Today, with the release of Graylog v2.0 Beta.1, we are reaching a new milestone in the history of Graylog. We are releasing the first module, archiving, that is not free and open source (you can read more about archiving and other new features in our v2.0 Beta.1 release blog post). We believe in transparency at Graylog, and I wanted to share with you, our community, why we made this decision.
When I started the Graylog project in 2009, it was just a hobby. In 2014, driven by the product's rapid adoption, we formed a company behind the open source project to help users be successful with Graylog in production. I now find myself surrounded by a dedicated world-class team, a great community and very demanding customers that use Graylog on a huge scale while relying on a fully functioning Graylog cluster to perform business critical processes.
So far, Graylog has been 100% open-source. Every commit goes straight to our public GitHub repositories. Even some features that never made it to a released version are still out there on stale branches.
However, the industry that we operate in is an extremely demanding one. Building a best-in-class log management solution is not easy, and we need the resources to hire the best team to work on it. This also means we need to reach financial sustainability as a company in order to pay our bills and ensure the fast growth of the product and ecosystem.
We believe selling enterprise solutions is a way for Graylog to have a sustainable future. Enterprise customers around the world have asked us for specific additional capabilities that we consider to be less of a "core" Graylog functionality and more of a production solution for those with large implementations. Archiving is one such solution, and we plan to develop and sell more in the upcoming months.
To be clear, we love our open source community, and we will never close source:
- Anything that is authentication and transport security related, like LDAP integration, HTTPs, TLS, etc.
- Fundamental product capabilities that enable you to use Graylog for log management.
- Plugins or REST APIs. You will always be able to extend Graylog to fit your specific use cases.
- Anything that has historically been open source.
I believe that the days of selling printed documentation or only support services to make enough money to grow are over. It is all of our responsibility to make the future a healthy one by carefully selecting a monetization path in which the dividends go back to the community and the open source core to form an even better free product.
TL;DR: With the release of Graylog v2.0 Beta.1, we are introducing some production-scale features that will be commercial. These features will save time and money for those who operate Graylog on a large scale but will not impact the fundamental log management core of Graylog itself. We continue to be committed to building and improving upon our free, open source software.
I couldn't be more excited about the future of Graylog and all the new features we have in store for you. Feel free to contact me on Twitter if you have any comments or questions. I know that many of us in the industry are exploring similar topics, and I am looking forward to all conversations.