Licensing

Learn about and manage Gloo Platform licenses in your environment.

Choose Gloo Platform product licenses

Before you install Gloo Mesh, decide which product and module licenses you need for your Gloo Platform environment. Gloo Platform offers separate licenses for each product, such as Gloo Gateway and Gloo Mesh Enterprise. Additionally, licenses are offered for the GraphQL module.

Licensed products

Product licenses unlock certain capabilities in Gloo Platform. Gloo products are built on hardened Solo images of related open source projects.

Product OSS projects Description
Gateway Envoy, Istio Gloo Mesh Gateway is an API gateway based on Envoy and Istio open source technologies. A gateway license unlocks custom resources such as virtual gateways, route tables, and policies so that you can control network traffic into (ingress) and out from (egress) your clusters. You get traffic manipulation features, such as Envoy filters for resilience and transformation. You can also secure ingress traffic with security filters such as web application firewall (WAF), external auth, and rate limiting. You can enhance your API gateway with additional modules, such as GraphQL, support for routing to AWS Lambdas, and a developer portal. Keep in mind that for internal service mesh traffic management, you need a Gloo Mesh Enterprise license alongside Gloo Mesh Gateway. For example, without a mesh license, you cannot use workload selectors on route tables; route tables without a virtual gateway; or access, access log, failover, or WebAssembly (Wasm) policies.
Mesh Istio, eBPF, Cilium Gloo Mesh manages Istio-based service meshes across clusters and infrastructure providers, and secures communication between workloads via mTLS. A mesh license unlocks hardened, FIPS-compliant Istio images with n-4 version support. You get a simplified management experience for multitenancy, service isolation, federation, and east-west traffic management. Gloo Mesh even automatically discovers your Istio resources and translates them into the appropriate Gloo custom resources so that intelligent, multicluster failover works out of the box. You also get Gloo custom resources to manage internal mesh routing, including virtual gateways, route tables, and policies such as external auth and rate limiting. Keep in mind that for advanced ingress routing features, you need a Gloo Mesh Gateway license alongside Gloo Mesh Enterprise. For example, without a gateway license, you cannot use cloud resources or AWS Lambda; advanced listener configuration such as TLS for ingress routes; add-ons such as external auth, rate limiting, or the developer portal for non-mesh ingress use cases; or policies that apply to ingress routes such as Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Gloo Mesh also includes support for Solo distributions of Cilium, you can deploy the Cilioum CNI to your clusters and use Cilium network policies to allow or drop packages between apps on layer 3 and 4 of the OSI Networking model. Cilium is an open source technology and a highly scalable Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) that provides cloud-native networking connectivity, security, and observability for container-based workloads, such as in Kubernetes and Docker. To provide advanced networking and security controls, Cilium leverages the Linux kernel technology eBPF, and you can even reuse the same access policies for both L3/L4 and L7 access control.

Licensed modules

You can extend the capabilities of Gloo products with modules. Modules are typically bundled together in the same license as the product license.

Module Compatible projects Description
GraphQL Gateway, Mesh GraphQL is a server-side query language and runtime you can use to expose your APIs as an alternative to REST APIs. GraphQL allows you to request only the data you want and handle any subsequent requests on the server side, saving numerous expensive origin-to-client requests by instead handling requests in your internal network. By building GraphQL capabilties into the Gloo ingress or east-west gateways, Gloo extends GraphQL with route-level networking logic. For example, the gateway might rate limit, authorize, and authenticate requests. To set up GraphQL in your Gloo environment, check out the GraphQL guides in the Gloo Mesh Gateway documentation.

Get a license key

To get Gloo Platform product licenses, contact an account representative. Your account representative can help you get the right license keys for the Gloo Platform capabilities that you want for your environment. For example, depending on your needs, you might get one of the following license key combinations:

Provide license keys during installation

When you install your Gloo Platform products, you provide your license keys either directly in your meshctl install command or Helm values file, or in a secret that you pass into the command or values file.

Trial licenses

A trial license provides access to all Gloo Platform products.

  1. Save your trial license key as an environment variable.
    export GLOO_TRIAL_LICENSE_KEY=<gloo-trial-license-key>
    
  2. Decide how you want to provide your trial key during installation.
    • Provide trial key directly: When you install Gloo Mesh in your cluster, you can provide your trial license key in the --set licensing.glooTrialLicenseKey=$GLOO_TRIAL_LICENSE_KEY flag or directly in your Helm values file with the licensing.glooTrialLicenseKey: $GLOO_TRIAL_LICENSE_KEY setting.
    • Provide trial key in a secret: You can specify your trial license key by creating a secret before you install Gloo Mesh.
      1. Create a secret with your trial key in the gloo-mesh namespace of your cluster.
        cat << EOF | kubectl apply -n gloo-mesh -f -
        apiVersion: v1
        kind: Secret
        type: Opaque
        metadata:
          name: license-secret
          namespace: gloo-mesh
        stringData:
          gloo-trial-license-key: "$GLOO_TRIAL_LICENSE_KEY"
        EOF
        
      2. When you install Gloo Mesh in your cluster, provide the licensing.licenseSecretName: license-secret setting in your Helm values file.

Product licenses

You must have one license for each Gloo Platform product that you want to install, such as Gloo Mesh and Gloo Gateway. If you also purchased a module add-on such as GraphQL, this module is included in the product license (you do not need a separate license).

  1. Save your license keys as environment variables. The following steps and examples use Gloo Mesh, but you might have separate license keys for Gloo Gateway and Gloo Mesh Enterprise.
    export GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY=<gloo-mesh-license-key>
    
  2. Decide how you want to provide your license keys during installation.
    • Provide license keys directly: When you install Gloo Mesh in your cluster, you can provide your license key in the --set licensing.glooMeshLicenseKey=$GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY flag or directly in your Helm values file with the licensing.glooMeshLicenseKey: $GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY setting.
    • Provide license keys in a secret: You can specify your license keys by creating a secret before you install Gloo Mesh.
      1. Create a secret with your license keys in the gloo-mesh namespace of your management cluster. For example, to provide your Gloo Mesh license key in a secret:
        cat << EOF | kubectl apply -n gloo-mesh -f -
        apiVersion: v1
        kind: Secret
        type: Opaque
        metadata:
          name: license-secret
          namespace: gloo-mesh
        stringData:
          gloo-gateway-license-key: ""
          gloo-mesh-license-key: "$GLOO_MESH_LICENSE_KEY"
          gloo-network-license-key: ""
        EOF
        
      2. When you install Gloo Mesh in your cluster, provide the licensing.licenseSecretName: license-secret setting in your Helm values file.

Monitor licenses

You can check your licenses, including your license expiration dates, in multiple ways.

CLI

To check your current licenses with the meshctl CLI, you can use the meshctl license check command.

In this example output, the Gloo Gateway license is current and valid, and a GraphQL module is added to the license. The expiration date is listed so that you can update your license before it expires.

INFO  License key gloo-gateway-license-key for product gloo-gateway is valid. Expires at 08 Oct 24 12:31 CEST
INFO  License key gloo-gateway-license-key for gloo-gateway/graphql add-on is valid. Expires at 08 Oct 24 12:31 CEST
SUCCESS  Licenses are valid

In this example output, the Gloo Mesh Enterprise license is invalid. Check your license to ensure you entered it correctly, and if you pass the license key in the --key flag, be sure to encode it in base64.

WARNING  License key gloo-mesh-license-key is not valid. Make sure that the license is correct. For help or to request a new license, contact Solo Support. See https://docs.solo.io/gloo-mesh-enterprise/main/support/support-ticket/
ERROR  Invalid licenses found

In this example output, the Gloo Mesh Enterprise license is valid but is expired. You can update your license in your Gloo environment.

WARNING  Your gloo-mesh license expired on 2024-01-24 19:30:53 +0100 CET. To get a new license, contact Support.
ERROR  License is expired. For more info, see https://docs.solo.io/gloo-mesh-enterprise/latest/setup/prepare/licensing/#update-licenses

UI

To check your current licenses with the Gloo UI:

  1. Open the Gloo UI.
  2. In the header navigation bar, click the gear icon.
  3. Review the status of your licenses. In the following example, the Gloo Gateway license is current and valid, and no GraphQL module is added to the license. You can also check the expiration date so that you can update your license before it expires.
Product license statuses in the Gloo UI.

Metrics

Gloo Platform includes license metrics that you can view by using the UI of the built-in Prometheus server. These metrics give you the number of minutes until the license expires, which you can optionally use to set up alerts in Prometheus.

  1. Open the Prometheus UI.

  2. Query one of the following metrics:

    • solo_io_gloo_gateway_license
    • solo_io_gloo_mesh_license
    • solo_io_gloo_network_license
  3. In the output, check the value of the metric, which is the number of minutes until the license expires. For example, in this output, the Gloo Mesh license expires in 247,649 minutes, which equals 171 days, 23 hours, and 29 minutes.

    Metric Value
    solo_io_gloo_mesh_license{app="gloo-mesh-mgmt-server”, instance="10.xx.x.x:9091”, job="gloo-mesh-mgmt-server”, namespace="gloo-mesh”, pod="gloo-mesh-mgmt-server-65bd557b95-v8qq6”, pod_template_hash="65bd557b95”} 247649.2563652057
  4. Optional: If you want to add alerts for these license metrics, such as to remind you to update your license before it expires, you can add alerts to your Helm values file and apply the file during a Gloo upgrade. To get your current Helm values and upgrade Gloo, see Upgrade Gloo Mesh.

    For example, if you installed Gloo Mesh, you might add the following alert to your values file to remind you to update your Gloo Mesh license 30 days before it expires. You can also add similar alerts for other Gloo product licenses, or alerts for other timeframes (such as using expr: solo_io_gloo_mesh_license < 0 in the case that a license expires). You can review these alerts in the operations dashboard or in the /alerts page of the Prometheus UI.

    ...
    serverFiles:
        alerting_rules.yml:
            groups:
                - name: GlooPlatformAlerts
                  rules:
                    ...
                    - alert: GlooMeshLicenseExpiresSoon
                      annotations:
                        runbook: https://docs.solo.io/gloo-mesh-enterprise/latest/setup/prepare/licensing/#update-licenses
                        summary: The Gloo Mesh license expires in 30 days.
                      expr: solo_io_gloo_mesh_license < 1440 * 30
                      labels:
                        severity: warning
    

Update licenses

Before your Gloo license expires, you can update the license by patching the license key secret. If you use Gloo Mesh along with other Gloo products such as Gloo Gateway, you can also update those licenses.

For example, if you notice that your Gloo management plane deployments are in a crash loop, your Gloo license might be expired. You can check the logs for one of the deployments, such as the management server, to look for an error message similar to the following:

meshctl logs mgmt --kubecontext ${MGMT_CONTEXT}
{"level":"fatal","ts":1628879186.1552186,"logger":"gloo-mesh-mgmt-server","caller":"cmd/main.go:24","msg":"License is invalid or expired, crashing - license expired", ...

To update your license, see the upgrade guide.