AWS announces forks of Elasticsearch and Kibana

Last week, Elastic announced they will change their software licensing strategy, and will not release new versions of Elasticsearch and Kibana under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (ALv2). Instead, new versions of the software will be offered under the Elastic License (which limits how it can be used) or the Server Side Public License (which has requirements that make it unacceptable to many in the open source community). This means that Elasticsearch and Kibana will no longer be open source software. In order to ensure open source versions of both packages remain available and well supported, including in our own offerings, we are announcing today that AWS will step up to create and maintain a ALv2-licensed fork of open source Elasticsearch and Kibana.

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This is going to backfire for Amazon. They are in their good right to fork the Elastic repositories, because the products are Open Source, however, if they want to keep up with new features, they’ll need to constantly rebase against the original repository or have a developing team to only focus on applying changes to their own version of Elasticsearch and Kibana. Their customers might want the Elasticsearch experience and seek documentation on Elasticsearch and not “Amazonsearch”.

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I actually wondered whether the licence change may have played a role in the reason you left Ohm, but I didn’t want to be cheeky :see_no_evil:

I haven’t looked at the license, did Elastic share why they were changing?

No, not at all. I was in a completely different department where we were talking about opening up the product even more. It was closed source while I was there (and still is)

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The way I look at it, the previous Elastic license was basically relying on everyone being a good citizen. We the techies are naive like that.

@ohm Amazon might just figure they will make their own Elastic and just keep the protocol intact. They’ve done so with other products before (like RDS which you technically can connect to with psql et. al.)

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It is good to see Amazon finally stepping up and be more active in open source. They took a lot from it, now it is time to contribute something back.

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They are not contributing though, last I heard? Has something changed?

I thought they just forked the products, closed the source and made them cloud offerings?

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That’s what they did with MongoDB at least. Copied the protocol, so that all tools still work, and then closed it off, stopped offering MongoDB cloud services and started their own.

It’s what they did with OpenDistro. If I wanted to use my time on Open Source, why should I choose and fix problems or write new features for OpenDistro over Elasticsearch?


No, they are not doing it for the Open source, they are doing it for themselves, after Open Source(read ElasticSearch) closed the door on them, because Amazon was profiting millions without giving back, plus it was killing the business for ElasticSearch.

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