Licensing options

Service Mesh Manager is available in two different editions:

Tier Capacity Support
Free Maximum of 10 nodes total in maximum 2 two clusters. Community
Pro Maximum of 25 nodes total in any number of clusters. Cisco
Enterprise Unlimited, per node pricing. Cisco

Free tier

The free tier allows using 10 nodes in maximum 2 clusters inside the same mesh (active/active or active/passive setups are allowed).

For example, you can use a single cluster with 10 worker nodes (counting the active nodes too), or you can have an active cluster with 6 worker nodes and a passive cluster attached with 4 additional nodes.

If you exceed these limits, the management functionalities of Service Mesh Manager become restricted until the number of nodes and clusters are back to the allowed values:

  • CLI commands for installing Service Mesh Manager and attaching clusters to the mesh will fail until the node count has been decreased.

    Note: The uninstall command works regardless of the node count.

  • The dashboard shows an error detailing the license violations when over limits. As Kubernetes is dynamic in nature, you can exceed the node limit by 1 for one day, so you can keep using the Service Mesh Manager dashboard during node rotations.

The Istio data plane is available regardless the number of nodes, ensuring that no production outage happens due to license violation.

To register for free-tier access, see Getting started with the Free Tier.

To buy a Pro (paid-tier) license, visit the Service Mesh Manager website. If you have purchased a Pro license for Service Mesh Manager, you have to apply the license to your Service Mesh Manager installations. To achieve that, complete the following steps.

  1. Copy your license token into a file (for example, license.key).

  2. Apply the license to your Service Mesh Manager installation. If you have a multi-cluster setup, apply it to the primary cluster (where the Service Mesh Manager control plane is running). Run the following command:

    smm license apply --licenseKeyPath <license.key>

    Note: If you are using Service Mesh Manager with a commercial license in a multi-cluster scenario, Service Mesh Manager automatically synchronizes the license to the attached clusters. If the peer cluster already has a license, it is automatically deleted and replaced with the license of the primary Service Mesh Manager cluster. Detaching a peer cluster automatically deletes the license from the peer cluster.

  3. Run the following command to verify that the new license has been added to the Service Mesh Manager installation.

    smm license list

    Alternatively, you can open the Service Mesh Manager dashboard, open the user account in the top-right, then select License to display the details of the license.

    The details of the license include:

    • the number of permitted clusters (MaxClusters) in the mesh,
    • the total number of permitted nodes in the mesh (MaxNodes), and
    • the number of maximum permitted nodes for a cluster (MaxNodesPerCluster).

Exceeding the paid-tier license limit

In case you exceed the license limit for a paid-tier license, you lose access to the Service Mesh Manager dashboard until you decrease the size of the mesh to comply with the license limits.

The Istio data plane is available regardless the number of nodes, ensuring that no production outage happens due to license violation.

Enterprise license

To buy an enterprise license, contact your Cisco sales representative, or directly the Service Mesh Manager sales team.

To apply an enterprise license to your Service Mesh Manager installations, follow the steps described for the Paid tier.