posts outlining their reasoning and answering questions. But the short version is that Bonsai customers are not facing any impact.

What is the SSPL?

Tl;dr - The SSPL is a software license that allows the software to be managed as a service by a vendor, but the vendor must publish their service's complete source code under the SSPL. Simply, a company like Bonsai that offers Elasticsearch-as-a-service must release all of the code we use to manage Elasticsearch clusters, if we want to remain compliant with the terms of the license.

What Does This Mean to Me as a Bonsai Customer?

Nothing. The SSPL does not prohibit Bonsai from continuing operations, nor does it prohibit us from supporting new versions of Elasticsearch as they become available. The responsibility is on our team to work out how to remain in compliance with the terms of the new license, and we are committed to doing so.

Is Bonsai Going to Shut Down / Drop Elasticsearch?

No. Bonsai has been operational for over a decade, we’re profitable, and we have always had a good relationship with Elastic. There are no plans to shut down, change to some Elasticsearch competitor, raise prices, version-pin, or anything else.

Will Bonsai Slowly Become Obsolete?

No. We are working out the details for our service’s continued growth and development alongside Elasticsearch.

Why Is Elastic Doing This?

Elastic has published a blog entry outlining why they're making this change. In short, it has to do with trademark disputes (among other things) with Amazon. Bonsai is not involved in those disputes, and we have always been conscientious about respecting Elastic's IP and trademarks in our branding and marketing.

I Have Another Question / Concern

Feel free to reach out to us if you have a question or concern not answered here. We will answer as best as we can, but please remember that this transition is expected to take time and be complex. Quick, accurate answers may not be immediately available.

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