Is the redistribution of unconfigured Marvel agents in containers/VMs permitted?


I'm getting ready to release some Dockerized ElasticSearch/Kibana nodes. Given that Marvel basic licenses are now free, I'd like to bake the agent plugin into my ElasticSearch images and the UI app into my Kibana images.

The important part here is that I am not calling the "license" plugin as a part of my Dockerfiles - instead this will be called the first time the image instance is spun up. By the user running the container. To be explicit, here's what I'm doing:

  • My ElasticSearch Dockerfile calls plugin install marvel-agent
  • My Kibana Dockerfile calls plugin --install elasticsearch/marvel/latest
  • The script in ENTRYPOINT for my ElasticSearch Dockerfile calls plugin install license the first time the person running the docker image spins it up. Once, and only once.

The nodes are intended to be run for specific short-lived ad hoc tasks, generally less than 30 days. In the event that users need to run the containers longer, I've left cURL on the images so that they can install a basic license - these images aren't for production usage - via something like a docker exec across the cluster. Either way, obtaining and managing licenses is left to the user of the image.

I've looked over all the licensing that I could find, I've searched the forums, I've read, and I've hopped on IRC. So far everything seems kosher given that I am not distributing licenses. Further, given what I've seen from Elastic itself in terms of reaching out about customer success, and advocation, leads me to believe that this is logically consistent. Still, I'd like to Do The Right Thing (tm) and get an official answer from Elastic.

I'm asking this in the forums (as opposed to email) so that it can act as temporary documentation for anyone else that is curious about this question. I figure that'll help until you folks can update your license management page, as well as anything else mentioning Marvel licensing, heh.

Thanks in advance,

Hey Greg,

We don't see any problem with including Marvel in your docker image in the way you describe. We're happy that it's useful enough to embed! :slight_smile:

I'm not sure what your goals are, but if you someday want to embed Shield/Watcher/Graph/etc, with a license for your customers/users, we do have OEM customer arrangements that make this straightforward. Happy to chat - send me a DM if you have more questions!



For this particular scenario I use Marvel to watch ingestion rates. I bundle it along with HQ, which is handy for various administrative tasks, such as managing mapping. If you're curious, I'm more than happy to send a message with a link when it's done.

I don't think what we're doing at this point that needs OEM support, but I will definitely bear that in mind. Again, it's refreshing to see Elastic reach out to customers proactively, and politely. Likewise, I'm always open to chatting out of band if I can be of use.

(re-wrote this section after trying the 5.x Alpha distro)

It looks like Marvel is getting rolled into X-Pack as part of 5.x. I know it's early days yet, but is there any information on the licensing yet? It looks like License has gone away, so it might be pretty simple to do a "basic" license out of the box (or some sort of equivalent). Although I'd imagine you guys have already thought of this, heh.

Thanks again,

Hey Greg,

Glad to hear that it looks like it will all work out :slight_smile:

Indeed - Marvel capabilities will be called Monitoring as a feature of X-Pack. Don't worry though - the free, basic license will still be available and will provide the same monitoring capabilities. The built-in 30-day trial license will cover all X-Pack functionality (security, monitoring, alerting, graph, reporting). You can disable any of those features in the Elasticsearch/Kibana config files, or leave them enabled for the trial period as you see fit.