Managing Confluent Platform Licenses

License Manager provides convenient centralized management of Confluent licenses for Confluent Platform commercial components. The License Manager feature is enabled by default.

As of Confluent Platform versions 5.2 and later, you are clearly notified of license expiration dates with notifications for both trial and enterprise licenses. In addition, the developer license provides unlimited use of commercial features in a single-broker development environment. Upgrading to the most current version 5.3 is strongly recommended.

This documentation pertains to managing licenses for Confluent Platform and its proprietary components, including Confluent evaluation licenses.

The following diagram shows the features available by license:

Diagram that lists features by license

For information about Confluent Community and Apache 2.0 licenses, see Confluent Community License and Apache 2.0 License respectively.

Types of Confluent Platform licenses

Available types of Confluent Platform licenses include:

If the Confluent Platform configuration has only one broker, the developer license is automatically applied by License Manager. If a second broker (or more) is added, License Manager starts a trial license and the 30 day countdown to the trial expiration begins. Enterprise licenses (subscriptions) must be entered by the purchaser.

Developer License

A developer license allows full use of Confluent Platform features free of charge for an indefinite duration; however, the license is limited to a single broker configuration per cluster. The developer license gives developers the freedom to try the Confluent Platform commercial features available in a non-production setting.

The developer license also accommodates multiple single-broker clusters so that developers can try the Replicator between those instances, or develop failover applications, for example. Those multiple single-broker clusters share the same license.

Warning

Adding a broker starts a trial license that expires in 30 days. You cannot revert from a trial back to a developer license.

Trial (Evaluation) License

A trial (evaluation) license allows a free trial of commercial features in a production setting. Expires after 30 days. The trial license is governed by the Confluent evaluation licenses agreement. The software ceases to function when the license expires. For details, see Confluent Platform commercial components post-expired license.

Enterprise (Subscription) License

An enterprise license provides access to all Confluent commercial features for a production environment. An enterprise license is an annual paid subscription that expires after 365 days. The software ceases to function after the license expires. For details, see Confluent Platform commercial components post-expired license.

Entering a license in Confluent Platform commercial components

For Control Center, the license key can be entered in the License tab, or in the legacy way using the control-center.properties file.

For the other proprietary components, you must provide an updated license key in the configuration file of a single component. The license is evaluated against whatever licensing is already present in the License Manager. If necessary, that original license is updated to the newly submitted license for the other components to read from. License Manager also logs the license information, including expiration, and adds warning messages to the log 15 days before expiration.

Confluent Platform commercial components

The Confluent Platform licenses (developer, trial, or enterprise) cover the following commercial components:

Confluent Platform commercial connectors

The Confluent Platform commercial connectors can be used on an unlimited basis with the developer license for single-broker clusters. Multi-broker clusters can use these commercial connectors for a 30-day trial without an enterprise license key. After the trial period expires, Confluent Platform software ceases to function as described in commercial components post-expiry.

You must purchase an enterprise license to continue using commercial connectors in a multi-broker cluster.

Refer to the individual supported connector documentation for connector-specfic information about license requirements.

Confluent Platform commercial components post-expired license

Developer licenses never expire. When a trial or enterprise license expires, the proprietary components react as follows after the next restart attempt:

Component Restart reaction after license expiration
Control Center Fails to start.
Replicator Fails to start and throws an exception.
Connectors Fail to start and throw an exception.
JMS client Fails to connect to any brokers and issues a license expiration message.
ADB Fails to calculate the rebalance plan and issues a license expiration message.
MQTT Proxy Fails to start.
Security plugins Fail to start.

Other commercial feature considerations:

  • If brokers are using LDAP authorizer, brokers fail to boot and issue a license expiration message.

Enterprise license expiry notifications

The License Manager checks the license status daily. At 90 days before a license expiration date, a notification message prominently displays within the Control Center application the number of days remaining for the license. As the expiration date approaches, notifications become more persistent at the following countdown intervals:

  • 90 days: When the approaching license expiration date is in 90 days or less, a dismissible notification appears in the Control Center banner area. After it’s dismissed, the banner notification does not appear again until the expiration date is in 30 days or less.
  • 30 days: When the approaching license expiration date is in 30 days or less, a dismissible notification appears in the Control Center banner area. After it’s dismissed, the banner notification does not appear again until the expiration date is in 7 days or less. In addition, an exclamation point displays in the License tab along with a non-dismissible notification.
  • 7 days: When the approaching license expiration date is in seven days or less, a dismissible notification appears in the Control Center banner area. Dismissing the banner notification must be done daily (if you don’t want to view it) until the license expiration date has arrived. In addition, an exclamation point displays in the License tab along with a non-dismissible notification. On the last day, the notice counts down the last 24 hours until expiration.
  • 0 days (expired): After the license has expired, the banner notification appears in the Control Center application and cannot be dismissed until a new license is applied. The message indicates how long the license has been expired. After applying a new license, the notifications disappear until the 90-day checkpoint starts another countdown cycle.
../../_images/c3-ent-license-expiring.png

Renew your license prior to its expiration date to continue using Confluent Platform without interruption. Contact Confluent Support to renew the license.

Trial license expiry notifications

Notifications for a trial license start immediately on the first active day of the 30-day trial. The daily notifications are persistent in the Control Center application banner and cannot be dismissed.

../../_images/c3-trial-license-expiring.png

Warning

After a trial license has expired, the License tab in Control Center cannot be accessed. To continue using Confluent Platform without interruption, purchase and apply an enterprise license before the trial license expires. If you can no longer access the License tab, you can enter the new license key in the appropriate control-center.properties file. See Applying a Confluent Platform license in a Control Center properties file.

When a trial license expires, Confluent Platform ceases to operate as detailed in Confluent Platform commercial components post-expired license. A message prompts you to purchase a license.

../../_images/c3-trial-license-expired.png

Purchase a license prior to its expiration date to continue using Confluent Platform without interruption. Contact Confluent Support to purchase a license.

Viewing processing status in Control Center

View a high-level summary of running and processing status within the Control Center application. Check the status at any time.

  1. In the upper-right corner of Control Center, click the menu icon to open the Administration menu.

    ../../_images/c3-admin-menu.png
  2. Click Status & Settings. By default, the Processing Status tab appears.

The Processing Status pane displays the status of Control Center (Running or Not Running). Consumption data and Broker data message processing speeds are shown real-time since 30 minutes ago.

../../_images/c3-process-status.png

Viewing license information in Control Center

View the license information within the Control Center application. Check the license status at any time.

Important

If RBAC is enabled, the SystemAdmin role must be granted to a user on the Kafka cluster that is running Metadata Service (MDS) in order to view or edit a license in the Control Center web interface. For more information, see Role-based access control (RBAC) in Confluent Control Center.

Warning

If a trial license has expired, or License Manager has been disabled, the License tab cannot be accessed.

  1. In the upper-right corner of Control Center, click the menu icon to open the Administration menu.
  2. Click Status & Settings.
  3. Click the License tab.

The License Key pane displays the license key, type of license, Customer ID (if applicable), and the date the license expires (if it’s not a Developer License).

../../_images/c3-developer-license.png

Purchasing a Confluent Platform license

You can request to purchase an enterprise license from within the Control Center application. Request a license if you want to upgrade to an enterprise license from a trial license, or if your trial or enterprise license is about to expire or has expired and needs to be renewed.

  1. In the upper-right corner of Control Center, click the menu icon to open the Administration menu.

  2. Click Purchase License. An email window opens addressed to Confluent sales for you to make your request.

    Tip

    Existing customers can also request a renewal from Confluent Support.

After you receive the license, apply the license key.

Applying an enterprise Confluent Platform license in the Control Center License tab

Applying a valid Enterprise license takes effect immediately and does not require stopping or restarting services. You can apply a new license key to an enterprise license that is about to expire or has expired.

Important

If RBAC is enabled, the SystemAdmin role must be granted to a user on the Kafka cluster that is running Metadata Service (MDS) in order to view or edit a license in the Control Center web interface. For more information, see Role-based access control (RBAC) in Confluent Control Center.

You can apply an enterprise license key in the License tab to a trial license prior to its expiration date.

Warning

After a trial license has expired, the License tab in Control Center cannot be accessed. To continue using Confluent Platform without interruption, purchase and apply an enterprise license before the trial license expires. If you can no longer access the License tab, you can enter the new license key in the appropriate control-center.properties file. See Applying a Confluent Platform license in a Control Center properties file.

An enterprise license can be applied over a developer license at any time.

Applying a license key in the License tab does not update the license string property in the control-center.properties files. The reverse does; however: applying a license key in a control-center.properties file updates the license key displayed in the License tab.

The applied license key is visible in the Control Center log.

To apply a license in the License tab:

  1. In the upper-right corner of Control Center, click the menu icon to open the Administration menu.

  2. Click Status & Settings.

  3. Click the License tab.

  4. Clear the existing key. The Enter license key prompt appears.

    ../../_images/c3-enter-license-key.png
  5. Paste the license key provided by Confluent into the License Key pane.

  6. Click Apply License.

    ../../_images/c3-enterprise-license-blur.png
    • If the applied key is invalid, an invalid key entered message appears in red below the License Key pane. Double-check the key and try again.
    • If the applied key is valid, a license has been applied message appears in a light blue banner. Click the x to dismiss the banner.
  7. Click the Confluent logo in the upper-left corner to navigate back to Control Center monitoring.

Applying a Confluent Platform license in a Control Center properties file

If License Manager has been disabled, or a trial license has expired and the License tab cannot be accessed, use this alternative legacy method to enter a license key.

Besides using the License tab available in the Control Center Administration UI, you can set the license key in the confluent.license property of the appropriate control-center.properties file on startup. Enter either the license key or a path to the license key file.

Applying a license key in a control-center.properties file updates the license key displayed in the License tab UI. Applying a license key in the License tab UI does not update the license string property in the control-center.properties files.

The applied license key is visible in the Control Center log.

To apply a license key for Control Center using configuration properties:

  1. Open the control-center.properties file for your environment.

  2. In the Control Center Settings section, locate License string for the Control Center. Remove the hash # to uncomment the confluent.license option.

  3. Enter the license value or a path to a file that contains the license.

    confluent.license=/path/to/license/file
    
  4. Restart Control Center and pass in the properties file for the configuration to take effect:

    ./bin/control-center-stop
    ./bin/control-center-start ../etc/confluent-control-center/control-center.properties
    

For more details on Control Center configuration options, see Control Center Configuration Reference.

Enabling and disabling the Control Center License Manager feature

License Manager is enabled by default.

License Manager can be disabled in Control Center as a preventative measure against potentially installation-wide license issues within an organization.

After disabling License Manager, the License tab in the Control Center Administration UI cannot be accessed by any users. Enter the licence key using an Applying a Confluent Platform license in a Control Center properties file.

To disable License Manager in Control Center:

  1. Set the confluent.controlcenter.license.manager.enable option in your control-center.properties file to false.

    ...
    confluent.controlcenter.license.manager.enable=false
    ...
    

    Note

    Make the change in the appropriate Control Center properties file or files configured for your environments, including control-center-dev.properties or control-center-production.properties. The properties files are located in /path-to-confluent/etc/confluent-control-center/.

  2. Restart Control Center and pass in the properties file for the configuration to take effect:

    ./bin/control-center-stop
    ./bin/control-center-start ../etc/confluent-control-center/control-center.properties
    

To enable License Manager again, set the confluent.controlcenter.license.manager.enable option back to true and restart Control Center with the updated properties file.

Viewing the Control Center log for License Manager information, warnings, or errors

License Manager configuration information and notification warnings show up in the Control Center log. The log displays in stdout by default.

Tip

For production environments, configure log4j to manage multiple rolling logs. For more details, see Logging.

To view the Control Center log in stdout using the Confluent CLI confluent local log command:

<path-to-confluent>/bin/confluent local log log control-center

When the License Manager feature is enabled, an entry displays in the log:

confluent.controlcenter.license.manager.enable = true

The version of License Manager also displays in the log:

confluent.controlcenter.license.manager = _confluent-controlcenter-license-manager-5-3-0